How to make homemade bacon

This homemade bacon recipe comes from our friends over at Paleo Leap. For more delicious paleo recipes visit the Paleo Leap website.
Homemade Bacon Recipe

Do you love hearing the sizzle of bacon in the pan on a lazy Sunday morning, but hate spending forever in the grocery store trying to find a brand that isn’t packed with sugar and chemicals? Or did you ever think of how much better your bacon would be if only you could add a little more spice, or a slightly different flavor? If you’re willing to be a little patient with the process, making your own bacon saves you all the doubt of hunting through the grocery-store options, and gives you total control over the result from start to finish: no sugar, no additives, and whatever seasonings your heart desires.

To achieve this feat of culinary mastery, all you’ll really need is a mix of your favorite seasonings, a big chunk of pork belly, and enough time to let it all cure. One reason why bacon is so delicious is the food curing process – it takes about a week for the flavor of the spices to really permeate the meat, so this isn’t a recipe you can prepare the same day. Rushing the process will only leave you disappointed; give the bacon time to mature, and you’ll thank yourself when you sit down to enjoy it.

Because you’re starting from scratch with this recipe, it’s easily adaptable to whatever kind of flavors you like. Some suggested spices are listed below, but it’s totally up to you what blend you’d like to use. You can add some raw honey if you like it sweet, or leave it out for a strictly sugar-free product. As an added bonus, it also contains much less salt than the usual store-bought bacon. It’s the ideal way to enjoy bacon without any lingering doubts about where it came from or what’s in it – just guilt-free deliciousness!

Passionfruit Mojito Kombucha Tea

I was introduced to kombucha tea by my amazing doctor about three years ago to help heal my son’s severe tummy issues. My entire family are now addicted to this sparkly fermented probiotic rich beverage. Coming up with new flavor ideas is really fun and I’m so excited to share my passionfruit mojito kombucha tea recipe. I am really loving this combination of flavours with the fragrant passionfruit that reminds me of the soda passiona I drank as a kid! Hope you enjoy it too.

Kombucha tea has a long list of benefits including boosting your immune system, aiding digestion, assisting with weight loss and controlling cravings. It is also rich in B vitamins which is great for vegans and vegetarians. You can read more about the benefits here and find out how to start brewing your own. Once you have your own brew started you can learn how to flavour the kombucha tea with a second fermentation like this passionfruit mojito kombucha tea recipe. The flavor options are endless.


Passionfruit Mojito Kombucha Tea

You will need:

1 x 1 litre capacity bottle with flip top lid (preferable or a recycled glass bottle with screw top lid will work) washed with hot water and distilled (white) vinegar, allow the bottle to cool
900mls already fermented kombucha tea (best to bottle when it is still slightly sweet, otherwise add 1 tsp organic sugar)
1 passionfruit
Juice of 1 lime
3 sprigs of mint
Funnel and strainer

Method

When your first fermentation is ready, remove ½ cup of the fermented tea and scoby’s for your next batch.

Put the passionfruit pulp, lime juice and mint in the bottle. If the fermented tea is more sour than sweet, add ½-1 tsp organic sugar (this will help create a nice fizzy finish).

Using a funnel with strainer placed on top to catch all the stringy bits, pour the remaining fermented tea into your bottle. It is really important to leave at least 5cm from the top of the bottle for the gas to accumulate. This will reduce the likelihood of the bottle exploding.

The second fermentation will be ready in 2 – 4 days depending on the temperature. Take care when opening as it may spray out like a shaken can of soda and you will lose half the bottle!

Store in the fridge if you prefer to drink it cold.

The bottles will last about 1-2 weeks before becoming too sour. It’s really important to ‘burp’ the bottles to allow the gas to escape to prevent exploding bottles (it has happened to me a few times when I have forgotten especially when summer comes and it heats up).

