Easy and Delicious Ginger Beer Recipe

Suddenly my Moscow Mules (one of my favorite cocktails) got much more homemade than I ever thought I would drink them. Nope I am not distilling vodka in my garage yet as I do not have a distilled spirits permit, and I don’t intend to get one or even make vodka, but I just added Ginger Beer to my list of made from scratch items, in my journey to going back to a more back to basics, homemade lifestyle.  So what is Ginger Beer you may ask?…  For those of you who are familiar with, as mentioned above, Moscow Mules and/or Dark and Stormy cocktails, Ginger Beer is one of the ingredients that make those drinks so fabulous.

Processed with VSCO with a9 presetNot to be mistaken with Ginger Ale, Ginger Beer is a naturally sweetened and carbonated beverage (non-alcoholic even though it is called beer, though the original drink that started in England in the 1700s, contained alcohol).  What we call today Ginger Beer is produced by the natural fermentation of prepared ginger, yeast, and sugar, and has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years as a refreshing and spicy drink, that can be enjoyed alone or mixed in several cocktails.

Making Ginger Beer at home is actually fairly simple and by doing so, it will allow you to save a bundle of money compared to the store-bought one.  In addition, you will know exactly what was put in your drink, as well as experience the satisfaction of making it yourself!

By following these instructions, you should obtain a delicious beverage in about 3 days, when the fermentation has peaked.  Please note that the more you wait, the more bitter drink you will get, which is totally your choice, and according to your own taste.

Here is the recipe that I made the very first time and  I was so satisfied with the results that I decided to keep it as is.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of grated fresh ginger (I put mine in a food chopper)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh pressed lemon juice
  • 9 cups of water
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp of active dry yeast (I use the Rapid Rise one and it works great)
  • 1 2-liter plastic bottle (an empty and washed soda or water bottle will be just fine)
  • 2 1-liter glass bottle with stopper (I got mine from Ikea)
  • 1 1/2-liter glass bottle with stopper (Ikea sells them too)
  • a fine strainer

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Place the grated or chopped ginger, the lemon juice and 4 cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Once the mixture has reached a boiling point, turn the heat to medium and add the sugar until it has dissolved.

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Add the rest of the water (5 cups, cold), turn off the heat and wait until the mixture has reached a temperature of 75°F (24°C).

Once the temperature of 75°F has been reached, add the dry active yeast to the mixture, stir well and cover with a cloth or a towel.

After 3 hours, pour the mixture through the strainer and in a container with a spout (bottle, mixing bowl, etc…). The strainer will help separate the pieces of ginger from the mixture, to only retain the liquid.

Pour the mixture into the 2-liter plastic bottle, making sure to leave some room at the top.  This is a very important step as the fermentation will create some carbonation, therefore some gas will form, that will need some space to build up (again, I insist that you make sure this step is not omitted so you don’t end up with Ginger Beer all over the room).

Place the bottle in a warm and dark place for at least 2 days (the more you wait, the drier your Ginger Beer will be). Make sure you untwist the cap of the plastic bottle a few times a day (don’t untwist it completely) to release the gas.  Don’t worry if there is no gas the first day (I usually get some build-up I can hear and feel when untwisting the cap, on the second day). Be careful not to point the bottle at your face or someone else’s during this process, in case the liquid comes out.  Go slow too…

Once the Ginger Beer has fermented enough (2 or 3 days), pour the brew in the glass bottles and place in the fridge.  The fermentation process will be greatly slowed down and you will be able to enjoy your homemade Ginger Beer right away.  It can be kept in the fridge for about 10 days.  Et voila!

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This recipe is really simple and doesn’t require any particular skills to make.  Plan in advance if you would like to use it for mixed drinks on the weekend, or for a party.  Make sure your yeast is not too old as it might lead to your Ginger Beer not fermenting.

Cheers! Oh and because I love you guys and I love to share my recipes, here is the one for the Dark and Stormy drink.  You are welcome!

Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe

  • 2 ounces of your fave dark rum
  • 5 ounces of your very own homemade and delicious Ginger Beer
  • 1 lime wedge
  • ice

Pour the rum over the ice in a glass, pour your homemade Ginger Beer and squeeze the lime wedge in.  Salud!

