Minoo brought her homemade milk kefir to share in the South Arm Community Kitchen. Milk kefir is a probiotic yogurt-like drink.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains. Kefir is a source of calcium, iron, vitamin B12, etc.
Minoo demonstrated to us how to make homemade kefir. First she strain the kefir with a stainless steel strainer. The kefir milk taste like yogurt drink, i.e. a little sour with a yeasty smell. The longer you leave the kefir grains in the milk, the more sour the milk will be.
Rinse the kefir grains under cold running water.
Kefir grains are symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. They are alive. They will grow as you continue the process of making the kefir milk. You can share the excess kefir grains with your friends.
The probiotics in kefir promote a healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system. They are the good bacteria in our guts.
Minoo gave us a little kefir grains to bring home to make our own kefir. Just place the kefir grains in a clean jar and add milk to it. Close the jar and give it a few shakes. Leave the jar in room temperature overnight or up to 24 hours and repeat the process of straining, rinsing and restart fermentation with a new batch of milk.
Minoo reminded us not to place the kefir grains in the fridge for too long as the cold will kill the kefir grains. If you cannot attend to the kefir grains for a day or two, it will be alright to place in the fridge, but any longer than that, you have to find someone to baby sit it.
Minoo, thank you for sharing.
I made this smoothie whenever I have banana on hand.
This Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie is great for summer and it helps to replenish your energy. I usually have after my morning walk.
- 1 banana
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional), omit if the banana is ripe enough
- 1/4 cup of coconut milk for a richer taste (optional)
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ice cubes (optional), I usually do not add ice as I do not mine smoothies too cold
- Place everything in a blender
- Blend on high speed until smooth.
Michelle intended to make rhubarb syrup but she was unable to find rhubarb during her groceries shopping for the kitchen. So, she substituted rhubarb with strawberries.
You can find the rhubarb soda recipe here. We used only half of the sugar from the recipe as local strawberries are so sweet.
One of the participant anticipated that Michelle will use strawberries in this kitchen as they are in season. She shared an interesting way of removing the stem and top leaves from the strawberries by using a straw. She just insert the straw from the center bottom of the strawberries and pushes the straw upwards towards the stem. We were all in aw watching her doing this kitchen trick. It’s definitely worth sharing with chowtimes readers.
The South Arm Hungry Men Community Kitchen served Orange Earl Grey Iced Tea for the drink of the day.
This Orange Earl Grey Iced Tea can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- 1/4 cup loose Earl Grey tea, or 12 Earl Grey tea bags
- Peel of 1 orange, plus orange wedges for garnish
- 4 cups boiling water
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 cups cold water
Michelle prepared a Mexican theme meal at the South Arm Community Kitchen for Women due to popular demand.
Most of the recipes had been blogged already. You can click on the link below the photo to view the recipe.
Cabbage Avocado Slaw.
Homemade Taco Seasoning.
Spiced Lentil Tacos/Burito.
The Honey Ginger Lemonade is a new recipe.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup peeled fresh ginger slices
- 7 sprigs fresh mint
- 2 cups purified water
- 4 cups ice cubes.
- Place the lemon juice, honey, ginger and sprigs of mint in a large pitcher to release flavour.
- Add water and stir until the honey dissolves, then add ice.
Source: Dr. Weil.com
Continuing with the Mexican theme, Michelle shared a Raspberry Lime Aqua Fresca drink in the South Arm Women Community Kitchen.
Aquas fescas (Spanish “cool waters”) are a combination of fruits, cereals, flowers, or seeds blended with sugar and water to make light non-alcoholic beverages. They are popular in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the United States. Some of the more common flavours include tamarind, hibiscus and aqua de horchata.
- 3 cups fresh or one 12-ounce bag frozen raspberries (or strawberries)
- 1/2 cup sugar (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
- ice cubes
- fresh mint sprigs and lime wedges for garnishing
Source: http://napavalleyregister.com by Isabel Cortez “Isabeal’s Cantina”
Michelle, the facilitator of the South Arm Older Adults Community Kitchen shared the following tips on how to boost your intake of fruit and veggies in the recent session.
