Tag Archives: Health

Make your own cheese from yoghurt and kefir

7 May

For the love of all things Cheesy. We have been on a quest to make our own cheese around here.

But being the patient folk that we are, we didn’t even bother attempting any of the traditional cheese recipes that take weeks & months to cure. Because by the time that cheese is ready, I can guarantee there will only be crumbs left!!

So in our quest for healthy more “instant” cheese we have started making cheese from our very own homemade yoghurt & kefir.

Not only do these cheeses have the benefit of being virtually “instant” and tasting great but they are also filled with gut-feeding healthy probiotics. Triple whammy!!

While we stay away from milk, we are loving our fermented dairy & the wide range of products we can make from them. Unlike traditional dairy products that are rich in proteins that are hard to digest and can cause sinus congestion, asthma and eczema. Naturally fermented dairy products have healthy bacteria’s that pre-digest those proteins and stop them causing unwanted reactions in the body, whilst also healing the gut and helping to ward off un-healthy bacteria that can make us sick.

Yoghurt cheese is a Super Food!!

Who knew something so tasty could be so good for you??

cheese-sage-balls

So whats the difference between yoghurt cheese & kefir cheese?

In my opinion, a slight tang.

Kefir cheese is a little more tangy and firm while the yoghurt cheese is often more creamy and mild.

So go get cheese making and enjoy fresh, natural unprocessed cheese with pro-biotic goodness & no nasties. No stabilisers, no thickeners, no flavour enhances just pure natural goodness.

Yoghurt or Kefir Cheese Balls a’la Mama Going Natural

  • A nice firm batch of yoghurt or alternatively a thicker batch of kefir that has been fermented till it goes thick (approximately 750ml)
  • 1 t Himalayan or vegetable salt
  • A glass jar
  • A rubber band (or hair tie!)
  • Two pieces of cheese cloth or muslim
  • Another jar to store your cheese in
  • 250ml olive oil
  • Herbs, garlic, salt and pepper to taste

Firstly boil your cheese cloth or muslim to sterilise it & sterilise your jar with boiling water.

Add your salt to your yoghurt or kefir & stir in.

Put one of your cloths across the opening of the jar & push a little way into the jar to create a pouch, secure in place with your rubber band. Pour in your salted yoghurt or kefir & leave to drain in your refrigerator for at least 24 hours. I find yoghurt cheese needs 48 hours & a little bit of stirring to remove as much of the liquid (whey) as possible.

Cheese-draining

Once your cheese mix has drained until it is a little firmer to the touch (the yoghurt will always be a little moist & sticky). Roll it into a basic log & wrap it in your second piece of muslim, which should be dry. Place your cheese log in the refrigerator for another 12-24 hours for the cloth to absorb the excess moisture & the cheese to firm up.

Don’t discard the liquid that has collected in your jar from the draining process, this is whey & is chock fill with pro-biotic goodness. Use it to make lacto-fermented vegetables or add it to your smoothies for a probiotic pick me up.

Once the cheese has rested & firmed up you can begin to prepare your oil. Firstly sterilise your storing jar with boiling water. Then chop your fresh herbs and garlic and add them to the oil along with any herbs or spices you might like to add. Our favourites are smoky paprika with garlic and pepper, or basil and garlic. Pour your oil mix into the jar and get to work on your cheese balls.

cheese

You can roll your cheese into balls or flatten them out into little oval discs so you can fit more in your jar.

Alternatively you can roll your cheese balls in herbs or spices before placing them in the oil, this adds great flavour to your cheese!

Once your cheese balls are in your oil mix put them in the refrigerator & try to leave them for 24 – 48 hours for the flavours to infuse. But if you can’t whose going to notice a few sneaky ones missing here & there.

Your cheese balls can keep in the refrigerator covered in oil for 6 months, the longer they stay in there the better they get – trust me. Not that any of mine have hit the 6 month mark yet, but surely if I make enough……..one day!!

cheese-cracker

Want to get started, then get making some yoghurt, find out how to here

signature-2

 

Home Made Natural Lip Gloss

12 Apr

I am an un-ashamedly girly girl.

