The small, locally owned health food store where I have shopped for nearly 20 years has a wonderful deli and juice bar that is a favorite of the locals. I frequently drop in to see what homemade soups are available on the hot bar as my family consumes so much soup and broth that I sometimes find it difficult to keep up on busy weeks.
Recently, I’ve noticed that the hot bar has featured a pot of kitchari every single day I’ve dropped in (which is several times a week) without fail. This was exciting to me, as kitchari is one of the very first traditional dishes I learned about when I began cooking at home and stopped eating out so much at the urging of my amazing doctor at the time, who was both an Ayurvedic physician and an MD.
It’s so neat when something a bit obscure that you’ve enjoyed for a long time starts to mainstream!
Kitchari is a nutritious, tasty and very digestible dish that Indian mothers frequently make for their children when they are feeling under the weather. The soothing nature of this healing and nourishing porridge makes it perfect for a light supper, a brief kitchari fast to rest the digestion, or to take to convalescents and mothers who have recently given birth.
Bowing to strong public pressure about the right to buy and drink raw milk, the New Zealand government has unveiled new rules which permit farmers to sell this most basic, probiotic rich and nutritious of foods directly to consumers.
Direct farm sales include home deliveries of raw milk to both rural and urban consumers, paving the way for the return of the beloved milkman.
The use of fermented foods by ancestral cultures to preserve food, enhance nutritional value, and protect health goes back thousands of years and spans the globe. The practice served to significantly bolster immunity and increase the longevity of traditional societies as consumption of these probiotic rich foods introduced a constant stream of beneficial bacteria into the gut on a daily basis which improved digestion and nutrient absorption, discouraged pathogenic activity, and maintained top notch intestinal health.
An often overlooked source of very powerful, beneficial microbes by traditional societies included ingestion of soil based probiotics via pure, unfiltered water from streams, rivers and lakes and from exposure to clean, nutrient rich dirt.
I don’t shop at Whole Foods much, as I prefer to spend as many of my food dollars with local businesses and farms as possible. I do applaud Whole Foods’ efforts to showcase locally produced items, however, which is why I do stop in to pick up produce that might be available on a seasonal basis.
I’ve always found it confusing to shop for produce at Whole Foods, as conventional and organic selections are frequently side by side. This is not necessarily a problem all the time, as I prefer local, in-the-soil grown, conventional items to organic hydroponic ones as they taste better (an indication of superior nutrition) and they last longer in the produce bin. Several times, though, I’ve intended to buy organic and selected as such only to have one of the kids say, “Mom, that’s not organic” to alert me that I’ve made a mistake.
The labels for Whole Foods produce have now gotten even more puzzling, and adept shoppers need to be on their toes so that they don’t inadvertently buy an unwanted item.
The fruit flies are really a challenge in my neck of the woods this year – much more so than in any years past that I remember.
Fruit flies love, and I mean looove, kombucha and its cousin made with honey, Jun tea, also called kombucha champagne. There’s something about the sweet and slightly sour smell and flavor that drives them absolutely nuts. Fruit flies also love to hang out or lay their eggs on the starter culture for these homebrews, popularly known by the acronym SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).
If you brew either of these healthful and hydrating traditional beverages, you have no doubt noticed this too.
Half filled glasses of kombucha or Jun tea left anywhere in the house have the potential to cause the fruit flies to swarm as will leaving your homebrews uncovered even for a few minutes on the kitchen counter.
What do you do if you’ve only just discovered this and already have fruit flies doing laps in your fermentation vessel, or worse (ugh), fruit fly larvae that have taken up residence on your Jun tea or kombucha SCOBY?