Vegan Basil Pesto and Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Vegan Basil Pesto and Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Adapting a traditional pesto recipe to be vegan-friendly is pretty simple, we just need to find a substitute for parmesan cheese! Typically you make a vegan parmesan cheese with raw cashews but I’m loving the nutty, less sweet hemp hearts version I made here.

Start to finish you’re investing about 15 minutes of your time in exchange for yummy dinner prep, a tasty vegan sprinkle cheese alternative and bragging rights. “LOOK WHAT I MADE!”

I also argue that this pesto is just as delicious if not tastier than the traditional pesto. A bunch of fresh aromatic basil, garlicky rich olive oily goodness with notes of a nutty, cheesy guilt-free parmesan, served over ANYTHING — YES. Let’s do this. I LOVE PESTO.

I can’t count how many variations of this weekly dinner staple of ours I’ve made since my first vegan pesto rendition a few years ago. There are no rules! Sometimes I use different nuts (walnuts, sunflower seeds). Sometimes I add leafy greens or avocado, different spices (sage, oregano, smoked paprika), you name it, I’ve tried it. It’s still vegan pesto at it’s finest. I’ll get into variations later…

Our Amazon shop has a handful of our essential kitchen tools/ingredients I reference below. Thanks in advance for reading & for your support of our blog!

Basic Vegan Pesto Method

vegan dairy free pesto
I couldn’t get a good picture of the ingredients in my smoothie cup, sorry! How pretty is this though?! Raw cashews, fresh basil, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, mmm…

This section is so short. Get this — I add all the pesto ingredients in my stainless steel smoothie cup and mix it up with my immersion blender for 30 seconds or so until combined. Done. If you have a blender, you can use that. If you have a Vitamix, I salute you. Can I have it? No? That’s okay I guess… I really do love the simplicity and portability of an immersion blender for now.

Keep Things Simple & Versatile

I’m a big fan of recipes that involve throwing a bunch of stuff in a bowl or blender and mixing it up into tasty things really fast. I’ll try to keep sharing versatile recipes you can incorporate into your day to day to keep healthy plant-based meal prep a sustainable venture.

PRO SAUCE TIP — Mix the finished pesto with vegenaise in a 2:1 ratio (2 parts vegenaise, 1 part pesto) in a small glass jar. BOOM — VEGAN PESTO MAYO FOR SANDWICHES! You’re welcome.

vegan pesto mayo vegenaise
2 parts vegenaise, 1 part vegan pesto = BEST DIPPING SAUCE AND SANDWICH FRIEND ON THE PLANET.

Do I have to serve this with Pasta? What if I eat Gluten-Free?

NO worries. Endless possibilities! I’ve served this pesto over traditional pasta, gluten free pasta, roasted spaghetti squash, zoodles, a veggie and rice bowl (rice, beans, sautéed veggies), mixed with some vegenaise and slathered on a marinated tempeh sandwich — you name it. The world is your pesto oyster.

A Quick Round of Applause for Nuts

I recently read an article about plant based diets in Eating Well’s “What to Eat for Life” special edition. There were a lot of golden tidbits of research in there but one piece was that nuts are one of the key elements that makes a plant-based diet so beneficial. Nuts and legumes contain little saturated fat and are high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats which have been shown to lower bad LDL cholesterol.

Doesn’t Pesto have to have pine nuts?! Why are you so un-fancy, Meag?!

No. You don’t need to use pine nuts. They’re tasty, sure, but dang they’re pricy. More power to you if you want to spring for it but other nuts are so much more versatile and useful to have on hand. They can be used for a million other recipes and snacks. So stock your pantry, or tiny cabinet if you live in a bus like us with a variety of nuts!

I try to purchase in larger quantities online for a slightly cheaper per pound price. My favorites are raw cashews, raw walnuts, raw almonds and pecans for the sweet treats. I loooove pecans + dark chocolate + coconut together. Recipe for another day…

Tell me more about that Vegan Hemp Heart Parmesan Cheese Recipe?!

vegan parmesan cheese hemp hearts

I included the recipe for that magical concoction below too. It features nutritional yeast (a deactivated yeast LOADED with vitamin B; it has a nutty, cheesy flavor), spices, dried onion and hemp hearts — YUM.

