Simply Sauerkraut

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Home made sauerkraut

 

After only 12 days of fermenting green cabbage here is this wonderful tasting mild sauerkraut with a nice taste and colour.

I am familiar with a stronger tasting sauerkraut yet now recognize that a milder flavour has more appeal.  If I had left it to ferment longer I imagine the taste would be stronger.

Now I am excited to try fermenting another batch experimenting with another favourite flavour.  Today I intend to add some fresh ginger together with the cabbage to explore the two flavours together.

Until that’s ready though I am enjoying adding this sauerkraut to foods that wouldn’t be the same without it now.  Not a regular connoisseur of smokies I now find them irresistible with the combination.

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Here are the lids I purchased.  It came with a pump to burp the jars that makes it easy and  efficient.

Discovering 7 Benefits of Bone Broth

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

It has been years since cooking soup from scratch and yet there was a surprising urge to get bones for creating bone broth.  I decided to go along with this urge and pick up some beef bones.

Soup bones

What I had no way of knowing was how drinking bone broth would improve how I felt.  I found that the broth was easy to use for making healthy meals quickly.   The truth be known I was shocked by it.  Since integrating it into my diet the differences are noticeable.

  • Detoxification and Balanced Cycle of Bowel Movements

An immediate shift has been in the cycle of elimination.  Anyone who has been around babies will know that as soon as you feed one it will immediately have a bowel movement.  At first drinking bone broth encouraged a detoxification type reaction of elimination that mellowed out into a similar cycle as a baby.  Food in – waste out!

  • Emotionally Uplifting (Mood Enhancer)

Organic feelings of joy and pleasure emerged as this elimination cycle took hold.  I know for me that my physical function are tied into my organic emotional experience, yet this was the first time that I experienced the clear of a connection to joy and pleasure.

  • Deeper Sleep Patterns

After a few days of including bone broth into my diet I noticed that my sleep was much deeper than it had been.  This was a welcome change!

  • Loosing Belly Fat

This is an outcome that is pleasing.  Loosing weight over the last year was rewarding.  Yet loosing weight did not mean losing the bulge around my gut.  It seemed that no matter how much weight was being lost it was stalled when coming to what was around the gut.  Now it seems the weight loss is more balanced as the belly fat is shrinking and catching up to the other body parts.  Since starting bone broth in June there has been a loss of three inches around the belly.

  • Weight Loss

Weight loss for the past few months had stalled before starting to drink bone broth.  Once it was introduced it jump started the process once again.  The immediate result in June was a loss of 15 pounds.  It was effortless and exciting.  The intention of drinking bone broth was not for loosing weight.  It is pleasing result!

  • Increased Vitality

Even though my energy was on the upswing, introducing bone broth has increased my level of vitality.  It seems as vitality increases taking action the time thinking about taking it has decreased.  There is less time thinking about something and more time saved just by doing it!  I love it.  This for me is the reward.  I would not have put these two connections together until experiencing it myself.   Somehow my brain in functioning a fuller capacity.

  • Aging

Being someone who has never looked their age, I haven’t noticed any differences in my outside appearance.  I do however notice a difference on the inside.  I find that I have more stamina, increased function and strength.  I believe I am also noticing a reversal in feelings of inner aging.  It is hard to define yet I feel more lubricated and hydrated from the inside.  There is also a noticeable difference in sexual interest and physicality.

Bone Broth Nutrition

Electrolytes found in bone marrow support healthy circulation, bone density, nerve signaling functions, heart health and digestive health.  These include minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium and phosphorus.  Bone broth also has zinc, copper, boron and iron.  It is a good source of protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C and the B vitamins.

The key to making Bone Broth is in  the slow simmering

I use a slow cooker for creating bone broth.  Using it allows the bones to remain simmering for hours.  I have read that the best length of time is 48 hours.  However I usually let it simmer for around 36 hours.  I have noticed the broth looses its gamy smell simmering for this long.  It also becomes clearer the longer it simmers.  This makes eating and drinking the broth more enjoyable for me.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large beef bone or three smaller ones (substitute chicken, whole or pieces)
  • Water (to fill cooker)
  • Apples Cider Vinegar – 1 to 2 tablespoons
  • Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garlic – 4 or 5 cloves
  • Bay Leaves – 4 to 5 leaves
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

I add all the ingredients immediately with exception of the apple cider vinegar and let simmer over night.  The next morning I put in the apple cider vinegar.  The pot will have to be checked periodically to keep the liquid levels up.

