This week I'm excited to bring you one of my favorite DIY projects-- SPROUTS. It's so easy and inexpensive to sprout grains, seeds, legumes, it doesn't take up much space, and the return on your effort is HUGE. Sprouts are densely packed with vitamins, minerals, trace elements, micro-nutrients, and all kinds of healthy stuff. They're versatile and delicious on salads and sandwiches, as garnishes or snacks.
You can use all sorts of containers to grow your sprouts-- jars, tubs, trays. I have lots of options in the shop if you want to get started. In this week's video, I show you how to use a simple stacking garden system, with draining trays and covers that double as soaking bins. It's efficient and effective and will require a space on your kitchen counter no bigger than a dinner plate.
Growing your own sprouts, wheat grass, and micro-greens is anywhere from 20-100 times less expensive than buying them in the store... not to mention, the ones you grow will be even fresher. Have a peek!
When you get right down to it, what the heck *IS* yogurt in the first place? Yogurt is milk that has been cultured with one or more strains of lactobacillus-- bacteria that eat sugar, turning it into lactic acid. That's where yogurt gets its tangy flavor.
Why would we want our milk full of bacteria? Good question.
Like a bunch of other fermented foods, yogurt contains beneficial probiotics. These tiny organisms live naturally in our gut, helping to break down our food and making nutrients bioavailable. They also crowd out the harmful bacteria, helping to maintain a healthy digestive track. Lacto-fermentation is a natural food preserver, and it's responsible for many of the delicious and nutritious foods we love, like cheese, pickles, beer, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and even sourdough bread.
Making yogurt at home is fast and easy, and you end up with a pure product that contains none of the added sugar, corn syrup, flavors, colors, thickening agents, preservatives and chemicals that are often found in store-bought yogurt. All you need is milk and a starter culture-- which is about a half cup of your favorite yogurt to kick things off.
Warm your milk, add your cultures, and let nature do the rest. A yogurt fermenter makes your job even easier, maintaining a steady 95 -100 degrees F while your yogurt incubates. But even that is optional as long as you have a warm spot to let your yogurt get going. Watch this week's video to see just how easy it is to have homemade yogurt!
Here in Los Angeles, we’re in a severe 5-year drought. Watering your in-ground garden uses a lot of water, and might not be the most efficient use of this precious resource. When you have your own garden, it’s easy to waste water. Overwatering doesn't just use more than you need, it also washes away valuable nutrients in the soil. But under-watering can be just as bad! Have you ever had a great crop of veggies going strong, then lose it all because you got busy, you had a momentary lapse into forgetfulness, or an irrigation line broke? For people on the go, growing food can be a lot of work and a drain on water.
Well, there’s a better way: aquaponics. If you’ve ever wanted to grow your own organic veggies but simple don’t have the space, water, time, or decent soil to work with, consider an aquaponics system. It's like hydroponics... plus fish to fertilize the water and feed your plants... which in turn clean the water for the fish. A very cool symbiotic system.
In this week’s DIY video, Roe introduces you to the King’s Roost aquaponics system. It’s a soil-free, environmentally-friendly, self-watering, low maintenance, water-sipping, super efficient, high-yield organic gardening system that not only gives you fresh chemical-free vegetables, but whose “by-product” is fresh, organic protein in the form of sustainably raised Tilapia! No more frozen tilapia that’s been shipped thousands of miles from an industrial farm in China where they have been fed who-knows-what.
The video below covers all the basics of aquaponics. Stop by the store to learn more or to pick up your aquaponic supplies. We'll help you get started and and answer all your questions.
If you're into baking and haven't yet discovered the pure joy of cultivating your own yeast, you are in for a treat.
The commercial yeast you've been buying in stores is manufactured, processed, refined and dried out. You spend money on the stuff, when countless strains of feral yeast abound right in your own kitchen! All you need to do is lure those little organisms into a jar, keep them happy, and feed them. They'll reward you by creating tastier, healthier, vibrantly natural and flavorful baked goods... AND they'll save you a bit of dough (HA!) in the meantime.
You may even find that the loved ones in your life who suffer from wheat belly, gluten sensitivities and other grain-related maladies are better able to tolerate baked goods that are made with wild yeast instead of the commercial variety.
All you need to begin is a jar, some water, and a bit of flour. Watch the video below to learn how it all works... and pick up a secret shortcut with pineapple juice!
Catching and keeping yeast is an art form that becomes pretty addictive over time. Crazy as it may sound, you'll become attached to your little yeast colony, learning its idiosyncrasies and individual moods as you play with flavor, texture, rise time, and moisture levels. Let us know how your personal yeasty adventure is going... or stop into the Roost to get a jump start with some of our own starter anytime.
This week we bring you a critical life skill-- picking up chicks.
It's simple and easy. Walter shows you how to woo the ladies, put them at ease, and make them feel loved.
This is vital information for anyone interested in a backyard flock! Plus, chickens and kids are adorable, so take a minute and a half to watch. Guaranteed, it'll make you smile.
Valentine's Day doesn't have to suck! You don't need to shell out tons of money or hours of your precious time to make your honeylamb feel loved. You don't have to be the most artsy, crafty, inspired and inventive person on earth to make something from scratch that's romantic, sensual, and beautiful. Because today, as our Valentine gift to you we bring you one of our favorite secrets-- you can make your own bath bombs at home... in one night... for just a few bucks... with stuff you find at the grocery store and around the house.