It couldn’t be easier to make, plus it involves ART sort of! All the ingredients are mixed up sand art style (where you at 90’s kids?!) in a 24 oz. ball jar. I prefer the tall 1 1/2 pint size ball jars, love ’em. They’re a top 10 must-have item in our bus kitchen and life in general. We make our overnight oats, drink water and coffee, store fresh food, dried spice mixes, leftovers, sauces — basically everything happens in ball jars on this bus. I digress…

I typically make a big batch of my vegan hemp heart parmesan cheese and keep refilling a small shaker jar as needed, so… often. IT GOES ON EVERYTHING, people. EVERYTHING! 🙂 

hemp heart nutritional yeast parmesan
Thanks, Ben’s hand! I love saving glass spice jars and reusing them for this and other spice blend concoctions.

What are Hemp Hearts (Seeds) and why do you like them so much?

Hemp hearts (or seeds) are the seeds of the hemp plant, cannabis sativa. Yes, they are from the same species as cannabis (marijuana) but they’re a different variety. They contain only small trace amounts of THC (less than 1%).

Hemp hearts are a staple in our plant-based kitchen because they have a delicious nutty flavor and are considered a complete protein. They are a source of all nine of the essential amino acids which is REALLY great news for vegans since we don’t consume animal/dairy products.

Hemp hearts are also rich in essential fatty acids (3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3).

They can be sprinkled on or added to so many dishes. They’re not a main source of protein by any means but they’re a welcomed, healthy addition!

Feel free to adjust this Pesto Recipe!

I full on encourage you to add, subtract and adjust my vegan pesto recipe to your heart’s content as I do on a regular basis with zero shame. Don’t let the recipe bind you. It’s meant to be a base structure/ratio to play with; also proof that pesto is wicked easy to make at home.

Wild & Free Style of Cooking

If I’ve cooked a meal for you, you know my style is pretty wild and free. I’m always up to try different flavor combinations and have a habit of making the same dish but in a million different ways.

If I’m going to share my recipes I need to pepper in a bit of empowerment around cooking skills in general because that’s where the magic happens — outside the recipe!

Meag Tip: Focus on mastering 3-5 staple meals/flavors. Rather than attempting to learn 100 recipes (not sustainable), learn five foundational meals you can build off of and get creative with.

Start with pesto night!

Pesto is a favorite go-to meal for me because you can modify and amplify flavors and ingredients in so many ways. It works for so many diets and it never gets old. You want to look forward to what’s on the dinner menu, crave it and be thankful for it’s healthy benefits as well.

vegan basil pesto parmesan cheese recipe
I like recipes that I can make quickly with things I have on hand. I might find NEW staple ingredients out of experimentation — like nutritional yeast and hemp seeds. I always have them on hand now!

Vegan Pesto Recipe Possibilities:

CREAMY PESTO VARIATION: Add a half cup of unsweetened regular soy or almond milk (reduce olive oil to 1/2 cup). This one reminds me of those Pasta Roni sides I used to eat entire boxes of after school when I was 14. SO GOOD but SO BAD. Not this! 🙂

GREENEST GREEN VARIATION: Sneak in A BUNCH of healthy, dark leafy greens in this vegan pesto base, for ex: add a handful of organic baby spinach, kale or arugula. The kids won’t know the difference.

AVOCADO VARIATION: Add an avocado (reduce the olive oil here since avos have their own oily richness). Pack in those good fats! This one won’t last as long (1-2 days) in the fridge after blending it up though because of the avocado.

TUSCAN VARIATION: Add a 4-6 sun-dried tomatoes and eight kalamata olives. One of my personal favorites…

I hope you enjoy these simple plant-based eating ideas and recipes and please make them often! Feel free to reach out to me with any questions! Tag us on Instagram @wilddrivelife when you create some of these delicious things at home!

Sending love to all. Treat your body and mind well today and always.