Once it has simmered for 36 or more hours it is then strained and cooled before storing in containers for the fridge and freezer.  I divide liquid into portions that are easy for grabbing and going.

How to Use Bone Broth

Having bone broth on hand has made cooking easier.  There is usually onions, fresh garlic and veggies in the fridge that can be added for a quick and nutritious soup.  There are also herbs and edibles from the garden that can be picked quickly and added.  On occasion some healthy noodles can be added, however I like to keep carbs and proteins separate in meals.  I do however break this pattern when craving pizza or bread!

I don’t replace a cup of warm bone broth sweet beverages as they are something I have never drank.  I have however begun replacing bone broth for coffee.


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Growing Portobello Mushroom

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

Picture by Renee Lindstrom

Portabello Mushrooms                                                                                              Photo by Renee Lindstrom

I have tried a couple of different experiments with Portabello Mushrooms.

First Experiment

The first time was with a growing kit that had been used twice before to fruit mushrooms.  This was complicated as it was new and cumbersome.  It has been a challenge.

Equipment:

  • 2 large food grade buckets with lids
  • Bale of straw
  • Lime

The process to prepare the straw:

  1. Put straw into a large container
  2. Fill with water
  3. Add lime
  4. Let soak for 16 hours plus hours

Preparing the buckets:

  1. Bottom – cut hole with drill for drainage
  2. Sides – cut holes around the sides as opening for mushrooms to grow through

When the straw was full soaked I filled the buckets by alternating with layers of straw and mycelium (from original growing kit).  Lids were added and bucket where put into a cool corner with ambient light.  The area around the buckets where  sprayed with water periodically using a mister.

This method was not successful.  A family of fruit flies moved in while the mycelium was growing.  I have placed the buckets off to the side and will investigate further.

This has worked for others successfully so I do not rule it out.  I do however find this method a bit challenging.

Second Experiment

The second experiment using Portabello Mushrooms began with loose ones from the grocer.  The caps where cut off and placed on tin foil (shiny side up) with gill side of the cap facing down.  This lets the spores fall onto the foil.  Once the spores settle onto the tin foil an imprint of the underside of the caps gills remained.  These imprints where cut out and then placed onto a substrate to experiment with.

Would it grow?

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Back to Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms

 

Coffee and Cardboard substrate

You will need:

  • Cut up wet cardboard
    • soak in water overnight
  • Knife and scissors
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
  • Container (recycled plastic or milk cartons)
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
    • cut hole in bottom and larger ones in sides (potentially for mushrooms to grow through)
  • Freshly used coffee grounds
  1. Soak pieces of cardboard in water overnight
  2. Place layers of cardboard, coffee and mycelium into the container
  3. At the top of the container place the tin foil circle of mycelium spore side down to encourage it to spread and grow into the substrate.
  4. When container is full place in a darken space for a couple of weeks for the mycellium to grow in the container.  If in hot summer do not leave in heated area.  Ensure it is a cool space.  After two or three-week place in ambient light.

Mycelium:  vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching thread like hyphae very much like the roots of plants.

Follow experiment on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

Surprised by arrival of the Prince of all Mushrooms – agaricus augustus

Back to Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms


Recommended Reading:

A wealth of information that is well organized and well explained. It is truly a definitive book on the subject and could well be the only one you will need.  JS

Paul Stamets has produced a work that is an engaging read and is packed with useful information. Whether the reader seeks to grow fungi for food, for medicine or to promote a healthy environment this book provides the information required in substantial depth. I highly recommend Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World to anyone who has an interest in personal health or ecological health.  RN

Living foods from the grocer: Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Asking myself if mushrooms from the grocer are living foods initiated some simple mushroom growing experiments.  Beginning with researching and finding that most information out there on growing mushrooms is so cautionary one hesitates to even get started.  That brought up the second question, “Can it be simplified and fun to grow one’s own mushrooms?”