With that little secret out of the closet. I can now tell you how much I love lip gloss. I have probably owned a pot of every colour known to man; from shocking pink to clear, to full on glitter. You name it I have had it. Gloss fixes everything – right?

Well after reading about all of the nasties that go into lip gloss, I thought my little love affair was over. That was until I started making my own lip gloss & fell in love all over again!

Now I can slather on gloss without a care in the world; knowing that I am not licking, sucking and eating nasty chemicals & petrol by-products off my lips – yuk!.

This gloss is what I would call a finger gloss as it can be applied with your finger. The consistency is not hard enough for a chapstick tube, but not soft enough to be applied with a wand. It has beeswax to protect & nourish and castor oil to give it a nice slick shine, the addition of stevia & sweet orange essential oil will have you wanting to eat this from the pot – and guess what? –  you can!! – because there are no nasties!

lip-gloss-1

Finger Lip Gloss a’la Mama Going Natural

You will need

  • 6gms beeswax – I use lovely unrefined honey infused beeswax
  • 15gms cold pressed castor oil
  • 6gms sweet almond oil
  • 2 drops liquid stevia
  • 5 drops sweet orange essential oil

Place the beeswax, castor oil & almond oil in a glass or ceramic bowl over a double boiler (I use a ceramic coffee mug in a saucepan of simmering water – it does the trick). Slowly heat the oils & stir to dissolve the wax. Once the wax has dissolved take it off the heat & leave to cool. Once you can start to see it setting around the edge, quickly stir in your stevia, essential oil & any iron oxides or mica’s you might want to use to colour the lip gloss.

lip-gloss-3

Being a girly girl I do like to tint mine with some red iron oxide and other mica’s depending on the batch!

This recipe would also work great with all castor oil if you don’t have any sweet almond oil, it would just make the gloss that bit slicker & give you more of a wet lip look. You can even make it with coconut oil as that gives the gloss a nice subtle taste & fragrance. The stevia can be omitted, I just like it as it makes the gloss feel more like the ones you buy from the cosmetic counter with its sweet orange flavour – but I do warn you, it is good enough to eat, so you may find yourself licking your lips!

If you decide to play around & add colour to your gloss with iron oxides, just add it a pinch at a time as the colour goes a long way. I have experimented with the iron oxides & made gloss that could double as lipstick all the way down to a light tinted gloss. The difference in the amount of iron oxide used is minute – so go slowly adding your iron oxides or your subtle pink gloss can turn into racy red gloss before you know it.

photo

Enjoy & have fun, this is a great activity to do with the girls in your life and say good bye to petro-chemicals on your lips – woo hoo 🙂

Mama-going-natural-signature

Home Made Natural Toothpaste

12 Apr

Homemade toothpaste was my first attempt at going natural. I wanted to create a simple product that would be better for our health & our hip pocket as natural toothpaste can cost a small fortune.

Now I must warn you that this toothpaste will in no way, shape or form represent that nice shiny tube of toothpaste you are currently using, but on the upside, it is cheap to make, completely non toxic & will leave your teeth feeling smooth & pearly white 🙂

toothpaste-1

Home Made Natural Toothpaste a’la Mama Going Natural

  • 2 T Bicarb soda
  • 4 drops stevia – it is almost unpalatable without this – but more power to you if you decide to omit it 🙂
  • 4 drops Spearmint essential oil
  • 1 T Coconut oil

Take all of the ingredients & mix together till they form a firm paste, I make small batches, often & keep it in a jar in the bathroom which we just dip the bristles of our toothbrushes into.

The bicarb soda & coconut oil make this toothpaste great for stained teeth as both are purported to naturally remove stains & whiten teeth – so get  ready for a big white smile 😉

The stevia makes the toothpaste palatable & takes the edge off the nasty bicarb flavour, the spearmint gives nice fresh minty breath & the coconut oil leaves your teeth feeling glossy & gives it more of a paste feel. You can adjust the amount of stevia in your toothpaste, I suggest making it a little sweeter to begin with until you get used to the  bitter bite of the bicarb soda!