♡ Meag

vegan pesto with hemp heart parmesan cheese
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vegan hemp seed parmesan cheese recipe

Vegan Hemp Heart Parmesan Cheez

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes

Description

My quick & easy non-dairy parmesan cheese mix is a delicious topping on so many dishes and perfect for vegan pesto. With just a few ingredients it doesn’t take long to make either. I make a big batch in a ball jar and keep refilling a small spice jar with a shaker top as needed. Easy peasy.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nutritional yeast flakes (I call it nooch :))
  • 3/4 cup hemp hearts (seeds) (look for non-gmo)
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a ball jar sand art style.
  2. Screw cover on and shake!
  3. Store in the ball jar at room temperature or fill up a small spice jar with a shaker top to make serving easier.

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Homemade Organic Vegan Protein & Nutrition Powder (Perfect for Smoothies!)

Homemade Organic Vegan Protein & Nutrition Powder (Perfect for Smoothies!)

I’ve REALLY enjoyed experimenting with different recipes for a homemade vegan, organic protein & nutrition powder this summer!

This is my latest variation of my homemade vegan protein and nutrition powder. I shared it on our Instagram and a lot of you asked for the recipe. So, here it is!

My mission in creating this blend was not necessarily to bulk up or lose weight,  just to create a homemade, plant-based, nutrient dense, well-rounded blend of GOOD STUFF to elevate the nutrition and protein content of our daily green smoothies. It’s a great way to compliment a plant-based diet with a some added protein and nutrients.

Daily Smoothies + Protein Powder

My favorite use for this homemade protein powder is to mix it in a daily green smoothie. It’s our breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY. You could also add it to your baking recipes.

Our overall diet (better term is lifestyle, I think!) involves eating a variety of WHOLE FOODS, combining whole grains with legumes and vegetables, fruits, nuts, and healthy fats. Sometimes, we’re really busy and having our day start with something as substantial and healthy as a green smoothie is a solid start.

I was able to source organic for everything in this blend but it’s totally up to you whether you want to go that route. It would be even cheaper non-organic. PLEASE NOTE: it is not super duper sweet or full of flashy flavors like mainstream protein powders. It’s simple.

I hope you enjoy making it!

wild drive life healthy lifestyle recipes

What if I don’t feel like doing all the work to make my own protein powder?

NO worries! Though I love making my own protein / nutrition powder, I also buy pre-made mixes sometimes too. Convenience wins sometimes.

I’ve tested out a lot of other brands and have two favorites to share with you. They blend well (not too chalky at all) and have relatively simple ingredients I can stand by.

Vega One Organic Powder

Orgain Organic Protein Powder

Goals: DIY Protein Powder

I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and making things from scratch. I wanted to have full control over ingredients & create something nutritionally beneficial of our own. That’s just important and I found it to be pretty simple once you source all the ingredients.

Our mix per 36g (2 scoops) serving contains: 18 grams of protein & 4 grams of fiber

Our latest protein and nutrition blend (recipe below) can also double as supplemental calories on hiking and backpacking trips. Although it’s MUCH tastier blended up in a green smoothie with all the comforts of home. On the trail Ben and I go for the simple method of mixing it up with water in our water bottles. Also an option anytime if you’re brave, haha.

Why not just buy a pre-made vegan protein powder?

You definitely could BUT, it can be more expensive and dare I say less fun that way.

Often times, store bought protein and nutrition powders have a long, complicated list of dozens of ingredients, proprietary blends and added sugars. Just be aware and conscious of that.

There’s value in simplicity.

I’ve done the leg work of researching the powders for you and added brief descriptions below so that’s a plus.

What this type of recipe venture does is ACTIVELY ENGAGES YOU in your nutrition. It’s worth the time up front to create something you enjoy and can incorporate into a QUICK daily routine.

Why vegan?

Everyone is different, am I right? I’m not completely vegan. I’m vegetarian and eat eggs but I avoid dairy for the most part. I more or less make my own rules based on what makes me feel the best.

The basic nutritional “rule” for me is WHOLE, REAL food 90%+ of the time. Eat what makes YOU feel your best.

I prefer vegan protein sources because that’s what agrees best with my body.

