Kombucha, from Booch, to Hooch

I’ve always believed that homemade is simply *the best*. In other words, anything commercial that I like, is just WAAAY better when home-made.

Breads, Kombucha, Condiments, to just name a precious few!

It was 2008 when I arrived in South Florida, a professional, highly trained chef, during the (first) economic crisis of my adulting. I was already a “green” champion, a pro at environmental and personal sustainability had always brought any clients business in under budget, everywhere. Once in Florida, I learned to farm organically, immediately taking the skill of saving money to new heights as a proud urban farmer.

I can now stretch a dollar till it squeals!

This means growing my own food, composting and amending soil, adding nutrients back into the soil and therefore the food.  Enter Kombucha a TRIFECTA of winning.  It meets my criteria of being super healthy, i.e. food as medicine for my “farmacy”, is a much more rewarding creative outlet and far, far cheaper to make than to buy. Not only can I personally grow the herbs, roots, shoots, spices, fruits and herbs to flavor it with, but the resulting excess scoby (of which there will be obscene amounts, potentially an endless supply) is a potent soil amendment, kitchen ingredient, and dietary remedy for adults, pets and children alike. Coming up with uses for my scoby collection offers me endless creative outlets, all chances to “play with my food”. I highly recommend it!!


One of the greatest benefits of making your own kombucha at home is the ability to influence the flavor of your finished kombucha, plus find new flavor blends that you and your family will enjoy. You can influence the flavor of kombucha tea by choosing a different teaadjusting the fermentation time, or adding flavoring.

Some of my preferred flavor combinations:

  • Ginger/Hibiscus
  • Pomegranate/Kiwi
  • Banana/Vanilla
  • Vanilla/Raisin (Dr. Pepper flavor)
  • Apple/Cinnamon
  • Pineapple/Cilantro
  • Lavender/Chamomile
  • Chai/Pumpkin Spice
  • Basil/Blueberry


TOTAL TIME 15minutes (2 minutes prep / 3 minutes boiling / 10 minutes cooling)
YIELD: 16-32 Servings


  • Large Pot, minimum 1-Gallon capacity, with lid
  • Wooden Spoon
  • STERILE Glass Jar(s)
  • Paper Coffee Filters (3-4)
  • Large Rubber Band


  • 1 Gallon Water
  • 8 Tea Bags (Caff/Decaf/Herbal; I prefer Yerba Mate/Green blend)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup “Booch” starter fluid or ACV
  • 1 Scoby, if possible (Optional; with patience, you’ll grow your own)
  • 1 Lb Patience  =)
  • Optional: Fresh Roots, Shoots, Fruits or Herbs


Step 1: Sterilize the Jar, storage and cooking utensils.

Step 2: Boil water, add in tea(s) and sugar together, including any aromatics chosen, ie turmeric or ginger root, hibiscus leaves or flower, cinnamon sticks, lemon peels, etc. Simmer 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Step 3: Once cooled, strain, bottle to the 4/5th capacity and before sealing, add your Scoby and cup of starter fluid.

Ratios for Flavoring Kombucha Tea

  • If flavoring with fresh, frozen, or dried fruit, start with10-30% fruit and 70-90% Kombucha.
  • If flavoring with juice, start with10-20% juice and 80-90% Kombucha.
  • If flavoring with herbs, the variety and strength of herbs varies greatly. Experiment to come up with the best ratios and combinations for your taste preferences.
  • For flavor extracts such as almond or vanilla extract, start with 1/4 teaspoon extract per cup of kombucha and adjust to taste. Remember the flavor will continue to develop during the second fermentation period.


  • Creamy Vinaigrette, with or without oil
  • Added to smoothies
  • As meat substitute for a stir-fry or “meat” in a soup (Green chili pozole?)
  • As Dog Food (soaked first) or Dog Treats (dehydrated, plain or PB slathered)
  • In the garden as a soil amendment
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner -Citric acid
  • Facial Mask – fruit acids* imitate a “chemical peel” – add avocado if sensitive skinned

* various organic acids, such as acetic, gluconic, glucuronic, citric, L‐lactic, malic, tartaric, malonic, oxalic, succinic, pyruvic; also sugars, such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose; the vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, and C; 14 amino acids,

Dog treats, aka Kombucha for your Pooch-A:

I dehydrate my 12 inch scobys (YEP folks, 12 inches in diameter!) in my dehydrator on low for about 24 hours or so, until it looks like fruit leather. Once it’s done, either roll into rolls and dehydrate again to get twisted chews to use instead of rawhide, or cut/tear them up into little strips or square pieces, and store these little pieces of heaven in jars at room temperature.

