Gin Sukapaap Dee

About a Healthy Diet in Thailand

Archive for the ‘Fermentation’ Category

Making Drinks Count

Posted by billzant on May 25, 2012


When I first visited the natural healing clinic for GERD, the doctor told me diet. He focussed on the food, he knew I didn’t drink but he said I should stop tea and coffee as well. At my insistence he gave me some Thai drinks that I could try – ginger, hibiscus and matuum. I did this, but over the few years drinks have taken on greater importance.

First and foremost is water. He did not advise drinking water, but I have since learnt that for me (84 kg) 2litres a day of filtered water on its own is essential. Water is the main body mechanism for detox. We wake up and pass water. In addition I take a flask of 1 litre of warm water to bed with me, and begin the day with that water. You are what you drink, and we are made of water.

The next important drink is rejuvelac – nam khao klong in Thailand. Basically you put some rice in the bottom of a container, fill it with water, and let it ferment for a couple of days. Pour off the liquid, and this drink is excellent for bowel movements and more.

Next came the green drink. A friend had high cholesterol, and I tried to persuade her the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. She tried a chlorophyll drink and it helped, then she started to teach me making me have leafy green juice at her restaurant – thamachaat (natural). At home I compromised with bai tooi (pandanus), maruun, ginger and lemon juice, all in the blender. What is so good about this green juice is that I go into the garden, cut the bai tooi and the maruun from what I have grown. Sadly that is my limited success in the garden.

On a diet when you start detox, you begin to realise the importance of the liver for getting rid of toxins. Turmeric is excellent for this but then I found kvas as well. To begin with I just used beetroot:-

Ingredients
• 3 medium or 2 large organic beets (roots only), peeled and chopped up coarsely; do not grate beets.
• 1/4 cup whey. 1 tablespoon ocean sea salt
• filtered water

Preparation
1. Use vacuum jar I bought.
2. Add filtered water to fill the container(s).
3. Stir well and cover securely.
4. Keep at room temperature for 2 days and then transfer to refrigerator.
5. Drink one 4 ounce glass, morning and night.

For your second batch refill the bottle with filtered water and let it ferment for two more days on the counter. After the second brewing discard the beets. However, reserve some of the beet kvass liquid and use this as your innoculant instead of the whey for the next time you make it.

I tried to make ginger ale at the same time, this didn’t work well, but I now mix the ginger drink with the beet kvas when I drink. Here is the ginger drink:-

1 small piece of ginger about 1 cubic inch, micro-grated
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp fresh whey
1 qt. water

I actually use quite a large piece that I grate. Mix everything thoroughly in an air-tight container, and let it sit at room temperature for 3-7 days. You may need to bleed off some CO2 depending on temperature – there arewarnings about too much gas causing jars to explode. I have found that the drink doesn’t carbonate, maybe the Thai climate. Refrigerate. This combined beet and ginger kvas feels good, and they say it is good for liver and kidneys.
 
Eventually in my healing I reached the importance of probiotics – chouai yooi. I first started with tablets, but I didn’t like them (and they were expensive) so I tried kombucha tea. As with all fermenting you need the starter, and, this is not good for Thailand, I ordered a scoby from the US. I had never done this fermenting before so it seemed strange, this piece of rubber. Anyway I followed the instructions and it worked. They sent a tea with it but I now use Thailand tea – oolong tea and even better Jiangulan, but sadly for “Eating healthily in Thailand” this scoby is the first thing I could not get here. I found no problem with using it:-

Where I am it takes a week. Make the tea first – 3 litres. In a pot 3 litres of water 4 spoons of tea and 4 dessert spoons of white sugar. Boil the water and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool for a day. Sieve out the tea leaves, pour the room temperature tea over the scoby, and leave for a week. My weeks alternate between oolong and jiangulan, and I assume my yoois are well chouaied.

There are two final drinks that I recommend although in truth I started these because of my GERD condition. The first is Apple Cider Vinegar, ACV. One part to 7 of water with a small amount of honey for taste, drink twice a day. The next is whole carrot juice, more accurately called carrot sludge – half a large carrot shredded mixed with 300cl of water – done in my combined food processor/blender. One drink with much washing-up but the enzymes from the carrot greatly helps the stomach rebalance itself.

Along with the great varieties of green tea available here especially mulberry and with hibisucs (rosella – grajiap) healthy drinking is well possible – with a bit of effort. What is significant is that these drinks are not just added to the diet but they are an integral part of it. Drinks count.

Corollary:-

Here is a water calculator – it worked for me. 3.1 litres – 2 litres of water and and just over a litre of other drinks.

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Ginger for KVAS

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

This was supposed to be some kind of ginger ale drink but it did not ferment to what I thought of as ginger ale. But I found it went well with the beetroot KVAS balancing the taste a little – it is still an acquired taste but helpful health-wise.