One size does NOT fit all. Listen to YOUR body, try things and see how you feel. Please do what’s right for you. You’re worth the effort!

vegan protein powder recipe nutrition wild drive life

Couple Tools to Start:

A SMALL DIGITAL FOOD SCALE: I have a slightly different one but this one has better ratings and it’s $1 cheaper. You can change the units to grams and follow the recipe below. Press the tare button on the scale between ingredients. That zeros it out and you can just add things on right on top. That’s what I did in the ball jar photo below.

The food scale’s purpose extends beyond the kitchen too! Ben actually used this to accurately measure out the clear coat for the bathtub/shower in our bus!

SMALL SCOOP – I reused one from one of the single protein powders (free!). Aim for 3 tbs. / 18-20 grams. You could always guesstimate with a spoon or scoop you already have.

Ingredient info. & where to find them (all organic):

The plant based powder blend ingredients below pack a heavy punch of amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Check out each individual ingredient for specific amounts.

Every 36g (2 scoops) serving contains: 18 grams of protein & 4 grams of fiber

I sourced a few bits of information and potential benefits for the ingredients below. I also have to say what you’ve probably read many times before: statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. 

Always consult your doctor before adding any protein supplement to your diet, check on your allergies, etc.

Feel free to shop around for smaller quantities. I linked up as many of the BEST prices I could find paired with the convenience of Amazon ordering & shipping.

• Pea Protein –

Pea protein contains all but one of the essential amino acids and is really easy to digest. It can aid in building muscle and post-workout recovery.

• Hemp Hearts –

Hemp hearts are a complete source of 20 amino acids including the 9 essential; ideal balance of essential fatty acids 3:1 6 over 3, rich in Vitamin E and an excellent protein source. I also LOVE the subtle hazelnut flavor!

• Raw Hemp Protein –

Hemp protein is a sustainable source of source of amino acids and fatty acids.

• Raw Cacao Powder –

Cacao powder has more antioxidants than blueberries. They’re also the highest plant-based source of iron.

• Beet Root Powder –

Beet powder is rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, folate and manganese.

• Wheatgrass Powder –

Wheatgrass is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, chlorophyll, and vitamins A, C and E.

• Coconut Sugar –

Coconut sugar is lower on the glycemic index than sugar and contains some trace minerals. This is an OPTIONAL addition to the powder blend. The beet powder does add a touch of sweetness. Totally up to you here!

Other items I couldn’t find on Amazon:

• Silk Brown Rice Protein –

• Pumpkin Protein –

Protein/Nutrition Powder Recipe (makes 17 two scoop servings, 36g):

THE PROTEIN BASE – add 100g of each:

  • Pea Protein
  • Raw Hemp Protein
  • Silk Brown Rice Protein
  • Pumpkin Protein
  • Hemp Hearts

OTHER FUN STUFF:

  • Raw Cacao Powder – 40g 
  • Beet Root Powder – 30g
  • Wheatgrass Powder – 30g
  • Coconut Sugar – 20g

Nine ingredients, that’s it.

Choose a large jar or bag to store your finished vegan protein/nutrition powder in.

Put your container on the scale, tare it out (zero it), if needed. Start adding ingredients. Tare scale between each ingredient addition.

Store in an airtight container or bag in a cool, dry spot. The ingredients all have a pretty solid shelf life (months to a year and more), but just keep an eye on it if you let it sit forever.

Hopefully you’ll use it every day like I do! 🙂

VARIATIONS:

Feel free to omit the cacao powder if you have any issues with cacao/chocolate or have issues with the caffeine content. Feel free to play/adjust with ANY of the ingredients/quantities.

Wheatgrass is “technically” gluten free but if you have a sensitivity, please air on the side of caution. Feel free to replace with something like spinach powder. <– yuuuum!

Want more fiber? Add some psyllium husk powder.

Want more protein? Add some chia seeds!

Tips:

• If you’re new to adding powders to your smoothies, you may want to try one out first. Here’s what I used most recently before making my own. I actually REALLY love this protein powder. It’s fairly simple, organic, solid ingredients overall. If you’re looking for a quick option, go for it.