You can also choose to make a spice flavoured toothpaste using clove & cinnamon oils, this would have the added bonus of the anti-bacterial properties of the spices or a sweet orange flavour for the kids if they don’t go for the spearmint.

toothpaste-2

This toothpaste may take a little getting used to, as it is nowhere near as tasty as the commercial brands but on the upside you know exactly what you & your family are putting in your mouths!. There are no hidden nasties and you will never find your little ones eating the toothpaste ever again!

Mama-going-natural-signature

Home Made Yoghurt

12 Apr

Yoghurt is one of life’s staples for us, nothing beats a big bowl of yoghurt & fruit on a hot Queensland day.

I have always thought of yoghurt as “healthy”. Something that not only tastes good but also gives you a little pro-biotic pick me up. So imagine my dissapointment when I found out that most store brought yoghurts despite their “pot set” claims, actually contain very little live probiotics & all sorts of hidden nasties like thickening agents, stabilisers & flavour enhances (yuk!).

Not wanting to give up our yoghurt we embarked on our very own “yoghurt making adventures”.

And boy have I had a few adventures, firstly I started off trying to make yoghurt in a glass jar  stored in a thermal lunch bag, this method produced yoghurt, but it was runny. I then tried the water bath method this too produced runny yoghurt & was a royal pain as the water bath had to constantly keep being re-filled with hot water to keep it at the right temperature. I finally bit the bullet & brought a soup thermos, now we are producing lovely pot set style yoghurt – still not quite as creamy or as firm as the pot set yoghurt you buy from the supermarket – but minus all the gelatine, thickening agents and other nasties.

yoghurt-creamy

 

How to make home made yoghurt a’la Mamma Going Natural

All you need is

  • 500mls milk
  • candy or deep fry thermometer
  • 1 T pot set natural greek yoghurt to use as your yoghurt starter
  • A large opening thermos designed for soups & meals

Pour your  milk into a saucepan to heat (I use raw unpasteurised jersey cow milk) heat it to roughly between 40 to 45 degrees celsius, check the temperature with your thermometer. Once the milk is at about 43 degrees take it off the heat & add  your 1 T of yoghurt ( I have found the Pauls all natural yoghurt in a tub to be the best, the Jalna brand made a much softer, sloppier yoghurt) whisk in the yoghurt until its fully combined. Then pour it all into your thermos & place somewhere warm to do its thing – I leave the yoghurt for 12 to 24 hours checking it periodically to see if it has turned into yoghurt, once it has turned we then refrigerate & enjoy.

Be sure to save 1-2 T  of your yoghurt as this can then be used as your yoghurt starter for your next batch & in theory you should never have to buy yoghurt again 🙂

Because I am using raw un-pasteurised milk I don’t let the milk get above 45 degrees as this would kill all of the naturally occurring bacteria in the milk & negate my paying exorbitant prices for the opportunity to have pure un-adulterated milk straight from the cow!

To learn more about how amazing raw milk is visit realmilk.com

If you want to pasteurise the milk or are using pasteurised milk then heat the milk to 70 degrees & hold it at 70 degrees for five minutes before letting it cool to 40-45 degrees before adding your yoghurt starter.

Trouble shooting

*When we first started making yoghurt I thought the more yoghurt starter we added the better, but this produced sloppy yoghurt. Less yoghurt starter = a creamier more pot set style of yoghurt, don’t ask me why or how!

*If at first you don’t succeed consider changing your yoghurt starter, not all “pot set” yoghurts are equal & many contain very little live yoghurt cultures, their flavour & consistency is more the result of chemicals & thickening agents rather than live probiotic cultures. So if your yoghurt doesn’t work consider trying another brand to use as a starter.

Mama-going-natural-signature

%d bloggers like this: