Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic

I usually do my lacto fermented veggies using whey off my kefir or plain yogurt but while I was stumbling around the world wide web I found this website called “The Crunchy Moose” that had a recipe for fermenting using Milk Kefir Grains, I saw a recipe for fermented garlic and thought what a brilliant idea, adding the health benefits of beneficial bacteria to a super food. WIN WIN…This is the website link to that recipe. THANK YOU “The Crunchy Moose”


Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic

Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic


Enough peeled garlic cloves to nearly fill a pint jar

non-chlorinated water

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon Milk Kefir Grains (rinsed)




Add the salt, milk kefir grains a some of the water to the jar and mix with a non-metal spoon. Add the peeled garlic cloves and top with water until 1 ½ inches above garlic. Weight garlic cloves down to keep submerged below brine. I use a plastic cottage cheese lid cut in a circle to the circumference of the inside of the jar. Put on a loose fitting non-metal lid (gas will form so it needs to escape). I prefer to retrofit plastic mason jar lids with holes and rubber grommets so that I can use a fermentation air-lock. Leave in a cool place out of direct sunlight until it reached the desired fermentation. Put in the refrigerator to stall the fermentation process when it is as fermented as you desire.  This is my first batch and I will be trying to reuse my grains in another batch of garlic. I never really have a shortage of grains as they multiply in my milk kefir pretty quickly. I’ll post the results in updates to this blog post.

Grains Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic


Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”



Giardiniera (Pickled Mixed Veggies)

Harvest season is almost a magical for me. I love to watch as my pantry shelves slowly fill with jars of all shapes and sizes and colors. It makes me feel “warm and cozy” inside. It’s kind of therapeutic. I have to admit that once all my “staple” canning and freezing gets done I like to make my “special” pickles and relishes. On the menu this harvest season is Giardiniera, a wonderful savory mixed veggie relish. This year I had a nice crop of Greek oregano that I dried so I will be using that even though Giardiniera is traditionally Italian.

Note: I found that pressure canning will cause the veggies to lose their crispness. Now I hot pack this and store in the fridge once cooled. If you make a half batch it stores well in the fridge in a covered container and tastes great even raw. Experiment! Send me your feedback I’d love to hear from you!


Giardiniera (Pickled Mixed Veggies)


Mix First Ingredients in Large Bowl


2 organic large green bell peppers (seeded and diced small)

2 organic large red bell peppers (seeded and diced small)

1 organic large yellow bell pepper (seeded and diced small)

2 organic jalapeno peppers (seeded and diced small)

2 organic stalks of celery (diced small)

1 organic large carrot (diced small)

1 organic medium yellow onion (diced small)

2 cups small organic cauliflower florets

1/2 cup sea salt

Enough Non-chlorinated water to submerge veggies


Submerge veggies below salt water, cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Drain water.


Mix in Remaining Ingredients


1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper flakes

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 – 6 oz jar green salad olives with pimentos

1 cup distilled vinegar

1/2 cup expeller pressed extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup organic grapeseed oil



Mix well, cover and let marinate for a few hours. Transfer to large pan and bring all ingredients to a boil. Pack into hot 8 oz jars and wipe rims well. Seal jars with hot lids. (I cheat and use my dishwasher sanitize cycle to get my jars, rings and lids hot.) Store in fridge once cooled. Makes 9 cups.


Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”



Nanna’s Italian Salad Dressing Mix

Well, I really need to buy a better camera (someday). My apologies for not offering any pictures with this blog post but I think we all know what Italian Salad Dressing looks like. In a previous blog post titled Magnificent Gluten Free Spaghetti Dinner – Magnifica Cena Spaghetti Senza Glutine I promised to post my homemade recipe for My Italian Salad Dressing Mix. We all know that an Italian dinner is never complete without garlic bread and a tasty salad. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!


Nanna’s Italian Salad Dressing Mix

I use organic ingredients as I grow and dehydrate most of them myself, however if being organic is not of high importance to you regular off the shelf ingredients will do..  Keep this dry mix in an air tight container. Use to make Italian salad dressing as needed.



Dry Mix


2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons oregano

2 tablespoons dried red bell pepper flakes (ground fine)

1 tablespoon dried Italian flat leaf parsley

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon Stevia or sugar

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried sweet basil

1/4 dried thyme

1/4 celery salt


Italian Salad Dressing

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons Nanna’s Italian Salad Dressing Mix


Combine Italian Salad Dressing ingredients in a pint jar with a lid or a salad dressing cruet and shake vigorously. Store in the fridge. Shake well before using!!!


Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!


“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”



Magnificent Gluten Free Spaghetti Dinner – Magnifica Cena Spaghetti Senza Glutine

I love pasta. I love Italian food. Now that my husband is trying to be gluten free and I prefer organic I’m finding that coming up with meals that align with both of our lifestyle choices and taste authentic a bit challenging. After much persistence and perseverance I think I’ve hit on a pretty close approximation of an acceptable Italian dinner. There are times when I have to remember that even Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

Gluten Free Spaghetti with Organic Meat Sauce
Gluten Free Spaghetti with Mostly Organic Meat Sauce


Mostly Organic Italian Pasta Sauce with Meat

(This makes a gallon of sauce so I can what is left over in glass jars in a pressure canner but it can be frozen also)

Home Canned Mostly Organic Pasta Sauce with Meat
Home Canned Mostly Organic Pasta Sauce with Meat

In a large stainless steel 6 quart pan put enough Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat bottom. This amount will vary depending on the fat content of the meat you use.