There’s also Vega, like I mentioned above which is a really popular brand.

• Ben and I typically SHARE a serving, one 18g scoop each to make things last longer. Feel free to try that out or amp it up to two scoops. You do you.

My basic, daily green smoothie recipe (makes TWO servings) is this…

  1. A BIG handful of greens (mainly baby spinach but I’ve used a mix arugula, kale, and more)
  2. A generous 1/2 cup of a frozen fruit blend of your choice. My favorite is wild blueberries, strawberries and pineapple.
  3. One banana
  4. Two scoops (6 1/2 tbs. / 36g) of protein/nutrition powder mix
  5. Organic soy milk to blend (or other milk) I use Westsoy organic unsweetened because it’s JUST soy beans & water!), about 2 cups.

Add everything to a blender OR… you can be overly simple like me and use a stainless steel mixing cup and immersion blender. <– I’ve been rocking this setup for smoothie making for FIVE YEARS. Vitamix, where you at?!

QUESTIONS?

Feel free to reach out with any questions. I LOVE hearing from you!

wild drive life healthy blog

Sources:

https://draxe.com/

https://www.healthline.com/

Amazon product link descriptions (above)

Making Homemade Kombucha: A Super Simple Start-up Guide

Making Homemade Kombucha: A Super Simple Start-up Guide

Making homemade kombucha is actually WAY easier than I thought it would be. It seems like an intimidating process at first but trust me, you can do this and it’s actually a lot of fun.

Let’s talk about making homemade kombucha. I’ve been mixing up my own delicious kombucha for three months now using super simple ingredients and very little time/effort; less than 30 minutes a month. The result? Five+ gallons of tasty kombucha in three batches and a REALLY happy Meagan.

 

 

After writing this, I’m amazed yet again – I got it down to 10 or less steps each time you have to do something. You’re welcome! 🙂 I’m about to mix up my fourth 2-gallon batch and I feel like it’s time to share what I’ve learned with YOU. Here we go!

 

free budget spreadsheet download the wild driveYou probably know I’m a numbers/budget-conscious person by now, so let’s take a look at the cost of homemade vs. buying bottled kombucha at the store. The ingredients list below is enough to create (at minimum) 12.5 gallons of kombucha.

 

Let’s compare the costs:

STORE BOUGHT kombucha averages $3.49/16oz. SO, cost per gallon = $27.92

HOMEMADE kombucha has a start up cost of $90 – tea and sugar are the only recurring expenses, and are minimal. It also gives you the skills to make something new yourself! After that first gathering of supplies, your cost per gallon for homemade kombucha = $2.33

PRETTY AWESOME, if you ask me.

 

So, what the heck is kombucha?!

Kombucha is a fermented black (or green sometimes) tea. It has a light effervescence to it and a slight acidic flavor. It is made with sugar but once fermented, it does not taste sweet.

The final sugar content in kombucha is actually quite low, about 2-6 grams in 8oz., compared to around 39g in a 12oz. a regular soda.

Kombucha has a handful of supposed health benefits including being a digestive aid, immune booster, detoxification benefits, arthritis prevention, cholesterol reduction, as well as energy and mood boosting benefits. Again, supposed.

In my personal experience… it tastes great and makes me happy. It’s such a treat, a healthy one that I sincerely look forward to each time. I do so many other things to help out my overall health nutritionally I can’t say for sure if kombucha is responsible for certain things. Try it out for yourself!

Kombucha naturally has a small alcohol content, around .5% (yes half of one percent). Just so you know!

Kombucha satisfies that craving for something tasty, just a tad sweet and fizzy. It’s like soda or a wine cooler without all of the terrible things. This is why I love it so much!

What’s this SCOBY thing all about?

The kombucha making magic happens via this slippery slimy SCOBY (stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Sometimes it’s referred to as “the mushroom”. It’s not a mushroom, it just looks like one.

 

 

The culture basically converts the sugar in the tea and the resulting kombucha contains great things like enzymes and amino acids, polyphenols, and more.

 

So what do I need to start making kombucha at home?