- Grate carrot or beet into your salad
- Add dried fruit, like raisins or dried cranberries to salads
- Make a smoothie with fruit and veg!
- Have cut up veggies in the fridge to snack on like baby carrots
- Have a fruit salad prepared ahead of time to have for dessert with yogurt if desired
- Add sliced fresh fruit to oatmeal or cereal
- Add cut up sauteed vegetables to omelettes or scrambled eggs (e.g. mushrooms, spinach, onion, zucchini)
- Add blueberries or diced banana to pancake batter
- Make soup with whatever vegetables you have in your fridge and cook in a broth with or without pasta or rice
- Make mini pizzas out of English Muffins or Pitas and load on the veggies
- Have a stirfry and use up fresh or frozen veg and serve over rice (e.g. peas, beans, carrots, onions, broccoli, etc); Asian likes to stir fry greens like bok choy, A choy, choy sum, water spinach, etc.
- Throw in grated or chopped vegetables into prepared pasta sauces (chopped spinach, grated zucchini, grated carrots, etc.)
Here is a food guide on serving of vegetables or fruit
Adults 51+ need 7 servings of vegetables or fruit a day
1 serving is equivalent to:
- size of a tennis ball for fresh vegetable or fruit
- 1/2 cup (125ml) of raw or cooked vegetables or fruits or roughly the size of a hockey puck
- 1 cup (250ml) of leafy vegetables or salad or roughly the size of a baseball
- 1/4 cup (60ml) of dried fruit, or roughly the size of two golf balls
- 1/2 cup (125ml) of 100% vegetable or fruit juice
A general guide line for a meal is:
- 1/2 of the plate to be filled with vegetables
- 1/4 of the plate for grains
- 1/4 of the plate for meat
The second rhubarb recipe which Michelle shared in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club is a drink.
This Rhubarb Soda is a good summer thirst quencher.
Rhubarb has a long history of herbal usage. The primary result of rhubarb root as a herbal medicine is a positive and balancing effect upon the digestive system. Rhubarb is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine. Rhubarb roots are harvested in the fall from plants that are at least six years old. The roots are then dried for later use. The root is used as an anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antipasmodic, antitumor, aperient, astringent, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, laxative, purgative, stomachic and tonic. Rhubarb roots contain anthraquinones which have a purgative effect and the tannins and bitters have an effect that is opposite that of an astringent.
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups organic cane sugar
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb
- sparkling or fizzy water
- rhubarb syrup
- ice cubes
Michelle prepared a Mint Iced Tea for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club lunch. The mint is from her garden.
Possible health benefits of consuming mint:
- Mint is also known as mentha, is actually a genus or group of around 15 to 20 types of plants including peppermint and spearmint.
- Mint plants contain an antioxidant known as rosmarinic acid, which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symtoms. Because of rosmarinic acid’s anti-inflammatory properties, roamarinic acid has been shown to be a promising treatment.
- Mint contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant that helps to break up phlegm and mucus. Mint can also be effective to improve the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion.
- The use of peppermint oil has been found to be an effective and safe treatment for those suffering from abdominal pain or discomfort associated with irritable bowl syndrome.
- When applied topically in oil, ointment or lotion, mint has the effect of calming and cooling skin affected by insect bites, rash or other reactions.
- 3 green tea bags
- 1 quart boiling water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 large lemon/lime, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 bunch fresh mint, washed
- 2 cups cold water
Source: Food Network
To be really kind to the Earth, don’t buy bottled water!
Bottled water is no safer than the water that comes from out taps.
Michelle shared this simple Fruit Waters recipe to encourage the intake water.
Here are some of the fruits and herbs flavoured waters recipes:
- lemon, orange and lime slices
- raspberry and lime
- pineapple and mint
- strawberry and lemon
Make sure the fruit is fresh and well-scrubbed if not organic.
We made the lemon, orange and lime flavoured water which is very refreshing.
Add cut fruit to bottom of container (Mason jars work well, or juice jugs). Add ice and water. Let stand for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours in the fridge.