Brown and crumble in Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil to brown ground meat

1 pound of organic 99% lean ground beef

¾ pound ground Cudighi or sweet Italian sausage (casing removed)


1 organic yellow bell pepper (seeded and diced)

1 medium organic sweet yellow onion (peeled and diced)

1 – 8 ounce package organic portabella mushrooms (minced or sliced)

½ cup organic sweet red wine (I make my own but you can use Marsala or Port)

3 cloves garlic (peeled and pressed thru a garlic press or finely minced)

½ teaspoon organic red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons organic turbinado sugar

1 tablespoon beef soup base powder or granules

2 tablespoons organic dried Italian flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons organic dried sweet basil


3 quarts of canned tomatoes in their juice (blended in a blender)

3 – 8 ounce cans of any brand of organic tomato paste.

sea salt to taste


Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti
Tinkyada Brown Rice Spaghetti


Fresh grated Asiago Cheese
Fresh grated Asiago Cheese

Serve with Garlic Bread made from My Gluten Free Bread Recipe and an organic toss salad. Stay tuned for my Italian salad dressing mix recipe coming soon. For those who prefer a creamy dressing try My Ranch Dressing Recipe.


Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”



Super Food Side Dish

Super Food Side Dish

Super Food Side Dish Over Rice
Super Food Side Dish Over Rice


3 Tablespoons Rosemary Garlic infused cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

(I make this by adding a few sprigs of rosemary and a few cloves of halved garlic to a bottle and fill it with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Then cover it and leave it set in a cool dry place for a few weeks)

3 Tablespoons Organic Grape seed oil

2 medium yellow onions (sliced)

8 ounces portabella mushrooms (sliced)

1 large organic green bell pepper (diced)

1 Tablespoon organic minced garlic


Season with

Low sodium organic fermented soy sauce (to taste)

Course ground sea salt (to taste)

Saute Ingredients To Desired Consistancy
Saute Ingredients To Desired Consistancy

Combine ingredients in a large skillet and sauté until it reaches desired consistency.

Serve over jasmine rice or quinoa cooked in vegetable stock.


Enjoy!  Here is one of my favorite quote to start your day!!

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”


Where’s The Sours?

Fermenting Banana Peppers
Fermenting Banana Peppers

Long ago people used to have fermented food with every meal to aid in digestion. I remember having some of my much older relatives over for dinner and forgetting to serve some fermented food as one of the courses and inevitably one of them would pipe up and ask “Where’s the sours”? meaning the probiotic rich fermented food or condiment that would help their digestion and of course that “other” later part of digestion! Probiotics are not a new discovery, they’ve been a part of healthy eating since the beginning of time. We are now rediscovering what a huge benefit they are. I’m fortunate that I had family to teach me how to culture this type of food and how really easy it is. I like a little heat and zing so here is my recipe for Fermented Hot Banana Peppers but you can do the same with regular banana peppers or jalapenos or whatever your preference is. Fresh organic produce, cleanliness and patience are the 3 keys factors in successful fermentation. Produce that has been treated to have a “stay fresh” appearance in the produce section of the supermarkets do not ferment as well. This is the same reasoning behind using non-chlorinated water and unbleached flour. Chlorine kills the process because it kills yeasts, molds and bacteria, good and bad!

Fermented Banana Peppers - Finishe Product
Fermented Banana Peppers – Finished Product

Fermented Hungarian Hot Wax (Banana ) Peppers


4-5 large ripe Hungarian Hot Was Banana Peppers (about a pound) sliced into desired size.

½ small onion peeled and sliced thin

2 cloves garlic peeled and halved

1 small jalapeno sliced (optional)

1 Tablespoon sea salt

1 Tablespoon of whey from kefir or plain yogurt or sour cream

(This is the clear liquid that separated from the milk product. Pour it off into a small jar and save it in your fridge. This will be your “good bacteria” boost)

Non-Chlorinated water

Fermenting Accessories
Fermenting Accessories

You will need something to cover the top of the peppers to submerge them under the brine. I use Grape Leaves since I have grape vines and they are accessible. They also help keep pickles and peppers crisp. But you could also use carrots slices cut lengthwise the width of your jar and a weight to keep the peppers under the brine.

Make sure all your hands, produce, utensils and jars and surfaces are clean.

Dissolve the salt in some of the water

Layer in your jar, sliced onion, sliced jalapeno (if used), halved garlic cloves. Fill Jar to the “shoulder” with sliced banana peppers (allow room at the top so that there can be at least a ½ inch of brine over the peppers).

Add Whey and water with dissolved salt. Fill with water to I inch from top of jar. Insert whatever you are using to submerge your peppers (these Fermenta Dunk Extenders are really nice and no fuss for keeping you stuff submerged below the brine). I put my grape leaves on top and add a Fermenta Dunk Weight. Then close your jar and and set it in a cool place away from drafts and direct sunlight until it reaches the desired tartness. I leave mine ferment for a few weeks. If you aren’t using a jar with an airlock, like the Fermenta Fido Airlock Jar 1 QT Jar, you will need to occasionally burb the jar to relieve pressure from the gases that will build up. Once you are happy with the flavor pop it into the fridge or other cool place.

Fermanted Banana Peppers Before and After
Fermanted Banana Peppers Before and After