It’s a pretty simple checklist and everything can be found on Amazon or you might already have it. Isn’t that the best?! Check it out:

 

 

  • SCOBY Starter – This is good for a ONE GALLON batch (instructions below). It comes with the slippery mushroomy magic thing and a cup of starter tea. You can up it to two gallons for batch two because you’ll grow a new awesome SCOBY and can reserve more of your own starter tea.

 

  • 2 gallon glass jar with spigot –  Seriously just spring for this. I’m the cheapest girl around but trust me, your kombucha-making life will be SO MUCH EASIER than if you just use a basic ball jar (like I almost did). Having a spigot is so handy when taste testing and bottling. A DREAM, even.

 

  • A metal spigot – To replace the lame plastic one all these jars come with for some dumb reason.

 

  • Cheesecloth – to cover the top of your jar during fermentation.

 

  • Rubber bands

 

  • Measuring cups

 

  • A bowl (anything but metal, to hold your SCOBY while prepping your tea mix)

 

  • Water (cold)

 

  • Flavorings (fruit juice, herbs, etc. – keep it natural!)

 

 

Do you flavor it?

Totally optional. After the kombucha ferments for about 21 days and you’re ready to bottle it, you can add flavors (herbs, fruit juice, etc.) to your bottle before filling. Plain kombucha when bottled at the right time is absolutely DELICIOUS and one of my favorites, but I also love ginger and lemon.

What is the basic homemade kombucha recipe/process?

I’ll keep this really simple because that’s how I like it/am actually able to remember things.

 

the wild drive blog school bus conversion tiny livingThe basic tea ratio is 8:2:1 per gallon — EIGHT tea bags to TWO cups of water to ONE cup of sugar.

 

Let’s start with the steps to brew your first one gallon batch:

 

1.) Brew & cool your tea.

Boil two cups of water, steep eight tea bags for five minutes.

Remove & squeeze tea bags while trying not to burn your hands off. I’m sure normal people have a safe means by which to do this.

Stir in one cup of organic cane sugar while the tea is still pretty hot. Whisk ‘er up until all the sugar is dissolved.

Let the tea cool for a few hours.

 

brewing kombucha at home

 

 

2.) Clean & prep your vessel.  Wash well with a mild soap and warm water. Swap out that plastic spigot for your way better metal one.

 

3.) Fold your cheesecloth a few times into a square of +several layers. This will go on top of your jar, held on with rubber bands. You want the kombucha to breathe but also to keep any bugs out.

 

4.)Add the cooled tea to your clean jar.

 

5.) Add 14 cups of cold water to your jar (this brings the total volume to around a gallon).

 

6.) Stir in the contents of your SCOBY starter. Carefully! If you have a kombucha-maker friend you’ll need one SCOBY + 1 cup (8 oz.) of starter tea from their last batch.

 

7.) Secure your prepped cheesecloth with rubber band(s).

 

8.) Let it rest for a few weeks! I suggest keeping your kombucha in a cabinet or closet if you can. It will do better than if you just leave it out on the counter and cover it with a towel/cloths. It needs a calm, dark, consistent temperature kind of place to ferment and thrive.

 

 

9.) Avoid overfermentation. Taste a sip of your kombucha daily after about 14-16 days of fermentation. You want the sweetness to back off, the effervescence to be present, BUT you don’t want to let it go so long that it tastes like pure vinegar. I’ve found about 21 days to be the sweet spot, personally.

 

The Bottling Process & Second Batch Prep…

The bottling & second batch process will flow like this:

 

1.) The night before you’re ready to bottle batch #1 – BREW & COOL YOUR NEW TEA for batch #2. Remember the ratio from above, 8:2:1. If you’re upping it to two gallons, double the amounts.

 

2.) Choose your flavors! Flavoring your kombucha is entirely optional. You can add an ounce or two of fruit juice (lemon, pineapple, strawberry, etc.), fresh ginger, herbs (basil, lavender, thyme, etc.) Add your flavors to the bottom of the empty bottles prior to bottling.

 

3.) Bottle right from your jar spigot! When you’re satisfied with the taste of your kombucha, after about 14-21 days, you’re ready to bottle! Leave the SCOBY in while bottling.

