Category Archives: Homemade Products

Kombucha Experiment! (Part One)

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Kombucha Experiment! (Part One)

Every now and then I get a bright idea and decide to give it a go. This time it was Kombucha. Kombucha is basically a fermented fizzy drink that you brew using a SCOBY, that is drunk to improve digestive and gut health.

I want to make Kombucha but I decided I wanted to grow a SCOBY from scratch, so a bit of googling and I found a tutorial by Cotter Crunch and another by FermUp that explains how to do just that.

What you need:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar ( I used brown)
  • 1 bag black tea (any will do, as you can see I went for cheap) or 1 tbsp loose-leaf black tea.
  • 1 bottle of store bought Kombucha (preferably organic)
  • a glass container (not pictured)

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What I did differs a little from what is described by Cotter Crunch and FermUp but is essentially the same.

What you do:

  • Brew the kettle and add your T Bag and sugar to your mug.
  • Pour boiling water into your mug and stir in your sugar until it dissolves.
  • Allow it to sit for a few minutes then remove your T bag. Then let the tea cool to room temperature.
  • While it’s cooling get your glass jar and ensure it is thoroughly cleaned. Then sterilized it (ESSENTIAL) by pouring in hot water, letting it sit for a moment and pouring the water back out. This will both rinse any cleaning products out and kill any further bacteria.
  • Once your tea is cool, add it to your sterilized glass container allowing room to add your Kombucha. You will need about half Kombucha, half tea
  • Add your Kombucha ensuring any stringy sediment makes it into your glass container. Depending on the size you may not need the whole bottle. Feel free to drink the rest.
  • Put a cloth over your jar to allow it to breath but keep the nasties out and place it in a dark spot.
  • And now you wait. Try to resist peeking or moving the jar as this will disturb the SCOBY.

Some tutorials say it will take a week to start seeing some growth but I found it was more like two weeks before I noticed anything happening. The photo below was after about a week and a half.

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As you can see there isn’t a lot of action a week or so later I started noticing some lumps forming and these gradually got thicker and bigger, as below.

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I’m still waiting for the SCOBY to get thick and big enough to use so there will more more psot in the future. For now, I’m off to go google some recipes. 🙂

Here’s an update from today. Definitely developing nicely.
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Today is feeding day!
About 4 weeks after starting the project I remembered that I have to feed the SCOBY in order to keep it growing. Oops! It had kept growing but probably not as nicely. So, today I decided to feed it. Ideally, this is done when you’re SCOBY is abut 2mm thick…
This is mine today.

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To feed it, you basically prepare the tea solution as you did before and let it cool.

Once cool you add the tea, to top up the sugars.

There is a lot of information and misinformation about Kombucha, but I found a great link that goes through several of them by Phoenix Helix that is well worth a read.

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Aussie Homesteady Spiced Cola

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I admit I am a reformed slave to coca-cola but after looking up how to make it myself even I had to admit it’s chemicals in a can. Recently I stumbled across a recipe for a cola flavored by spices rather than strange numbers, and decided to give it a whirl. Success! Although not entirely like coke it’s definitely cola, kinda like a cola chuppa chup in a glass. I converted it for the Thermomix but the original stove top recipe can be found here: Little House Living

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Need:
Grated zest of 3 large lemons
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 sections of star anise
4 tsp fresh ginger
4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp citric acid
500g white sugar
60g brown sugar
1000g water

Do:
Add zest, star anise, and ginger and hit turbo once to roughly chop.
Add cinnamon, nutmeg, lavender, vanilla, citric acid and water.
Cook for 15 min, speed 1, 100’c
Add sugars and cook fur a further 15 min on 100’c speed 1.
Bottle when hot and leave to cool.

Makes approx 1 liter of cordial.

Mix with chilled mineral water and enjoy.

Read the rest of this entry

Hide the spoons homemade Snickers recipe in the Thermomix

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So, recently I had a cooking date with a friend where we each pick a handful of previously untried recipes and make them together. One of mine was a homemade Snickers spread. This is/was/will always be to die for!

Thus, I am adding the recipe here. Being Thermo-blessed I developed it for the Thermomix and haven’t as yet had time to convert it back. (sorry!) but with a mixer stick it shouldn’t be to hard.

And here it is:

Need:
Chocolate spread
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbls cocoa or cacao powder
Salt
1tsp vanilla
125 g dark chocolate (I recommend 70% gold – not cooking chocolate)
150g butter

Peanut butter
200g salted peanuts
2 tbls grape seed oil

Caramel
You can either cheat and use a can of sweeten condensed milk or…

1000 g milk
130g white sugar
130g brown sugar
200g cream
1/2 tsp bi carb

When we made the last batch we used Quirky Cookings coconut-based Dairy Free Dulce De Leche. It’s just what we had on hand with our experiments. If you are a big fan of Bounty Bars on toast skip the peanut butter add desiccated coconut and use this recipe. Just be prepared for some time dedication.

Do:
Chocolate spread
Place sugar in TM bowl. Pulvarise the sugar for 10 sec speed 8.
Add chocolate and blitz 10 sec on speed 8.
Add cocoa/cacao, butter, water and vanilla cook 6 minutes 50’c on speed 3 or until smooth. Place in a bowl to cool and rinse the TM bowl.

Peanut butter
Place nuts into TM bowl and blend for 20 sec on speed 7 until smooth.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add oil and mix for 10 sec on speed 6.
Scrape down the sides and continue to mix for another 10 sec on speed 6.

Caramel
Place all ingredients in the TM bowl and cook for 50 min, on varoma speed 5. Place basket on lid to prevent spitting.

Snickers spread
Carefully layer each ingredient into a jar and place in fridge to cool and set.

It should last up to a month in the fridge.

Its a pretty versatile recipe so you can swap out nuts, add crushed nuts, try white chocolate, or eat separately.

My jar has a label on the top that says “poison”. Anything to deter me from eating it with a spoon!

French Onion Dip: Aussie Homesteady style

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Today I had a cooking date with a friend. We do this every now and again for a catch up and experiment. We each pick 5 or so recipes and make a batch enough for two.

Today’s highlight was a completely fattening French Onion Dip that was an adaption of one I found on Pinterest.

And here’s the recipe:

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Need:
2 tblsp olive oil
1 Red onion
200g Greek yoghurt
300g sour cream
100g mayonnaise (either fat free or full I recommend Praise)
1tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Worcester sauce
1tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

Do:
Thermomix
Cut onions into quarters and dice for 5 seconds, speed 4.
Saute onions for 7 minutes, on 100’c or until browned.
Turn out onions to cool and drain on a paper towel.
Once cool, add all ingredients too bowl and mix for 30 seconds, speed 3 until combined.

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Cut onions into small pieces and saute in oil until browned. Turn out onto paper towel to cool and drain. Once cool, in a bowl mix all ingredients until combined.

Enjoy!

A veggie patch almost complete and an app experiment

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So I haven’t added much content using just the app on my phone. So today is a little experiment and a bit of show and tell.
This is the second to last stage of my veggie patch. We’ve prepared the soil, added the odd bits of scavenged wood planks to make retained beds and put in the September seedings/seeds.

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Going back a step here we can see the stepped beds before we added pea straw.

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And this is a pic of my favorite garden spot. It’s right next to the garden where I can watch the lives of all the tiny lizards in my garden.

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So there you have it!