Here are some common mushrooms we found at the grocer:

Oyster Mushroom experiment –  June 26, ’18

Reading how easy it is to grow Oyster Mushroom Spores in household mediums.  I had read that the base of the mushroom could be used too if it had enough of its root system still attached.  I decided to attempt to try to grow Oyster Mushrooms from the store.  The Oyster mushrooms from the grocer didn’t have spores under their caps so I am trying to grow new mushrooms from the stocks with large butts left on them.  The Oyster Mushroom caps are very delicate and look like they have been handled  a lot sitting on the grocer shelves.  My question is if they will still grow?

Growing Oyster Mushrooms


Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello Mushroom experiment  – June 25, ’18

After purchasing Portobello Mushrooms from the grocer I inspected the caps to observe any spores that may be in between the mushroom spines.  Picking out a good candidate I cut the cap off and placed it on a piece of tin foil.  After a few drops of water on the cap to encourage the release of spores this was set in a space that wouldn’t be disturbed.  The next day an imprint of the underside of the mushroom cap was left on the tin foil.  These are spores that can be used to grow future Portobello crops.  These Portobello Mushrooms looked dry and appeared to have been handled a lot.  Would the spores from these mushrooms grow into mycelium?

Growing Portobello Mushrooms


Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi Mushroom Experiment – May, ’18

In early winter I was gifted a Reishi Mushroom growing kit.  It sprouted and grew a first batch of mushrooms and then dried up.  Researching on-line about growing Reishi Mushrooms I came across a unique idea that I thought I would attempt outside in the garden.  This was one of my the first experiments.

Growing Reishi Mushrooms


Shiitake Mushrooms

 Shiitake Mushroom experiment – June 26, ’18

After purchasing Shiitake Mushrooms from the grocer I observed the caps to observe any spores that may be in between the mushroom spines.  Picking out a good candidate I cut the cap off and placed it on a piece of tin foil.  After a few drops of water on the cap this was set in a space that wouldn’t be disturbed.  The next day an imprint of the underside of the mushroom cap was left on the tin foil.  These would be spores that can be used to grow future Shiitake crops.  I was surprised yet happy to find spores.  These mushrooms came from China and looked dry.  Before the picture of shiitake Mushrooms above was taken they sat in water for a few minutes while being washed.  They puffed up immediately and looked younger and healthier.  Would mycelium grow?

Growing Shiitake Mushrooms


Shimeji White Mushrooms – June 26, ’18

After purchasing tightly packaged Shimeji Mushrooms from the grocer I noticed that they had a square piece of mycelium and growing compound attached.  I cut the mushrooms away from this material and decided to try experimenting with it to see if it would regrow new mushrooms.  These mushrooms came from China however seemed fresh and wholesome.  I wondered if mycelium was packed into these black plastic containers at shipping and if they grew during transport.  Is this possible?

Growing Shimeji White Mushrooms


Recommended Reading:

A wealth of information that is well organized and well explained. It is truly a definitive book on the subject and could well be the only one you will need.  JS

Paul Stamets has produced a work that is an engaging read and is packed with useful information. Whether the reader seeks to grow fungi for food, for medicine or to promote a healthy environment this book provides the information required in substantial depth. I highly recommend Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World to anyone who has an interest in personal health or ecological health.  RN

Growing Reishi Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Pixabay Pictures

Reishi Mushroom

Another name for Reishi mushrooms is Chicken of the Woods.  I love this name!  As mentioned in the post titled Living Foods from the Grocers:  Mushrooms, I mentioned that I had a kit for growing these mushrooms.  It dried out too soon before harvesting the mushrooms.  This began the research on how to grow them naturally, so began the research and the following two experiments:

  1.  On June 3rd, ’18,  I plugged the butt ends still attached to substrate into holes cut into tree trunk blocks.
  1.  On June 3rd, ’18, I buried the block of mycelium that was left from the growing kit in the garden.