1 small piece of ginger about 1 cubic inch, micro-grated (I use an unused coffee-grinder)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp fresh whey
1 qt. water

Mix everything thoroughly in an air-tight container. Because of Thailand’s weather I let it sit outside for 3 days. They say it may carbonate, mine doesn’t but I let the air out every day or so.

Addendum

This has also slipped by with the KVAS.

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Beetroot KVAS

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

I mix the KVAS with a ginger drink I make – 5:1 KVAS:ginger.

Ingredients
• 3 medium or 2 large organic beets (roots only), peeled and chopped up coarsely; do not grate beets (see note below)
• 1/4 cup – use whey from kefir. 1 tablespoon ocean sea salt
• filtered water

Preparation
1. Use large jar.
2. Add filtered water to fill the jar.
3. Stir well and cover securely.
4. Keep at room temperature for 2 days and then transfer to refrigerator.
5. Drink one 4 ounce glass, morning and night.

For your second batch refill the bottle with filtered water and let it ferment for two more days on the counter. After the second brewing discard the beets.
However, reserve some of the beet kvass liquid and use this as your innoculant instead of the whey for the next time you make it.

Aside:- Folk medicine values beets and beet kvass for their liver cleansing properties and beet kvass is widely used in cancer therapy in Europe. Anecdotal reports indicate that beet kvass is an excellent therapy for chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies and digestive problems. It is an excellent blood tonic, cleanses the liver, promotes bowel regularity, aids digestion, and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.

Addendum

Sadly I have let this slip by as it is excellent. You need to keep making it because the starter comes from the previous batch.

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Kefir

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

At the same time I bought the kombucha tea scoby, I bought kefir grains – even though kefir beauty products are available in Thailand I don’t know where to get grains. Initially I thought kefir was great but I am now not convinced. To begin with I made milk kefir eating this most days with fruit thinking it was good. But then I noticed that on Sundays headaches would start – not migraines but enough. I stopped eating milk kefir, and the headaches went. One up for the macrobiotics that says don’t eat dairy. I have included the milk kefir process below but you must decide – I have no doubts that milk kefir chuais the yooi.

I then began to make coconut milk kefir. Thailand is great for this – at least where I am is, because I can go to the market and get fresh coconut milk – they have a wierd-looking machine where they make it on the spot. The machine makes hua ga ti and hung ga ti – for this you only want hua ga ti. I put the kefir grains in a jar and put the hua ga ti on top – about one pint. After about a day the kefir forms on top, and I remove it putting it in the fridge. I leave the jar another couple of days and some more coconut kefir is formed – mostly liquid. I sieve this mixture so as I can separate the grains. I put the grains back in the jar and pour some of the liquid back on the grains. This helps the grains for the next batch. I put the rest of the liquid in the fridge, and it separates giving some coconut kefir. I go through this coconut kefir process weekly. This does not make as much coconut milk kefir as the milk kefir but it balances the taste of fruit nicely.

When the coconut milk separates to make the kefir the liquid that remains is whey, I use this in making kvas and the ginger ale drink later. Keep the whey in the fridge.

Update 10/3/12

The longer I have gone on with the coconut milk kefir the less satisfied I am. It makes little although what it makes is OK. I will try to keep the grains going but that’s all.

Milk Kefir

This is easier to make than the coconut kefir. Basically I used two pints of milk, pour the kefir grains in a two pint jar, filled it with milk and waited. After a couple of days the milk separated and on the top was milk kefir. I scooped this off and strained the rest reclaiming the grains. Then grains in the jar with two pints of milk giving the milk kefir again. Perhaps this made too much and that is why I got the headaches – I don’t know. Anyway I stopped and they have gone. But that doesn’t mean the same will happen to you. Try for yourself, but dairy is not human food!

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Kombucha Tea

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

Now this is very straight-forward except for one thing – the scoby. You make kombucha tea from ordinary tea but to ferment the tea you need a scoby. Now a scoby just looks like a piece of rubber that sits in the bottom of the tea, and leaving it there ferments the tea making it kombucha tea. For Thailand getting the scoby is a problem, and I sent to the US for it. I found an address off the internet and had it shipped over, but they didn’t answer emails so I can’t recommend them (e-mail me if you want their address) .

You can use any tea you like, preferably natural tea. I use oolong tea and jiangulan tea. Fermenting the tea changes the taste so you try what works for you. Your scoby changes any tea so that is no problem. Your scoby also grows with fermentation so you can store it or pass it on!!

I make 4 pints of kombucha tea at a time, 1 teaspoon of tea for each pint, and – wait for it – 1 dessertspoonful of white sugar. Aaagghh! I know but the sugar is needed for the fermentation, and the fermentation process gets rid of the sugar, so I don’t think it’s a problem. Hasn’t been for me so far. Once you have made the tea, you must leave it for 24 hours until it is room temperature. I don’t remove the tea leaves while it is cooling, but I read that some do. Once you are ready to make the kombucha tea, strain out the leaves.