Another option, smear dehydrated scoby in peanut butter or some other delicious substance and watch the dog go nuts on it. The texture of the dried-out culture is like pliable leather. The probiotics work their balancing act!


  • Kombucha Can Help Lower Your Caffeine Intake
  • Kombucha contains vitamins B1, B6, and B12. All of these vitamins are known to help stabilize mood, improve concentration, and fight depression.
  • Kombucha is an adaptogen, which balances the body.
  • They also tend to reduce cravings for sugar, alcohol, and provide liver protection. They can also help boost immunity, energy, and stamina.
  • Supports healthy digestion by increasing the acidity of the gut with a number of different natural enzymes that aid in breaking down food.
  • Kombucha promotes healthy gut bacteria. DYK that 80% of your immune system lives within the gut, and affects almost every aspect of how you feel each day.

When your gut is healthy, it contains about 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria. Good bacteria in your body work to keep you both feeling and functioning at your best by:

  • Boosting your immune system
  • Digesting your food
  • Improving mental clarity
  • Promoting nutrient absorption
  • Balancing your hormones
  • Normalizing glucose levels

The Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology recently published a study showing that consistent stress negatively affects the amount and diversity of your good gut flora.

A diverse population of gut flora is your goal.

  1. First Fermentation: This is when you transform sweet tea into tart and tasty kombucha.
  2. Second Fermentation: This is when you carbonate the kombucha by adding flavor and sugars then bottling it.

Kiwi will be the main source of sugar in today’s batch, with moringa oleifera, spirulina and spinach added for a boost of GREEN nutrition. Recipe loosely inspired by https://brewbuch.com/green-goddess-kombucha/  follows:



  • ½ Gallon Kombucha #F1 (decaf/green/white/black/yerba all ok)
  • 1 Kiwi, un-peeled ok (!) – Try Golden Kiwi…
  • ½ Cup Spinach, fresh or thawed
  • 2 tsp Moringa Oleifera (and/or spirulina)
  • 2 TBSP Ginger, fresh or paste
  • Optional: Essential oils – Cilantro toothpick “dot”.


  1. Blend: Puree all the ingredients with a splash of the kombucha until smooth. Swirl a toothpick coated with Cilantro E/O through the fruit puree (It’s very potent and this is all you’ll need!)
  2. Bottle: Evenly distribute the puree into fermentation bottles, then pour in F1 Kombucha, leaving 1 to 2 inches free at the top for carbonation to occur.
  3. Ferment: Place in a dark, room temperature area for 3 to 10 days, burping occasionally, until it reaches the carbonation level you like. This process will go faster in warmer climates, and slower in cooler climates.


  • Kombucha will continue to develop as it rests, though slower once chilled.
  • Not a kiwi fan? Substitute ½ cup of chopped strawberries, an orange, or 2 tsp of Maple.
  • Can’t find moringa? Ask me for a local Farmer/Grower near you if you’re in South Florida.
  • Consider other popular flavor combos, as seen here:

*If you’ve found peace of mind, learned something helpful, or been inspired to make a change in your own, or a loved ones life, please consider supporting practical wisdom and wellness. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. Little goes a long way towards helping us continue to live ad-free in the world and bring you stimulating content.

Tower to Table Cooking

Best Ever, Herbed, Roasted Tomatoes! “From Land to Hand, From Tower to Power Bowl” Featuring Homegrown Tomatoes w/ Garlic, Basil & Rosemary over Arugula



TOTAL TIME 30 minutes (5 minutes prep / 20 minutes roasting / 5 minutes cooling)
YIELD: 2 Servings – scales up easily




  • Rimmed Sheet Pan
  • Silpat Sheet or Parchment paper (or disposable sheet pan)
  • Flexible Rubber Spatula
  • Oven


  • 1 Lb, Washed Cherry Tomatoes
  • 8 Garlic Cloves, Whole & Peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon Good Olive Oil (or Aquafaba for Oil-free roasting)
  • 1 teaspoon Combined Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Pepper (try Green Peppercorns)
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Optional: Base of Arugula Leaves, a shake of Za’atar, or Berbere (a more floral, adventurous substitute, and often this chef’s “secret weapon”)


Roasting Tomatoes:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees with oven rack in the middle part of the oven.

Step 2: Toss garlic cloves, tomatoes, oil (or aquafaba), salt & pepper onto a silicone mat-covered baking sheet and stir till evenly covered. Spread out so that air can circulate.

Step 3: Cook undisturbed…”till done”… approximately 20 minutes, depending on size and, your oven’s characteristics. Check progress in your oven at the 10-minute mark, to be safe, shake pan to toss garlic and tomatoes lightly.

