Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Meat & Vegetable jerky

The original idea for jerky that has vegetables in it as well came from www.pantrypractitioner.com.au/news.php (look down the newsfeed and click the link to download a pdf). We've just started making it regularly again and have made a few minor adjustments, so here they are.

Firstly, she uses an Excalibur dehydrator, which comes with nice flat square trays which are easy to line with baking paper. We have a different type of dehydrator, an Ezi Dry, which is round with a central hole. You can buy solid inserts that you can line the trays with. If you need to use baking paper, it will be trickier to cut for this style of dehydrator. (The reason we bought this one instead of an Excalibur is that it isn't as big, and doesn't take up as much bench space.)

Because of the different shape, we shape the mix into small, individual, flattened patties, instead of one piece rolled out and marked into squares.

Lastly, based on a recipe from Heidi Jean on the GFCFNN discussion forum I used to frequent, I'm suggesting milk kefir as an alternative to ACV for the marinade.

This makes a large amount of jerky, so feel free to reduce the quantity.
  • About 2kg minced meat (we usually use premium beef, but higher fat mince is fine, or try lamb, pork or whatever you like)
  • About 1 cup apple cider vinegar or milk kefir
  • 1 Tbs celtic sea or himalayan salt (or more to your taste)
  • Herbs, spices or garlic of your choice
  • Up to 600gm of minced or grated vegetables, such as onion, carrots, pumpkin, beetroot, zucchini, broccoli - I find 300-400gm enough, and usually use 100gm onion and 200gm or so mixed other veges.
Mix together everything except the veges in  a large bowl. Get your hands in there and squeeze everything together really well so that the acid from the ACV or kefir will "cook" the meat as it marinates and destroy any pathogens. Then add your veges and mix well again. Cover with a large plate and marinate overnight in the fridge.

Next day, set your dehydrator to HIGH or about 68C. Form little patties and flatten them to no more than 1 com thick.

You can see in the picture that they are on a solid insert at this stage.

Dehydrate for about 3-4 hours. By that stage, they should be firm enough to take them off the solid insert and place them (the other way up) on the mesh tray, to allow better air flow and drying.

After a total of 6-8 hours, they will be dry on the outside, but still moist on the inside. If you will be keeping them in the fridge and eating them within a few days, you can stop there. 

But if you want to keep them longer, you need to keep them going until they are crisp and dry all the way through, up to 24 hours.

These make a perfect Paleo, GAPS or low carb snack that is a bit better balanced than pure meat. 

If you want some extra fat, use them as crackers and spread some butter on top! A slice of tomato or cucumber on top of that would be good too.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

How to Store Ferment starters

You might have noticed that I'm blogging even less than before now. Mainly because of Pinterest. I've been collecting links to lots of great recipes from all over the place on my Pinterest board, including most of the recipes on this blog. Since I was such a sporadic blogger anyway, it's a much better resource for my clients.

But sometimes I come across something that I can't Pin, usually because there's no pinnable picture. Like yesterday, I found a great page on how to store your ferment starters when you go away. 

So now I can pin this page and share the link with my Pinterest followers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


At our Wellington Xmas GAPS group meeting, I asked what foods people would miss at Xmas, and someone said that being dairy free, she missed custard. So here are three different custard recipes.

The first one is RUSSIAN custard, from the GAPS bookThe Healthy Home Economist has the recipe HEREThis is a raw dish, made from just egg yolks and honey. It is usually used as a cream substitute on GAPS. But if you added a little vanilla, it would taste more like the custard we're used to. 

The second is a MILK custard, but using honey instead of sugar. This is only GAPS friendly in the very last stages when you can have a little unfermented dairy, as long as it is raw.
  • 1 cup raw milk
  • 1 cup raw cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • pinch Celtic sea salt
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • ¾ tsp vanilla essence (or one vanilla bean)

This makes a hot, runny custard. Heat up the milk & cream to just short of boiling. Meanwhile, if you have a double boiler, beat the egg yolks and salt together in the top part. Otherwise, find a bowl that will sit on top of a pan of boiling water, and use that. Pour the hot milk & cream slowly into the egg yolks, whisking most of the time. Set on top of a pan of simmering water, and whisk till it thickens (about 10 mins). Take off the heat, whisk in the honey and vanilla essence and serve immediately with fruit crumble, pie, ice cream or fruit.

Variation 1: 

If you are using a vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add them to the milk and cream in step 1.

Variation 2: If you want a thick custard for something like a trifle topping:

Instead of putting the cream in with the milk, put into a small bowl and let it come to room temperature before starting the custard. Sprinkle 1 Tbs gelatin over the top of it, and carry on with the custard. After it has thickened, stir in the cream & gelatin and stir till the gelatin has dissolved. Let cool a little, pour onto the sponge & jelly layer of your trifle and refrigerate.

Variation 3: Thick custard with banana (the version pictured)

After taking off the heat and adding honey & vanilla, add one or two sliced banana, and stir. Cool a little, then refrigerate.

The third version is COCONUT custard.

This is the same as the milk custard, except that you use 1 1/2 cups of coconut cream. Look for a brand with no preservatives & other additives.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fruit Jelly and Fruit Mousse

Another gelatin recipe we've been having quite a bit lately is real fruit jelly. To get a consistency more like commercial jelly, you can use fruit juice, but we've been using the whole fruit.