When the landscapers began chipping the trees the neighbour had them cut down I asked for some wood chips.  I was left with a nice pile in the drive way.  I had no idea how handy this would be.  I had read on-line that a mushroom grower planted some of his grow kits in his garden under the broccoli patch.  When it came time to do something with my Reishi grow kit substrate I decided to plant it next to the butterbur where it would get shade from the sun.    I dug a large hole and lined it with wood chips, place the kit in and then filled it in with soil and covered with wood chips.  Now it is a waiting game to observe if this will grow or not!

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Back to Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms

 Growing Shiitake Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Picture by Renee Lindstrom

Shiitake Mushrooms                                                                                           Photo by Renee Lindstrom

After purchasing Shiitake Mushrooms from the grocer I observed the caps to observe any spores that may be in between the mushroom spines.  Picking out a good candidate I cut the cap off and placed it on a piece of tin foil.  After a few drops of water on the cap this was set in a space that wouldn’t be disturbed.  The next day an imprint of the underside of the mushroom cap was left on the tin foil.

This tin foil was carefully cut into the round circle shape of the gill imprint left on it by the Shiitake spore release.  This would be placed into a substrate to experiment with.  Would it grow?

Follow experiment on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

Back to Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms

 

Coffee and Cardboard substrate

You will need:

  • Cut up wet cardboard
    • soak in water overnight
  • Knife and scissors
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
  • Container (recycled plastic or milk cartons)
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
    • cut hole in bottom and larger ones in sides (potentially for mushrooms to grow through)
  • Freshly used coffee grounds
  1. Soak pieces of cardboard in water overnight
  2. Place layers of cardboard, coffee and mycelium into the container
  3. At the top of the container place the tin foil circle of mycelium spore side down to encourage it to spread and grow into the substrate.
  4. When container is full place in a darken space for a couple of weeks for the mycellium to grow in the container.  If in hot summer do not leave in heated area.  Ensure it is a cool space.  After two or three-week place in ambient light.

Mycelium:  vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching thread like hyphae very much like the roots of plants.

 

Follow experiment on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

Back to Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms


Recommended

Growing Shimeji White Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Renee Lindstrom

Shimji Mushrooms                                                                                             Photo by Renee Lindstrom

In the habit of looking at mushrooms in the different grocers I find myself in I came across these beautiful white mushrooms.  I couldn’t resist!  Taking them out of their package was interesting in itself.  At the base of the mushrooms on the bottom of the dark black plastic container was the growing medium for these fruiting mushrooms.  My first thought was that they came all the way from China and that there is a possibility that the growing medium was packed and shipped leaving the mushrooms to grow on their way.  It could be that by leaving them attached kept them fresh and interesting.  In comparison the Enoki mushrooms are usually in terrible shape from packaging and shipping.

I cut away the mycelium and added it to a substrate of coffee and cardboard.  The experiment has begun!

Follow experiment on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

Back to Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms

 

Coffee and Cardboard substrate

You will need:

  • Cut up wet cardboard
    • soak in water overnight
  • Knife and scissors
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
  • Container (recycled plastic or milk cartons)
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
    • cut hole in bottom and larger ones in sides (potentially for mushrooms to grow through)
  • Freshly used coffee grounds
  1. Soak pieces of cardboard in water overnight
  2. Place layers of cardboard, coffee and mycelium into the container
  3. When container is full place in a darken space for a couple of weeks for the mycellium to grow in the container.  If in hot summer do not leave in heated area.  Ensure it is a cool space.  After two or three-week place in ambient light.

Mycelium:  vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching thread like hyphae very much like the roots of plants.


Recommended reading:

A wealth of information that is well organized and well explained. It is truly a definitive book on the subject and could well be the only one you will need.  JS

Paul Stamets has produced a work that is an engaging read and is packed with useful information. Whether the reader seeks to grow fungi for food, for medicine or to promote a healthy environment this book provides the information required in substantial depth. I highly recommend Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World to anyone who has an interest in personal health or ecological health.  RN