(Let your nose guide you …hopefully before your smoke alarm does!)

Step 4: Remove from oven, and apply a liberal “dusting” of freshly minced mixed herbs, and set aside to cool. Get creative here, switch up your herbs as you wish – try Cilantro, with Lime zest, for a homemade salsa base, or with Za’atar for a Middle-Eastern twist!

Spoon out your tomatoes into a glass jar for longest keeping qualities and refrigerate for a week or more. Cover with a slick of Olive oil to keep them longer

Step 5: Bonus, scrape up all the cooking juices and blend into your basic vinaigrette recipe (1/3 Cup wine vinegar to 1 Cup EVOO; keeps refrigerated for up to 2 weeks)


Tomatoes provide about 40% of the daily recommended minimum of vitamin C and are an overall stellar dietary tool to help both prevent, and manage diabetes and aiding in weight loss since they’re a great source of dietary fiber. With significant fiber, they are helpful to stabilize blood sugars, and improve cardiovascular health. Tomatoes are low in carbs and calories, yet rich in vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K, a known blood clotting factor. Mostly, tomatoes are known for being a great source of various antioxidants, most importantly Lycopene.

More about Lycopene:

A 2011 study found that the combination of tomato & olive oil helps protect against sun damage, and boosts the production of pro-collagen, which gives skin the structure to keep it firm and youthful. Lycopene is at its highest concentration when tomatoes have been cooked, and olive oil boosts its absorption from your digestive system into your bloodstream. While Lycopene is good for your eyes, tomatoes also contain lutein and beta-carotene, nutrients that support vision and protect against eye conditions including cataracts and macular degeneration. Finally, Lycopene has been linked to fewer incidences of prostateovarianlung, and stomach cancers.

I’ve always believed that simple *is best*.

Once arrived in South Florida, THIS professional, highly trained “green” chef, added “urban farmer” to my skillset, incorporating growing food and composting to round out the full sustainability cycle , adding nutrients back into the soil and therefore the food. This had been the link to living a zero-waste lifestyle.

My biggest shift, was that I no longer felt called to show off my kitchen fancy footwork but rather exult in the purest homegrown ingredients, celebrating Mother Nature & Father Time’s glorious creations. For sure, these need the least of my meddling!

While at times, that meant just eating a freshly plucked veggie or fruit, other times, the only embellishment needed was the lightest of dressings, a few sprinkles of complementary herbs, or grinds of specialty spices.

Of note, tomatoes (so easily grown in my Tower Garden!) release their cancer-fighting antioxidants only when cooked giving me reason to create this recipe with many creative pairings listed below*.

Just know that these concentrated, decadent flavor bombs have become the backbone of many a #swoonworthy feast of mine!

*Try them atop polenta, tossed over spaghetti squash or mixed with beans as a protein filled bruschetta over toast. For Mediterranean Fusion, add these to mashed, or refried beans; as “dressing” for fresh greens or steamed veggies, added to omelets and salads, drizzled over broiled tofu, as a topping for sautéed green beans or potatoes or broiled fish/seafood. Want a base for a quick, easy salsa? Check! Boost your veggie chili, spike store-bought hummus and elevate a humble bowl of brown rice, or lentils, topped with these jewels, and a few broccoli sprouts!

Many a time, I will simply eat them like a jam, spread on a flax cracker or with veggie scoops, like my favorites, Watermelon Radish, Golden Beet or for a little more heat, use a Poblano pepper, instead! I encourage you to discover a new veggie each week for a healthy 52 weeks ahead. Let me know what you try out!

Bon Appétit & You’re Welcome!


*If you’ve found peace of mind, learned something helpful, or been inspired to make a change in your own, or a loved ones life, please consider supporting practical wisdom and wellness. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. Little goes a long way towards helping us continue to live ad-free in the world and bring you stimulating content.

Raw, No-Bake, Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Energy Bites

Anyone else enjoying memories of that radical thing we used to do, not that long ago, called “gathering IN-PERSON”?!

I am, and of course, my mind goes right to “snickerdoodle”, naturally!

Need a translator?  Here’s how that worked, for me:
Friends… Family… Loved Ones… Holidays… Christmas… Christmas Cookies… Snickerdoodles!

You’re still with me, right?

This recipe is so easy, we can enjoy these snickerdoodles any day; they’re not just for Christmas, anymore.   In fact, I recommend you always keep some in your freezer for that perfect any-time “snack-attack” (since it’s not like anyone’s just going to “drop in on you!)!

