Friday, December 27, 2013

New Year, New Changes

Shocker, I know. Everyone says the same thing every year.

But I'm not talking about resolutions or any of that. I'm talking about making plans, moving forward.

In one month we will be moving in to the house where I spent most of my childhood. My parents moved out around 7 years ago but kept the house. My aunt has been living there ever since and now has the opportunity to retire and move closer to her oldest daughter and family. The house will be vacant and my dad isn't quite ready to move forward with selling/renting yet so it presents the perfect scenerio for us to move in and save some money. We will be able to pay off my car and set aside some money for a down payment on our "Forever House".

After we moved back to Fort Worth from Snyder we had vague plans to eventually buy a house, or build on some land. We weren't really sure and when we found a great rental around the corner from my parents the "need" for roots didn't seem urgent. That paired with ideas of international residency, or mission work, we never really had a goal to work towards. Until now.

I'm excited to see what the next year holds, excited to create new memories in a house that already holds so many for me, excited to be makin' plans.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

{Pinterest Project} Probiotic Lemonade

A while back I came across an interesting pin for  probiotic lemonade. I’ve been hearing lots about the benefits of probiotics and I have wanted to incorporate them into our diet but Kombucha kind of grosses me out so this seemed like a great alternative. I made a half batch the first time. The kids LOVED it! Since then I’ve made a batch about every week. We even had 2 lemonade play dates so I could show friends how to make it. Everyone likes it. One friend even compared it to Chick-fil-a’s lemonade. Yum! (Original Recipe)

Probiotic Lemonade

  • You will need a gallon size glass jar with tight fitting lid - or some of these adorable bottles that I picked up at IKEA. (I’ve seen similar ones at Hobby Lobby as well.)

  • 12 juicy lemons – The original recipe calls for organic but I don’t think that’s necessary.

  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup organic evaporated cane sugar*

  • 1 cup fresh whey (In the original recipe she explains how to easily drain whey from fresh yogurt, I just order it through my co-op)

  • Cool clean chlorine free water**

First, get your favorite citrus juicer and start juicing the lemons. The amount of juice will vary, depending on the size of your lemons. This batch I only used 8 because they were large and pretty juicy. I usually get about a cup to a cup and a half of juice and this seems to be a good amount. A little more, a little less won’t hurt. I don’t have a hand juicer so I just cut the peel off and toss them in my big juicer. I feel like it extracts more than hand squeezing would but it adds to the clean-up. 

Add your fresh lemon juice to the whey in the gallon jar. Give it a quick stir. When I use my cute bottles I mix all the ingredients in a gallon pitcher then use a funnel to pour it into the individual bottles. This works well, just make sure you stir it really well before dividing it up. 

Now you will need to decide how much sugar you want to use.  You need to use at least a 1/2 cup of sugar up to a full cup.  I used 1 cup in mine. The sweetness level goes down because the probiotics feed on it. For us 1 cup makes it good and sweet without tasting like Kool-Aid or ‘Texas Sweet’ tea. 

I get this at Costco. It's very reasonable in price and I use it for everything. Great alternative to white over-processed sugar.

Next fill the rest of the jar with enough cool filtered water to make a gallon and mix very well to distribute the whey and dissolve the sugar. Now comes the hard part… waiting. Keep the jar on your kitchen counter (room temperature) and wait for 2 days. I sometimes store it away in the pantry for the two days so my children forget it’s “brewing”. Once the 2 days are over you can stick it in your fridge to keep it cold. This should also slow down or cease any further fermentation. 
My kids LOVE this. I have to ration it out because they would drink it all in one sitting and that would be bad for tummies.

So why are probiotics good for you? This is what the Mayo clinic has to say about them.

A word about whey: Whey can be stored in your fridge for up to 6 months. When it is good it will smell like yogurt. When it has gone bad it will smell like rotten milk, toss it out then. Also, Funky Farmz will have grass-fed whey on sale this week for $3! That will make 4 gallons of yummy lemonade :)

*You can use sucanat as a sugar substitute but it may give an undesirable color to your lemonade. Honey by nature is anti-bacterial so it is NOT a good substitute.

**Typical filtered water is fine, NOT TAP, we use Sparklettes or Ozarka. It must be chlorine free otherwise the chlorine will kill the good bacteria.