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup black currants
  • 1 1/2 cups room temp water
  • 3 Tbs gelatin
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • small amount of natural sweetener of your choice
If your berries are frozen, get them out a couple of hours beforehand to defrost. 

Put the water in a medium sized pan and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. While it softens, zizz everything else together in a blender or food processor.

Gently heat the water and gelatin until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add about half to the blender and zizz. Then add the rest and zizz well.

Pour into 4 or 5 dishes and put in the fridge to set. You can put it all in one bowl, but it;s then very tempting to just have another mouthful and another and so on!


To convert the recipe to a mousse, replace the water with 1 cup raw milk or cream and 1/2 cup yoghurt or yoghurt cream. Sprinkle the gelatin on the milk or cream and add the yoghurt to the blender separately.

You can make all sorts of different flavours of mousse or jelly just by changing the fruit around. Strawberry & banana is also nice.

The version in the photo is Berry Mousse with another layer on top of Yoghurt mixed with fermented cream and raspberries. And a little gelatin in that layer too.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gummy Stars

This is a Mommypotamus recipe, which I found  posted on the Auckland Mums: Super Nutrition for Babies and Beyond facebook page.

I'm in the mode of thinking of Xmas recipes at the moment, and these would be a great recipe for GAPS kids who are ok on honey.

  • 1/3 cup lemon (or lime) juice (about 3 large lemons)
  • 3 Tbs gelatin
  • 3 Tbs honey
  • Mummypotamus added some natural food colouring, but I didn't and they still came out a nice colour.
Put the lemon juice in a small pan and sprinkle the gelatin on top. When it's softened add the honey, and stir all together over a low heat till the gelatin is dissolved.

The first time, I just poured it into a glass dish, put in the fridge till set, then cut it up into squares. The second time I used some chocolate moulds. They went into the freezer for a while, then into the fridge. I used the pointy end of a sharp knife to prise a corner out, and then peeled each one out. This amount made about 24 gummies.

Now go and visit Mummypotamus and see all her other great recipes, including her guide to the Ultimate GAPS Xmas recipes

She also has a fabulous looking book full of DIY organic beauty recipes. Just what every GAPS household needs.

Cod liver oil jellies

Recently, I've been trying a few different ways to use gelatin. First up was making cod liver oil jellies. The original recipe came to me from Nadine. Her kids used to love the Green Pastures gummy fish, so when they were discontinued, Nadine started making her own. I've tried a few different variations and most of them have worked fine. So first here's the method, then a few different combinations. 

Put the water in a medium sized pan, then sprinkle the gelatin over the top. When it has softened, heat the water gently, stirring till the gelatin has dissolved. Take off the heat and add the honey and coconut oil, stirring till dissolved. If you are adding an extra flavourings, add them at this stage. When the mix has cooled down to body temperature, whisk in the cod liver oil. Pour into a tray lined with baking paper, and put into the fridge. When it's set, cut into 24 pieces. Each is equivalent to about 1 tsp cod liver oil, a std adult dose. Cut smaller for kids.

Nadine's original - Jaffa
Chocolate cinnamon

Replace the orange with cinnamon, and can also add an extra tsp of raw cacao powder. As there is stevia in the cinnamon, the honey can be reduced a little too.

Skate Jaffa
Choc Orange Cinnamon (makes 30 pieces)
Anyway, you get the picture. You can mix things around a bit and they all pretty much work. You get the goodness of the gelatin and an easier way to take your cod liver oil. Skate liver oil has a lot of the same properties as the butter oil, so using either Royal or skate will complement the Cod nicely.

There was one combination that DIDN'T work as it separated into two layers:
But I put it all in the mini food processor and zizzed it up and now we have a jar of citrus cod/skate gel. So that's all good too.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Carrot Pulp Bread

I admire and appreciate the people who blog regularly with fantastic new WAPF or GAPS recipes. Sadly, I'm not one of them. It's been a year almost to the day since my last post... But hopefully this will be so helpful that you'll forgive me. 

We've been juicing a bit recently and thinking about whether we could use the pulp for other recipes. One thing we've been doing is soaking ground chia and flax seeds, mixing them with the pulp, along with some Himalayan or celtic sea salt, then drying them in the dehydrator to make crispy crackers. Note that these are only suitable in later stages of GAPS.
Then I went looking for GAPS friendly bread recipes and found this recipe. I was looking for a more savoury recipe, so made a few tweaks. I also made a bigger version. Here's how it ended up.

  • 6 largish eggs
  • 1 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 3oz / 85gm melted butter (or mix of butter & coconut oil)
  • 12oz / 350gm / 2 tight packed cups carrot pulp left over from juicing (usually a little beetroot too)
  • 1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 9oz / 255gm / just under 3 cups ground almonds (or ground cashews, hazels or sunflower seeds or coconut flour)
  • 1.5 Tbs cider vinegar
Turn on the oven to 175C and line a loaf tin with baking paper. Then just throw it all in the food processor, starting with the eggs and salt. Once they’re well beaten, add the other things in the order of the list, beating well after each addition. Once the baking soda and cider vinegar are in there, get it in the oven as quickly as possible as they will be working their rising magic. Bake for 50 to 60 mins on 175C. 

The first 2-3 times, I used ground almonds. Then last time I used raw cashews instead and that was quite different. The photo is the cashew version. Both versions were delicious.

Notes: I started off putting the tray of water in the bottom, but last time I didn't and I couldn’t tell the difference. I haven’t needed to let it sit in the tin for 10 mins either.