TOTAL TIME 10 minutes: 05 minutes PREP & 05 minutes Freezing time
YIELD: One Bakers’ Dozen of (13) Bite-sized “Balls”


  • 1 Banana, ripe
  • ½ Cup Almond OR Coconut Flour (Can use a blend)
  • 2 Tbsp. nut butter of choice
  • 2 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Complete Protein Powder, by Juice Plus
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Nutmeg


  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut or Raw, Turbinado Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

In a large bowl, mash your banana using a fork and stir in all your wet ingredients. In another bowl, stir together all flours, spices and the serving of Vanilla “complete”. Add dry ingredients to the wet. Stir until dough forms. Scoop 12-13 small balls of dough.

In a shallow bowl, stir together the Tbsp sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Roll each ball into cinnamon/sugar mix until completely coated.

Store in an airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.  Ready to eat when firm to the touch.

*I know that sentiment has deep political ramifications RIGHT NOW as the term “marshall law” is being bandied about, but this post just isn’t about that.  I’m personally NOT a fan of speculating, or stressing about the things that I cannot control so here I am back at my home temple, the kitchen, creating healing recipes so that we can live our best life, despite being temporarily in isolation.

Anxiety?? Eat more Cacao!

Feeling Anxious? Don’t turn to pills, turn to basic skills and enjoy combining foods in your pantry into amazing, healing treats. This is part of my #foodasmedecine way to eat!

Here’s what you need to know:
1. Walnuts have been shown to lower blood pressure and decrease inflammation.

2. Sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium, which promotes a healthy mood, safely and effectively as a homeopathic therapy.

3. Cacao is a great source of four scientifically proven bliss chemicals – serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine. These neurotransmitters are associated with cosy feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and can even alleviate depression.

4. Cherries, known to improve sleep, a critical component of keeping your immune system at it’s best!

Mix all this together and make chocolate bark, and the goodness goes way beyond amazing deliciousness! Have a piece in the afternoon, with a cup of green tea, and be happy knowing your afternoon pick-me up is completely therapeutic.

Note, the linked recipe does NOT include sunflower seeds, but go ahead and play with your food, walk on the wild side and add what you want… I highly recommend that you liberally sprinkle your chocolate slab with the seeds.

Leave a comment below on how you plan to use your pesto!

Join the CommUNITY on Facebook

*I know that sentiment has deep political ramifications RIGHT NOW as the term “marshall law” is being bandied about, but this post just isn’t about that.  I’m personally NOT a fan of speculating, or stressing about the things that I cannot control so here I am back at my home temple, the kitchen, creating healing recipes so that we can live our best life, despite being temporarily in isolation.


2 mmmazing ways to use Sprouted Lentils

Raw Lentil Apple Pie – 1 serving
  • 1/3 cup sprouted raw lentils (instructions at the end)
    1/2 diced green apple
  • Zest from ½ of a lemon
  • Juice from ½ of a lemon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (ground, fresh, or paste)
  • 2 diced dates
  • 2 tbsp chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans

Combine all ingredients and enjoy for breakfast, dessert or as a snack

Tex-Mex Lentils (raw lentil taco filling) – 1 serving

  • 1/3 cup sprouted raw lentils (instructions at the end)
    1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Zest from ½ of a lemon
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 3 sundried tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 diced avocado
  • 1 tbsp sliced black olives
  • 1 tbsp fresh or canned corn
  • 1 tbsp diced tomatoes, fresh if available


  • Pickled jalapenos, 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • Serve inside romaine or butter lettuce leaves, or radicchio “lettuce cups”.
  • Savory Sprouted Lentils – 1 serving
  • 1/3 cup sprouted raw lentils (instructions at the end)
    1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • Zest of ½ of a lemon
  • Optional:
  • ½ tsp spirulina

Mix and enjoy, best eaten by the spoonful!

How to sprout lentils (yields ~1 cup sprouted lentils)

  • Add 1 cup dried lentils in a bowl with water to cover by at least 2 fingers
  • Let soak for minimum 4 hours, or overnight to plump
  • Once plumped, drain and rinse
  • Spread soaked lentils on a flat tray or plate and cover with a damp, sterile dish towel or double paper towel and keep it damp throughout the day
  • Keep out of direct sunlight and AC vents
  • Rinse once or twice during second day and return to tray
  • Once a “tail” even just begins to sprout, they are ready to consume
  • Continue letting them sprout to your desired tail length, then rinse, drain and either eat or store, refrigerated to keep for several days
  • Consume within 3-5 days

Share with us how YOU might use your sprouted lentils, especially any variations you come up with. We can’t wait to hear back from you and see your own pictures! Post your photos, questions or comments by tagging us on Instagram or Facebook

Thank you, and please, play with your food…
-Chef Nina

Presto Vegan Pesto!