Teresa Cutter – The Healthy Chef

I’ve been a huge fan of Teresa Cutter and her real food website The Healthy Chef since her early days. I remember I always looked forward to Wednesdays to see what new Healthy Chef recipe had landed in my inbox. Teresa and I are very much aligned in our food philosophies – we both firmly believe that good food should not only be balanced and good for the body, but delicious too. Chef turned health and wellness ambassador, it’s no surprise that Teresa now has more than half a million views on her website each month.

I recently had the chance to interview Teresa and learn more about her love of sharing good food. The secret to her culinary success is to keep things simple. As she explains,

There’s nothing better than a simple piece of pan roasted fish, cooked to perfection and drizzled with fresh lemon and a little cold pressed olive oil.

How would you describe your personal philosophy towards food?

I believe in honest, natural food. I eat as cleanly as I can because I believe my body deserves the best nourishment it can get. It’s important to know where your food has come from and treat it with the love and respect it deserves.

I am not a fan of extreme diets or people who push strict dietary ideologies. I find that a lot of people stress over finicky nutrition details rather than focusing on the broader picture – that is, to eat natural wholefoods, focus on fresh fruit and veg and keep it simple. Learn to know how things are made and what’s in the food you create. Keep recipes simple, keep them fresh and make it yourself – which really is the secret to successful cooking that you can make effortlessly everyday.

On my website thehealthychef.com I always go on about making food yourself and knowing what’s in the food you eat and still to this day cooking to me is about the living essence of the ingredients, being lovingly prepared either by you or by someone who loves you that will nourish your body. My Healthy Chef philosophy is a realistic and sensible approach to healthy eating that will last a lifetime.
Who has inspired you most in your cooking?

My Polish grandmother is my inspiration. She told me when it comes to cooking, keep everything simple, clean and fresh and you can’t go wrong!
Describe a typical day of eating for you. What would it look like?

My typical day is designed around foods that help me to nourish and rejuvenate my body. I make sure I drink plenty of water throughout the day. I try and prepare every meal myself and listen to my body.

On rising – I kick start my digestion with 2 x glasses of water with the juice of 1 x lemon and 1 x wheatgrass juice.

After exercising – I make my Strawberries + Cream Smoothie and 1 x Matcha Green Tea.

Mid Morning – I have handful of macadamia nuts or some sort of trail mix.

Lunch – I eat a large salad with some protein

Afternoon – I have a Healthy Chef Goodness Shake to get me through to dinner.

Dinner – I up the protein with my Immune-boosting Chicken Soup – I love my soups.

Evening – I sip on homemade Lemon and Gingersnap Tea, which is perfect for aiding digestion after dinner.
As a foodie, what are your favourite types of food?

I tend to focus my recipes on plant based sources of wholefoods. I also keep my recipes simple, fresh and uncomplicated. I’m inspired by simplicity and chefs who cook pure un-udulterated food and utilize fresh seasonal ingredients. I’m not into food being played with or accompanied with too many flavours – there’s nothing better than a simple piece of pan roasted fish, cooked to perfection and drizzled with fresh lemon and a little cold pressed olive oil.
As a chef, what would you say are the main challenges restaurants face in providing healthy menu items? How can these be overcome?

The main challenges are keeping the quality standards in the food you prepare as well as proper training of the chefs and staff. I’m a foodie and I love to satisfy my yen for a delicious meal. You have to look closely at a menu and see past the micro sprinkle of chia to know how your food is being prepared. It takes a lot for me to trust a catering establishment. I look in the kitchen, check out the chefs and scan the oils and ingredients they use. Normally if the chef and owners behind the business are passionate, this will follow through into the menu and you can taste the quality. Normally my body tells me as I feel great afterwards and I’m energized.

Restaurants or cafes should not skimp on ingredients…buy good quality food and prepare it properly.
Tell us about your new book ‘Perfect Digestive Health’. Why did you write it and what can readers expect?

The inspiration for this book stems from my own journey and the hundreds of emails I receive from people on their personal quest for better digestive health.