Just watch the video below to get all the details. You'll need baking soda, corn starch, citric acid, epsom salts, oil, and water. THAT'S IT. Forget expensive soap molds. You can use pretty much anything you have lying around to shape your luscious bath bombs: muffin tins, plastic Easter Eggs or Christmas ornaments, cookie cutters, you name it. Roe shows you how to slice a tennis ball in half for the perfect spherical mold.
In this demonstration, we made our favorite flavor-- orange creamsicle, using orange and vanilla essential oils. Smells so good, you'll want to gobble it up. We also added fresh oat flour for extra soothing relaxation. But you can go nuts trying various flavors and combinations of your own, adding spices, colors, decorative touches. Present your bombs in cute baskets, egg cartons, bowls, or bags. Be sure to seal and protect them so the moisture in the air doesn't destroy their fizzy powers before they hit the bath water.
This Valentine's Day, have a blast making bath bombs and spoiling your sugarpie without breaking the bank or resorting to commercialism and clichés. And from all of us at the King's Roost, WE LOVE YOU, TOO!
We've gotten really into making homemade soda at our house lately. Let's be honest-- sometimes, the stuff we get excited about here at the Roost (growing fava beans! making tofu! composting chicken crap!) doesn't really turn our kids on. But making soda? THEY'RE DOWN WITH THAT. There are so many delicious varieties-- your salivary glands will explode just imagining them. Honeydew mint? Vanilla pear? Pomegranate basil? Balsamic date? Homemade tonic water? Sour cherry cola? Cocoa chile tingler? Sparkling apricot nectar? Raspberry white tea spritzer? Lavender grape migraine buster? TOO MANY TO NAME. And if you're at all like Trish and me, the exotic cocktail possibilities just increase the excitement geometrically. Check out this great book at our store-- it's all inside.
And your kids can get onboard, not just because all kids like soda and because the flavors and combinations are endlessly exciting and intoxicating, but because these recipes are fast and simple. So they can create them with you and enjoy the process of making something from scratch. You can play with different types of natural sweeteners and the quantities you use. These drinks are healthier, lower in sugar, completely free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. You don't even need a soda machine, CO2 cartridge, or seltzer water to make them.
We'll start things out nice and easy with this homemade ginger ale recipe. Very basic and straightforward.. Making ginger ale yourself is so fast and such a no-brainer, you may never buy ginger ale again. But just wait. In the weeks to come, we have countless soda secrets to share. So cut your teeth on this one. And if you go down the soda rabbit hole like we have, let us know your favorite flavors and best discoveries. We'll trade secrets.
Got a fish tank at home? If your house is anything like ours, the job of changing water and cleaning filters can be a drag. Plus, if you stop to think about it, you're tossing a lot of prime fertilizer down the drain. Fish poop is full of good stuff plants love. Why not feed it to them and let nature clean up your fish's mess for you?
Plants thrive on the nitrates, ammonia, and micronutrients in fish waste. By cycling your tank's water through plant roots, you can pull out the waste, while nourishing plants at the same time. You get fewer water changes, no messy filter to clean, and a bonus house plant (even herbs or leafy greens!) that never requires feeding or watering. Just imagine-- filter your fish tank with aquaponics today, and you could be eating a delicious salad made from fish poop tomorrow.
It's a symbiotic win-win for everyone. And if you already have a tank of fish in your home, you're 90% of the way there. Watch this week's video... in under 3 minutes, you'll learn everything you need to take the next step and become AQUAPONIC !
In celebration of National Granola Bar Day this coming Wednesday, we're making quick and easy granola bars from scratch. They contain only six ingredients and don't even require baking.
Here's what you'll need:
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups raw almonds
2 cups pitted dates
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup honey
OPTIONAL: 1 cup chocolate chips
You can toast the oats if you feel like it, but that's optional. And beyond that, no oven is necessary, making this an especially great recipe for kids to whip up. Feel free to try all kinds of substitutions-- maple syrup or agave can replace the honey.... walnuts, pecans, macadamia, cashews, or other nuts can take the place of the almonds.... butterscotch, carob, white chocolate, or yogurt chips can be used instead of chocolate-- or leave them out altogether. You can add sunflower seeds, chia, flax, coconut, dried cherries, blueberries, or cranberries. Get creative and let us know what recipes work best for you.
Watch the video, and in under three and a half minutes, you'll have the full scoop. Wanna taste? Come to The King's Roost from 5-7pm on Wednesday, January 21, for National Granola Bar Day. We'll be serving up champagne and several different flavors of our own homemade granola bars. Better yet, if you bring samples of your own granola bar recipe for others to try, we'll give you a free pound of fresh-rolled whole oats for your next batch!
HAPPY GRANOLA BAR DAY TO ALL!
If you have a cast-iron skillet, you probably adore it. If not, consider getting one-- it will quickly become your best friend in the kitchen. Affordable, durable, and versatile, a cast-iron pan lasts forever and goes from frying chicken on the stovetop to baking cornbread in the oven without missing a beat.
Taking good care of your cast-iron is simple and easy, but proper maintenance is critical... and a bit different from your other pots and pans.
In this week's video, Roe gives you a four-minute lesson in all things cast-iron. He even weighs in on the great debates about cooking tomato sauce, washing with soap, and using metal utensils with your pan. Enjoy!
(And yes, of course, we sell a bunch of terrific, budget-friendly pots and pans at the King's Roost!)