We are but one week from when i enjoyed teaching a  “plein-air” (which just means outdoors) cooking class on a beautiful day, under deep blue skies (no filter needed kind of a day!) and vitamin-D rich sunshine 
offering the gardeners from the local Methodist Church’s Community Garden a cooking class on how to make the very most of their abundant organic veggie harvest.  And here we are, just a few short days later,  all practicing “Social Distancing” and “Self-Isolation” doing our patriotic bits to help flatten the curve.
Their lush late season harvest included many varieties of onions, purple, yellow, green, bunching varieties, and scallions, so I chose to invent a variation on Pesto, utilizing the tall stalks of onion greens, which folks tend to toss and waste. I pride myself on being a #zerowaste chef, or at least strive to get as close to zero waste as possible, so i found this a brilliant possibility.  Now, just hoping ti would taste divine, too, otherwise it would be so brilliant, after all, lol!   With a further challenge, I also opted to keep it budget-friendly, so instead of walnuts or heaven forbid, pignoli nuts most commonly featured in traditional pesto recipes, I picked sunflower seeds. Both choices actually worked brilliantly! Finally, because I’ve seen the call to keep clients healthy, I aim for no-oil recipes as often as possible.  So, this pesto is more of a paste, than a sauce. And, it works!
1 bunch basil
1 bunch scallions (or the equivalent e.g. in fresh onion tops.)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 and 1/2 cups shelled sunflower seeds (raw or roasted)
2 garlic cloves (raw is suggested but these could also be roasted if you prefer the flavor)
1/2/ cup Nutritional yeast
1/4 cup olive oil oil (or enough for a paste to form in the blender, you may need a little more than 1/4 cup). You might use infused oil i(e.g. with basil stems). If you don’t want to use additional oil and a paste has not yet formed, use hot water for the additional liquid. If you don’t want to use oil at all, you may substitute hot vegetable broth for the entire 1/4 cup of oil
2 big cloves garlic (raw is recommended but you could use roasted)
Lemon zest from one lemon
Squeeze of lemon juice (this is approximately the juice that you can squeeze from one half lemon)
Blend all ingredients together to form a paste.

Leave a comment below on how you plan to use your pesto!

Join the CommUNITY on Facebook

*I know that sentiment has deep political ramifications RIGHT NOW as the term “marshall law” is being bandied about, but this post just isn’t about that.  I’m personally NOT a fan of speculating, or stressing about the things that I cannot control so here I am back at my home temple, the kitchen, creating healing recipes so that we can live our best life, despite being temporarily in isolation.

Cason Garden Pickled Cabbage

This is the recipe followed for the Cason Community Garden Class taught on 3/14/20

This recipe was first published on https://omnivorescookbook.com and is authored by, Maggie Zhu it is with admiration that we share this with you and encourage you to visit the site there for more great recipes in addition to the one we are sharing.

Pickling mix
1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic , smashed
4 red chili peppers more if desired (Optional)
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (Optional)
1 lbs (450 g) cabbage (about half of a small head of cabbage)
1 large carrot , peeled
2 tablespoons salt

Combine the rice vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and chili peppers in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it reaches a simmer.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.

Use a clean spoon to taste the pickling liquid to see if it has the desired spice level. You can simmer it for a bit longer if you want the liquid to taste spicier. Once done, set aside and allow to cool.

Cut out the cabbage core and discard it. Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Cut the carrot into 1/4” (1/2 cm) thick half-moon shaped slices.

Combine the cabbage, carrots, and 2 tablespoons of salt in a big bowl. Toss it with your hands so the veggies are coated with salt.

Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, up to 1 hour (no more than an hour).

Drain and discard the salted water released by the veggies. Rinse the veggies twice.

Drain thoroughly, and squeeze out the excess water from the veggies. Transfer them into a large container (or a jar).

Add the crushed garlic and Sichuan peppercorns (if using) into the same container.

Add the cooled pickling liquid. Press the veggies so they are submerged in the liquid. It is fine if a small fraction of the veggies are poking out from the liquid (because the veggies will shrink over time and become submerged).

Seal the container and allow to pickle for 3 days in the fridge.
The pickles will start to taste good after 1 day, but the sourness will come through at day 3. Make sure to use a clean utensil to pick out the pickles every time you serve them. They will stay good in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks.

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.6g | Protein: 0.9g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 5.3g | Calcium: 28mg


What do you think about this recipe? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to join my meal prep  CommUNITY on Facebook!

