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Susan | Backyard Grocery

Susan

Greetings

Well, I’ve been pretty absent these last few months. I was doing a lot of cooking this summer, but just couldn’t wrap my brain around blogging about it. But the weather is changing and I’m feel my mood change too. The fact I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner (for the first time in about 13 years) is contributing to my excitement. Yes, I’m excited about cooking the feast! I love it.

In the next few weeks I hope to report on Rick’s success with bagging a turkey or two (a friend is lending him a shotgun and he’s got access to a property with turkeys on it). I also hope to report on more acorn foraging, and misc garden adventures.

Life is good. I’m glad to be back. I’m going to celebrate by heading out to the Corcoran brewery to sample some local craft beer while eating venison roast sandwiches. Yes, life is good today. :)


Lemon tonic recipe

lemon tonic recipe

This lemon tonic recipe tastes great, is super refreshing, and will aid digestion. Now that’s a triple play!

I’ve been wanting to venture into the world of fermented tonics, but just couldn’t seem to find the time or the gumption to do it. This week’s challenge to cook something new (to me) was just the push I needed. I thought I’d start with a real lemon tonic recipe because the kids arrive today and Anwen LOVES anything lemon.

I thought I’d share a little bit about why homemade tonics are a good thing, but here’s a quick summary: yum.

The benefits of fermented beverages

Tonics are a fermented food, and fermented foods infuse the gut with lactobacilli and lactic acid and provide an array of enzymes and nourishing minerals. Tonics are also more more hydrating and thirst-quenching than even water—and definitely all round better than the carbonated drinks you buy in the store. Traditionally they were valued for their medicinal qualities, including the ability to relieve intestinal problems and constipation, promote lactation, strengthen the sick and promote overall well-being and stamina. Taken with meals, tonics promote digestion; taken after physical labor, they replace lost mineral ions in a way that renews rather than depletes the body’s reserves. However, you don’t want to drink them like water. A little goes a long way with fermented beverages. For the average adult, four to six ounces a day is good. Children can take less. and a child would need even less at one time. Keep that in mind, because this lemon tonic recipe is so good, you’ll want to drink much, much more!

Notes about this lemon tonic recipe

One of the things I love about fermented foods is how unpredictable they are. This goes for the tonics as well as the vegetables. The size of the lemons you use, what kind of lemons, what kind of sugar, the humidity in your house…all of these influence the final product. I also love the fact you can’t really get it wrong…you just get it different. So keep making this tonic and have fun!

lemon tonic recipe

My lemon tonic recipe fermenting. I used sucanant in this batch, which is why it’s more brown than yellow. It will still taste excellent!

Recipe: Lemon Tonic

Summary: Refreshing and rejuvenating super drink

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of lemon juice (about of 10 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup sugar or sucanat
  • 1 cup of whey
  • 4 quarts of filtered water
  • gallon size jar (or two and half quart jars)

Instructions

  1. Make a simple sugar with the sugar/sucanat and 1 cup of water. Add the sugar and water to a small sauce pan and gently heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  2. Add the simple sugar and lemon juice to the jar (or jars) and fill about 3/4 full with filtered water.
  3. Add the whey (make sure the liquid is at room temp so that you don’t kill any of the enzymes in the whey).
  4. Cover tightly and let sit on the counter for 3-5 days. (The longer it sits, the less sugar in the final product; we like ours tart, so it stays out 5 days).
  5. Store in the fridge and drink 4-6 ounces per day.

Quick notes

You can add about 1 tsp of molasses to the sugar before dissolving to add extra minerals and make a slightly sweeter taste. This can be very tart. Add a couple drops of stevia if it is too tart for you! Use a glass jar with a glass or metal top.

Variations

You can use lemons or limes, or a mixture of both

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Copyright © Susan Rose.


What to do with Sunchokes

sunchoke

Sunchokes look like ginger, grow like potatoes, and taste like artichokes. They’re a new favorite for me.

One of my favorite things about the community garden is that people share their abundance. Like if someone’s sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) go completely insane. Which, lucky for me, happened and I have found myself with about 5 pounds of the delectable little tubers. The problem is, I’ve never had them before and I don’t really know what to do with them. So I’m asking you, my readers, to give me some ideas!

I did roast some the first night just to taste them. I can’t believe I’ve never eaten them before! They taste exactly like artichoke hearts, which are one of my favorite things in the entire culinary world. So I am very excited to do more. I’ve chopped and frozen a few pounds, even though everything I’ve read says they don’t freeze well (which seemed more an issue of color then taste). I’m going to ferment some of them because, well, because I ferment everything these days. But I’d really like to incorporate them into a real meal. Any and all ideas are welcome. I’ll report back with whatever I do.


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