 

 

bottling homemade kombucha

 

No need to buy any fancy bottles. I reuse GT’s glass kombucha bottles, these cool green jars a friend gave us, ball jars, etc. – the bottles just need to be CLEAN and have an airtight cap/lid.

4.) Screw/secure the caps on tightly after filling. Fill up to 1/2 inch below the top of the bottle.

 

VERY IMPORTANT! Reserve enough starter tea for batch #2. I STOP bottling when my liquid level reaches half way down the metal spigot.

 

5.) WASH YOUR HANDS again and carefully remove your SCOBY from the jar and put it in a bowl while you mix up batch #2. Leave just the starter tea in the bottom.

 

6.) Add your NEW, cooled tea to the starter tea in the jar.

 

brewing homemade kombucha

 

7.) Fill the rest of the jar up with cool water, leaving a couple of inches of room at the top. You want to stop filling before the jar tapers in.

 

8.) STIR, STIR, STIR. Once you combine your starter tea (leftover from last batch) + new tea/sugar + water in your vessel, make sure you stir it very well before adding your SCOBY back into the mix.

9.) Carefully add your SCOBY back into the jar.

10.) Cover again with your cheesecloth and secure with rubber band(s) & store in it’s nice safe, dark place.

 

Store the bottled kombucha in a cabinet/out of direct sunlight for a couple of days for a second fermentation. They’ll get a bit more fizzy during this time. Check them daily & burp if needed (unscrew cap and tighten again).

After 2-3 days you can put them in the fridge and start enjoying them!!

 

Final Notes:

SCOBY Maintenance. A new SCOBY will form at the top of your vessel with each batch. How cool is that?! It takes a bit of time, and it will grow stronger and thicker with time/with each batch.

You may find the need to peel off a layer after 3-4 batches (that’s where I’m at now!) you can give it to a friend with some starter tea.

 

kombucha scoby

 

Watch for moldy-looking dark spots, holes, etc. – these could be signs of issues. This website shows more information with mold/not mold photos for your reference.

Comment below with questions or DM me on Instagram @wilddrivelife with your Kombucha making magic!

Classic Ployes Recipe: A French-Acadian Family Tradition

Classic Ployes Recipe: A French-Acadian Family Tradition

Ployes are a traditional French-Acadian staple recipe; it’s one of the first things I learned how to cook & still one of my favorites today.

 

I wanted to put this recipe together for everyone in response to my recent Instagram story about Ben & I making ployes last weekend! ENJOY this little, delicious piece of my French-Acadian heritage! 🙂

What are these ployes you speak of, Meagan?

I grew up in a small town called Madawaska, Maine and ployes are served everywhere there. Often times when you go to a restaurant, instead of getting rolls or bread you’re served a stack of delicious ployes with butter. Yum.

• Ployes are a perfectly delicious cross between a pancake and a crumpet.

• They are thinner than a pancake, though and don’t have sugar in them.

• They’re only cooked on one side in a heated-just-right, dry cast iron pan.

• They have tons of little holes on top (my Dad always called them eyes) giving them a light, spongy and tender texture.

• They’re SUPER versatile (savory or sweet) and you can’t argue with the simplicity of the ingredients.

 

 

Quick tip on Buckwheat flour selection…

I recommend using this particular light buckwheat flour, if you can! It’s right from northern Maine. Other course grain (dark) buckwheat flours are not the same and won’t give you the right end result. Look for light buckwheat.

You COULD take the easy route (Hey, I’ve done it!) and buy the ploye mix here too.

 

Ideas for how to serve them?

Breakfast, lunch & dinner. They’re ALWAYS good.

The simplest, most classic way to enjoy a ploye is to simply butter it (immediately after you remove it from the pan, no exceptions!), roll it up and eat it. This is still my favorite way to this day, although a sprinkle of brown sugar is fun too.

Growing up, my family often ate their ployes with cretons, a fatty pork spread with spices and onion. I’ve actually never tried it (gasp!).