Click here to read more articles and recipes

This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice, legal advice, or professional services. If you feel that you have a medical problem, you should seek the advice of your health care practitioner.
Read more about Chef Nina and her love for helping others succeed.


Papayas Galore, Recipes and More all at Holman’s Harvest!

Farm to table food is always the best! and food grown at Holman’s Harvest in Loxahatchee, Florida is top notch!  Abundant Green Papayas made excellent topics for my class at the farm. If you didn’t catch my class or want a recap here is your chance to get in on all the goods! Be sure to let me know which of these recipes you enjoyed best in the comments below. ⇓⇓

Image Credit: Lauren Giese Noll

Papayas provide us with antioxidants to keep us young and vital, fiber to stabilize blood sugar levels and satiate hunger, and folate, a vitamin B which is a rockstar in of itself.Folate converts proteins into a useful end product, and turns carbs into energy. If you’re looking for iron, folate helps prevent anemia.

Papaya is great for lowering your cholesterol, reducing constipation, improving skin health (which like happiness, is an inside job!) and boosts our immune systems. What’s not to love?! Oh, if you find the flavor of ripe papaya a tad … un..exciting like I used to, add a squirt of lime and chili pepper, and Mmm!

So many great tips here, many of which were touched on, and incorporated in the class that if you missed you may want to go check out at TheSpruceEats.com
And now, onto the recipes! ♥

Papaya Seed Salad Dressing:

  • 1tablespoon fresh papaya seeds
  • 1⁄2small onion (purple gives this dressing a nice pink color)
  • 1⁄4cup raspberry vinegar (or try others: ACV, Rice Wine, Sherry)
  • 1⁄4cup honey (or date paste from 8 soaked pitted dates and H20 to cover)
  • 1⁄4teaspoon salt
  • 1teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1⁄2cup vegetable oil (try coconut or avocado oil)
  • Blitz first 6 ingredients in the blender till all pureed, then add in oil slowly in a steady stream while running the blender to create an emulsion.
  • Optional: 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon would be nice additions!
This dressing elevates any salad greens, or veggies and would even make a nice marinade for tofu or “fish” fillets.
Lightening-Quick Fresh Pickles (Green Papaya, or anything else you could ever want):
So many vegetables have a new life when pickled, fresh and addicting that I’ve seriously caught the pickling bug! I love them all, from ferments that take as long as 3 weeks, to foolproof quick pickles of the 5 minute-variety, to the more traditional, cooked, vinegar-brined ones.
Assorted Veggies to be pickled: Green Papaya, Cucumbers, Slicing Radishes, Daikon, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Chayote, etc all sliced or shredded thinly on a mandoline, or green beans, trimmed and left whole.
•1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
• 1 teaspoon raw sugar
•A few dashes of Cayenne, (or Berebere if you can find it!) to taste
In a small bowl, combine the salt and sugar, and cayenne, if using. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture over each ingredient and toss. Let the pickles stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
All you do is cut up vegetables–even watermelon rind–and sprinkle on some salt and sugar and let the vegetables sit for a few minutes. Voila! Sort-of pickles! The salt, of course, draws out the moisture and creates some liquid in which the sugar mixes with the salt. The instructions specify to allow the pickles to sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and about all it takes for the ingredients to meld together magically.
I love to use kosher salt and raw sugar so the grains are still crunchy present even after the pickles release their liquid, however you may also use fine grind versions if they’re easier to obtain. The taste will be the same, though the texture will not.
Vinegar Pickled Produce – Choose Your Preferred Produce:
Apples, Beets, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrots, Cherries, Daikon, Green Papaya, Melon, Seedless Grapes, Jicama, Chayote, Watermelon rinds, Onion, Zucchini, all washed, peeled, cut into 3-inch lengths and 3/16-inch julienne
For 1 Quart of Brine:
2 cups boiling water
2 cups rice wine vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Pack prepared vegetables into two separate quart-sized glass containers.
Place the vinegar, sugar, water, and salt in a small saucepan, whisk to dissolve the sugar and salt, and bring to a rapid simmer and turn off.
Split the brine between the two containers, pouring the brine over the vegetables.
Cover and refrigerate.
After 1 day, they’ll be good; after 2 days. they’ll be perfect; and they’ll keep for weeks after that, but you’ll finish them before they ever sit around that long.
Anti-inflammation Smoothie:
1 cup cranberries
1 cup papaya
3frozen bananas
½ T Chia seeds
1½ Cup Water
1 T ginger
Dash of turmeric
Dash of cinnamon
Combine and blend all till smooth.
A still firm Papaya would make a great addition to any Salsa or gazpacho. Think of adding it to any salsa recipe you already like, in lieu of or as a partial replacement of the mango, or cucumber ingredients.
Attributes of papaya:
The enzyme papain, contained in all parts of the fruit, the seeds, the skin and even the leaves help us digest food, breaking down proteins in our stomach, while the seeds also help us kill off intestinal parasites. The skins are full of the same acids you’ll find in face creams and overall, the enzymes in papain help reduce pains from inflammation.
Somethings I did not get to showcase, but we’re runners-up for class content:
Don’t forget to leave a comment below on your favorite recipe
Be sure to join my Meal Prep CommUNITY on Facebook so you can be a part of prepping for success each week!
This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice, legal advice, or professional services. If you feel that you have a medical problem, you should seek the advice of your health care practitioner. Read more about Chef Nina and her love for helping others succeed.