 

 

 

 


Homemade Trader Joe’s Organic Toasted Coconut Granola

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I am probably one of Trader Joe’s biggest fan.  I pretty much buy everything from cheese to tomato sauce and fruit (now that they finally decided to sell in bulk) to wine there. I don’t know if it is about the array of cool items from around the world (especially from my home country. Bonjour Trader Jacques!), their business model (no middleman is a good idea) or the atmosphere (nice staff, cool shirts and ringing bells always work) but I got hooked to the store since I first shopped there back in 1999, when Trader Joe’s was only popular in the Los Angeles area. I really wish that they cut back on the insane plastic packaging they are selling their products in, now that I realized the extent of the very complex plastic problem we have. And this is exactly why, in addition to a desire to consume less and make more things at home, I decided to replicate their  Organic Toasted Coconut Granola.  I have been buying this delicious granola for over a year now, and I pretty much use it every single day for breakfast. I am hooked on açaí bowls (see my standard recipe here) because they are simply delish and seem to give me all the nutrients I need in the morning, to last until lunch. Trader Joe’s Organic Toasted Coconut Granola is a key ingredient in my breakfast bowls but I had to buy it so often that I realized I was spending a lot of money for something I could easily make myself (and get rid of the plastic packaging waste). I looked at the ingredients on the bag and decided to go for it.  Everything in the recipe can pretty much be bought in bulk and large batches can be made as it keeps really well when stored properly. I almost forgot to mention that it is also Gluten Free and plant-based (vegan). It is also super easy and quick to make, and most of all absolutely delicious.  Here it goes…

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of organic rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of organic coconut flakes (or organic toasted coconut chips)
  • 1/2 cup of organic unsalted toasted almond
  • 1/2 cup of organic corn flakes
  • 2 Tbsp of organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of organic quinoa
  • 1/3 of a cup of organic raw sugar
  • 1 tsp of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup organic rice flour
  • 1/3 of a cup of maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp of pure vanilla extract

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How to make it:

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  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
  • Spread the mixture evenly on a cookie sheet lined with some parchment paper
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the granola barely starts to turn golden
  • Take out of the oven and let cool down
  • Store in a glass jar

Eat as is or mix with your choice of milk (almond, soy, coconut, dairy, etc…), dry fruit or fresh fruit. Top yogurt or kefir with it, include in smoothie bowls, açaí bowls (see my other amazing recipe here), etc… and remember to try to enjoy a little bit of it, because there is a high chance that your entire family will devour it before you know it …

 

 

 

 


Açaï Breakfast Bowl Recipe

A healthy day starts with a healthy breakfast.  This Açaï Bowl Breakfast Recipe recipe is very easy to put together (you can have the ingredients ready in advance) and will get you all the nutrients to get through your busy morning.  Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants as well as probiotics and fiber, this açaï bowl recipe is also perfectly suited for Gluten Free and/or vegans alike and for those who are looking for a relatively low sugar content.  I use kefir from cow’s milk but the latter can be replaced with a vegan option (coconut, soy, etc…).  Kefir is an excellent source of probiotics, which are essential to our gut’s health.  The concentration of probiotics in kefir is way higher to the one found in regular yogurt so if you would like to increase your gut bacteria without taking a supplement, try it!  Most grocery stores carry it now (watch out for the flavored ones that might have a higher sugar content…).  The granola I use is a replica of a Trader Joe’s product that I use to be obsessed with (don’t take me wrong, the one sold at Trader Joe’s only used real organic ingredients and was amazing) but my recent decision to change the way our family approaches consumerism, as well as a strong desire to make a difference on this planet and what we treat our body and health (long story that I will tell later), made me try to replicate this product.  The end result was a success and approved by the whole family! Recipe and tutorial of the TJs Toasted Coconut Granola Replica will be posted on the blog very soon! In the meantime, you can buy the original one or use the granola of your choice!  Time to check out the ingredients below and prepare your new favorite açaï breakfast bowl!

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Ingredients:

  • Açaï puree (sweetened or not depending on your preference)
  • Toasted coconut granola (I use to buy the one from Trader Joe’s but decided to make it myself in order to save money and reduce plastic waste).
  • Plain Kefir (I get it from Trader Joe’s but I am planning on making it myself too. Stay tuned for the recipe… Vegans can use coconut, soy or any other plant-based kefir).  Yogurt can replace kefir in this recipe (if you don’t like the tart taste of kefir)
  • Berries (I use blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  • Other fruit such as figs, bananas or pears or whatever you feel like eating that day

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl (I love my coconut bowls from Cocobowlco that I purchased on Amazon).  Enjoy!