My Dad and I used to go to Dolly’s restaurant in Frenchville at least twice a month for chicken stew and ployes. You can dip ployes into ANY soup or stew and just drift right off to food heaven, seriously. If you’re EVER in that area of Aroostook county, you HAVE to go try this. It’s one of my strongest food memories to this day. If you don’t eat meat, then just go order big piece of graham pie. You’re welcome.

There’s an adorable inn in Madawaska that serves breakfast ployes a bit larger/thinner, more crepe-style, filled with yummy fruit, cottage cheese (optional if you’re vegan!) and Maine maple syrup. I think that’s just brilliant.

Ben and I made a few dozen for his family last weekend. We served them with whipped coconut cream (vegan!), blueberries, raspberries and maple syrup. It was their first ploye experience and it was a total HIT! 🙂

 

ployes recipe meag and ben

 

What are ployes made of?

Ployes are made with a 1:1 (I’ve found greater success with 1.25:1 ratio) of buckwheat flour to regular flour (I use Organic, Unbleached White Flour), baking powder, salt and water.  — Cheap, quick and easy-peasy delicious!

Tell me about buckwheat. What if I’m gluten-free?!

Did you know that buckwheat flour is gluten-free?! Buckwheat is not a grain/wheat, it’s a fruit seed related to rhubarb that’s made into a flour. It’s often called the “honey grain” because of it’s yellow color AND it has twice the amount of B vitamins than regular wheat flour does. Pretty neat.

Ployes CAN be made gluten-free, just swap out the regular flour with your favorite GF baking mix.

Also, these CAN be thoroughly enjoyed vegan with fruit and maple syrup. Yum!

 

 

The Classic Ploye Recipe

This is one of the first recipes I ever learned to cook. If you were in our tiny bus kitchen right now I would teach you how my dad taught me, no strict measurements, just follow the rough ratio and watch the thickness of your batter; let that guide you.

The thing to remember is, consistency is KEY, not so much sticking to strict measurements. Maybe that’s why I like this recipe so much, it’s forgiving!

Ployes = Buckwheat flour + regular flour + baking powder + salt + water

 

That’s about it! Enjoy this VERY special recipe to me as often as your heart desires.

Comment below or reach out on Instagram @wilddrivelife with any questions!

 

Print

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Classic French-Acadian Ployes Recipe

  • Author: Ben & Meag
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 0 ployes 1x

Description

Ployes are this perfectly delicious cross between a pancake and a crumpet. They are thinner than a pancake, only cooked on one side in a heated-just-right, dry cast iron pan. They have tons of little holes on top (my Dad always called them eyes) giving them a light, spongy and tender texture. They’re SUPER versatile (savory or sweet) and you can’t argue with the simplicity of the recipe.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup light buckwheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder (make sure it’s not super old!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • water (amount varies, see instructions…)

Instructions

  1. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in about 1 cup of cold water, enough to make it into a wet paste. Amount may vary. Mix just until combined.
  3. Start adding hot water (not boiling) 1/2 cup at a time. Use a whisk to mix. The goal is a smooth, thin batter, with no lumps. Think thinner than pancake batter but thicker than heavy cream. Mix mix away!
  4. Let the batter sit for 30 – 45 minutes. You should see some bubbles form.
  5. Heat up your cast-iron skillet to medium-high.
    You CAN use a non-stick but the whole thing about cast-iron is being able to hold a consistent heat for long periods of time, so just watch your heat.
  6. Once pan is heated, whisk up your batter for a few seconds to prepare it for cooking.
  7. Drop a small scoop of ploye batter into the center of the pan. This is the very important “test ploye”! 
    It should be able to cook through without burning on the bottom. 
    Bubbles will form & pop. The top will start to dry as it cooks. Do NOT flip it, only cook on one side until the entire thing is dry on top. Adjust your heat if needed.
  8. Use a thin metal spatula flipped over to carefully ease the edges up as it gets close to being done. They should NOT stick to the dry cast iron pan. If they do, your heat is too low.
    You’ll get better as you go, trust me.
  9. Each one should only take a couple of minutes to cook through. Stack them on a plate and cover with a clean towel until you serve them. Ployes are always best served right away! 🙂

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