Annie Apple Seed 2020- Green Giant Juice

Every year, as we assemble resources for the exhilarating Annie Appleseed Project annual CAM, I get excited – yet nervous – all over again thinking of a ballroom full of 300 attendees to get to make morning green juice for.  For some of you, this is nothing new, and I love seeing your smiles as you turn the corner and the perfume of ginger and turmeric, lemon and greens wafts your way.  The closer you get, the broader your smiles are and we love seeing you get excited, eagerly asking if this yumminess is for you!   Is it ever?! We just love telling you this is YOUR juice we are preparing, and we’ll be ready to serve you yours just as soon as you get a morning pause.

We are here to nourish you, but it is you who nourish us with your love, smiles and happy dances, and it just warms our hearts every single year… Thanks to YOU, our cup runneth over and we get loved on by so many of you that we truly get back tenfold of what we bring you. Or so it feels!

Do you know why we trim our cucumbers this way? Let us know in the comments below!!
On the other hand, it is the others, those of you new to us, that may not already know about green juice, fear the taste, and are oh-so-tentative of anything new and healthy, and we see it all over your faces how intimidating this is to you.  It is you who keep me awake at night, keep me nervously biting my lip hoping you’ll give us a chance and be open to the gifts we bring.  I obsess over how to best reach you…   Only, and this is the amazing part, those if you I’ve just described, never turn the corner.  In fact, you never come to our table. It’s because you never even set foot in the conference, or aren’t even in the building!!   We never meet you ‘negative nellies’, not at this event.
Congratulations, you are ALL such brave troopers and warriors, and I’ve watched you all, year after year, learning how to navigate the onslaught of challenges with grace, humor and an emerging sense of self and power!  I applaud you all and dedicate my regular green juice practices to you, our Annie Appleseed Warriors.
In your honor, I’ve renamed my green lemonade to “Green Giant” as year after year, I’ve seen every single one of you stand a foot taller, prouder and stronger. Clearly, these energy shots, and the entire event bring out the very best already inside of you. Shine on, my friends and know that you inspire all of us at the juice booth long after the weekend passes.
Here’s my trusted recipe and if you have any objections, or see anything at all standing in your way, preventing you from having your own glorious organic juice DAILY, please reach out to me at NinaKauderWellness@gmail.com and I promise to offer you practical tips to get you closer to your goals.
Green Giant Juice Recipe
Kale, any varietal – 5 full leaves, leaves w/ stems intact
Celery – 4 full length sticks
Cucumber – 1 full, ends trimmed
Apple – (Green preferred)
Lemon – 2 whole, ends removed, peel removed from 4 sides to resemble a box shape
Turmeric root –  2 finger-length pieces
Ginger, unpeeled – 2 inch knob
Fresh Mint leaves – ¼ bunch
Fresh Cilantro – ¼ bunch
Moringa – optional, use a few stems of leaves if fresh is available (preferred to processed powders)
The main tips to make this work, are to first juice your ginger and turmeric, stopping as often as your machine whines that the basket is getting clogged from the high fiber content, and clear the basket of debris interfering till all the roots are processed.  Save your pulp and set aside for other uses.
Comment below if you remember why we cut our cucumbers this way
Next, take your smaller fluffier leaves and herbs and wrap them into herb packets within a “blanket” you make from the larger leafy greens you’re using, i.e. kale or swiss chard leaves. Then run those all through the juicer, followed by the  the remainder of ingredients which are all going to push the residual dark green chlorophyll out. Stir and drink immediately.  Or place in a glass jar all the way tot he brim, leaving no room for oxygen to degrade the freshness and quality of your juice. Doing so will allow you to save your juice for up to 24 hours.
PS: as a bonus, I add a link to this week’s healthy living & eating feature in the Palm Beach Post’s food section where I am included in the article, along with one of my original recipes.  This dish tastes indulgent (yet isn’t) and tastes like you toiled all day, when it only takes 5 minutes to assemble and “whip up”. https://www.palmbeachpost.com/entertainment/20200303/local-chefs-offer-healthy-food-recipes-to-keep-you-in-check

Thanks for Keeping up with me, my calendar of events has me in events all over the county, so check us out on Facebook
Don’t forget to leave a comment below and tell me how you like the recipe!
Disclaimer: This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice, legal advice, or professional services. If you feel that you have a medical problem, you should seek the advice of your health care practitioner.