I have a plastic container with a tap for each drink. You put the scoby in the bottom of the container, pour in the tea, and leave it for a week. By this time fermentation has taken place and you have kombucha tea.

As I said above the scoby grows so I now have 2 kombucha tea containers. From the first batch an extra scoby had grown so I used that to make the second batch. Now the scoby just gets bigger, and I cut it for storage or throw it.

I drink one tea one week, and the other the next – making new tea every Thursday (how boring!).

Addendum

I have really taken off with this fermentation. I drink 2/3 glasses every day, and I make green Aden tea (2 caskets) and hibiscus.

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Kimchee

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012


Clean all pots and food processor very well, but without soap, as soap also kills the good bacteria.

I find the food processor makes the chopping so much easier, and I like the veg being finer (than chopped) – looking like a fermented coleslaw (for westerners) .

Making kimchee is a three-stage process:-

1) Soak the veg:- Take two cabbages, 2 carrots and diakon. Using largest grater process these veg, and put them in a mixing bowl. Add 3 large tbsp of sea salt, and mix through with hands for 5 minutes so that the salt is mixed in with all the veg. Fill the bowl with water – maybe 1/2-1 inch above the veg. Cover the bowl with cloth, I use elastic to keep it in place. Leave the bowl to one side for 12-24 hours, much longer than that and mould forms (not wanted).

2) Preparing the kimchee:- After leaving the veg to soak for up to a day, make sauce. Ingredients are to your taste. I use 1 red pepper, 2 long thin green peppers (not strong), a bit of ginger and garlic, 2 or 3 tomatoes, ga bpii (paste of ground small fish), 2 or 3 onions. Put them in the food processor until it is a sauce. Drain the water (keep the drained salt water) from the soaked vegetables, and put veg and sauce in a bowl add a tbsp of sea salt and mix by hand again for about 5 minutes.

3) Making the kimchee:- get the ceramic or glass pots you are going to make the kimchee in – plastic not advisable; I use ceramic pot and glass jar. Empty the kimchee (mixed soaked veg and sauce) into your kimchee containers, and using the drained salt water just cover the kimchee mixture – no more. Cover your containers with tea-cloth (I use cloth and elastic), and leave containers. How long you leave the containers depends on where you live. As this is Thailand I leave it for three days – might be longer in cold season or in the North. After three days I inspect the kimchee, and I am looking for it about to have mould on top. Clean away this top layer of mould or slightly off covering, and put in fridge. I make a lot so I actually put the kimchee in the freezer except for what I need for the next few days – I eat a bit every day.

Messy on the hands, a bit timely, but once you’ve done it a few times it’s no big thing. Good – chuai yooi, bad – Thai women like it because it is spicy.

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Rejuvelac

Posted by billzant on February 20, 2012

The first fermentation I used was Rejuvelac picked up from Paul Pitchford’s “Healing through Whole Foods”. I have two rejuvelac on the go at a time, and have used old cafetieres – coffee not now being on the menu. The advantage of the cafetieres is that the plunger stops any floating rice getting in the drink.

In the bottom of the cafetiere I put rice – the equivalent of one meal portion; I use Organic Brown Gaba Rice I get from Gee at Orgathai. I also add a tablespoonful of rice-germ (jamuu khao in Thai). I fill with water and allow it to ferment for two days. To serve just depress the plunger and pour into a glass. I run two so that there is always a glass available every morning.

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Candida

Posted by billzant on May 23, 2011

I am convinced that excess yeast is quite endemic as a health problem. Yeast balance is essential in the human digestive system but bad diet means the yeast proliferates. I first came across candida when I had migraines, and a homeopath put me on candida diet. It helped but I didn’t follow it through. Since I have been eating cheewajit migraines have gone but I am convinced that yeast produces fatigue on occasions. Excess yeast is caused by antibiotics but also alcohol and sweet stuffs provide the internal conditions for the yeast to grow.

Thailand is mixed with regards to remedies for candida. You need to promote good bacteria in your digestive system, one supplement that does this is probiotics. This was why I contacted Natural and Premium as they had a good but expensive Herbal Pro probiotic drink. I can also order probiotics from Good Karma, but I can’t buy it locally.

However there are some good products that promote  good bacteria available. Mostly umeboshi plums, 60 baht for a big  jar from the market, known as Chinese plums called buai. I can also get some nice lime pickles, again 60 baht from the market.  There are diushes Thais make which are sour, this also helps produce a good digestive environment. With the rejuvelac this helps a great deal, but I wanted more.

For example there is no natural yoghourt – with acidophilis. And I wanted to make kefir but cannot get the starter. This is a problem for other fermented drinks such as kombucha tea – I cannot get starters. I wish the online stores would look into this starter issues.

Addendum

I have moved much further on with pH balance and candida – please see fermentation page. I am always conscious of fermented products in my diet – usually drink.

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