Read more about Chef Nina and her love for helping others succeed.

What the Heck is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a highly nutritious vegan food product with various potential health benefits. It tends to be a stellar “transition food” that vegans and no-vegans adore passionately as it helps bridge the gap when giving up cheeses made from animal sources (cow, sheep, goat, etc)!
It can not only be used to add extra protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to meals, but studies suggest that nutritional yeast may help protect against oxidative damage, lower cholesterol and boost immunity.

Best of all, as seen by polling 50+ vegan and vegetarians, it tastes great!

See what people had to say about it,  and their favorite uses of this easy ingredient:
      1. I usually sprinkle nutritional yeast into chili or pastas
      2. I wouldn’t say nutritional yeast isn’t exactly “important”, but the sh** just tastes good and you can put it on everything!
      3. nutritional yeast  delicious with a cheesy, savory flavor. it has good nutritional value it’s like franks hot sauce you put that sh** on everything.
      4. It tastes awesome, and a lot like cheese- flavor wise! Downfall: nutritional yeast smells like feet…..
      5. Nutritional yeast is amazing as cheese alternative.
      6. I use nutritional yeast  a lot for making vegan mac ’n cheese, or in a cheesy sauce.
      7. Mix it into refried beans.
      8. I had some nutritional yeast this morning on my potatoes with breakfast. So good!
      9. I put nutritional yeast  on my tofu along with soy sauce, and then I bake it.
      10. I add nutritional yeast into my couscous and it’s so good.
      11. Delicious sprinkling  nutritional yeast on buttery toast.
      12. I add nutritional yeast to mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower or cauliflower rice to add that golden yumm-factor!
      13. Top fresh popcorn with nutritional yeast and sriracha sauce. Then stay in, netflix & chill!
      14. Mix nutritional yeast with sprouted lentils and a few turns of freshly cracked black peppercorns.
      15. Sprinkle nutritional yeast on dog food as a topper..its so good for fur baby’s nerves. I use nutritional yeast for my diabetic furbaby.
Nutritional yeast has a good source of b12, much needed in vegetarian vegan diet. Also it imparts that “cheese” fermented aged flavor tones.
Nutritional yeast  has B12, is high in folic acid and fiber.

I absolutely loved cheese, missed it terribly and nutritional yeast helped to curb those cravings! Though nutritional yeast doesn’t quite taste like cheese, it does have a delicious savoriness that adds depth to flavor!
Nutritional yeast is a fantastic source of B vitamins, and is amazing at flavoring soups, stews and makes a great gravy with shiitake mushrooms.
It is also great sprinkled onto stir fries. etc as a flavor enhancer.
BTW, nutritional yeast is ideal for those with high blood pressure because nutritional yeast can be your go-to salt swap, especially when turned into a ‘Parmesan” – recipe below. Nutritional yeast has zero sodium in it but plenty of flavor, so you can sprinkle it onto foods you’d normally salt, such as potato, pizza, eggs (vegan or chicken) or broccoli.
For a great vegan Parmesan head here!
Nutritional yeast is made from the yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Research suggests this yeast strain may be able to support your immune system, reduce inflammation, and help ward off intestinal ailments. Indeed, one study found that nutritional yeast has a probiotic-like effect on the intestines so it can support the immune system and reduce inflammation.
However, here are 4 potential side effects of nutritional yeast.
      • Though nutritional yeast is low in calories, it’s packed with fiber so it may cause unpleasant digestive side effects if introduced too quickly, especially if you’re not used to much fiber
      • May Trigger Headaches or Migraine Attacks. …
      • May Cause Facial Flushing. …
      • Yeast Intolerance and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.


Have you used Nutritional Yeast before? How have you used it? Let me know in the comments below, be sure to connect with my CommUNITY on Facebook!

Click here to read more articles and recipes



This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice, legal advice, or professional services. If you feel that you have a medical problem, you should seek the advice of your health care practitioner.

Join the CommUNITY

Follow by Email