It actually began as a simple eating plan but evolved into something much greater as digestion is far from simple. There are many contributing factors that affect digestion and it’s a process of elimination to discover what works for you and what doesn’t. Factors such as diet, food intolerances, stress, adrenal burnout, hormones, lifestyle, emotional disposition, anxiety, chemicals, parasites, bacteria, medications, relationships and sleep will affect the state of your health and how your body works.

This book shares the most important facts on how to achieve perfect digestive health. It will show you how to make positive diet and lifestyle changes that will help to nourish and support your digestive system for life.
What is next for The Healthy Chef? Can you share any of your plans for the rest of 2015?

I’m excited to say we’ve just launched The Healthy Chef products in New Zealand and we are launching in the US this year too. The brand is growing nicely and I’m designing some awesome products that I’ll be bringing out this year.

The Healthy Chef has also partnered with InterContinental Hotels Group, and I’ve created a collection of sixty healthy recipes exclusively for the fourth largest full-service hotel brand in the world Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts across Asia, Middle East and Africa.

It’s a great opportunity to be able to support guests and help them to stay healthy, productive and energized while traveling and working overseas.
What’s your favourite meal to cook at home?

I’m a big fan of eggs! Poached scrambled, smashed any which way……I love my Super Charged Scrambled Eggs which is in my Digestive Health Book or Mediterranean style dishes like ratatouille or a minestrone with vegetables of the moment.

Jayce Love-Attard, Train Holistic

Jayce is truly a rare breed, and I mean this in the nicest way possible. My favourite things about him are that he eats turmeric root straight out of the ground, he is training to become an elite Navy clearance diver (the fittest of the fit!) and his surname starts with ‘Love’. Living up to his name, he is truly a humble, grounded and balanced soul with lots of positive energy to share with the world.

Our interview wasn’t your typical café meeting or conference call. We met on Bondi Beach where Jayce put me through my primal paces and challenged me to a partner workout complete with battle ropes, crawls, sprints and jumps. It was epic! But the best part was working up a hunger and enjoying a post workout primal feast before finally getting back to business.

Jayce’s passion for holistic health is infectious. As a practitioner of real food nutrition and functional movement, Jayce is a perfect example of someone who lives and breathes a natural and balanced lifestyle. His healthy mindset has allowed him to achieve some incredible feats including competing in and winning the world F45 Playoffs title in California earlier this year, and creating his online business Train Holistic.

And he’s just 24 years of age.

Jayce firmly believes that diet, daily movement patterns and lifestyle choices have a big impact on your health and wellbeing. Seeing his father battle with chronic illness was just one catalyst which drove Jayce to changing his ways and discovering a paleo lifestyle.

“Food and eating is one of the very few REAL things that exist in life. The food we eat is responsible for the prana or life giving energy and educated, mindful eating should be for all.”

A natural athlete, inspiring young health leader and someone with a incredibly bright future ahead, Jayce shares some of his food and lifestyle inspiration with Paleo Foodies.
Briefly describe your path to good health…

My path to holistic health came about as a result of a few things. Firstly, nearing the end of schooling years I became interested in a career in the Royal Australian Navy as an elite Clearance Diver. This led to me to begin exploring and researching ways to really focus in on performance, recovery, training and nutrition to achieve consistent progression and ensure my best chances for the challenging and lengthy selection process.

Jayce Love-Attard

The other major contributor to my current focus on health and wellness came about due to the experiences associated with my Dad’s journey of chronic illness. He suffered from kidney disease for 10 years before receiving a transplant. Being so closely exposed and involved to the challenges of this experience with my Dad encouraged me to invest a deep interest into possible methods of using nutrition and lifestyle factors to overcome the disease. I also wanted to do everything possible to give myself the highest chances of never being personally affected by chronic illness.
How would you describe your personal philosophy towards food?

Food and eating is one of the very few REAL things that exist in life. The food we eat is responsible for the prana or life giving energy and educated, mindful eating should be for all.

I’ve been known to munch down on straight turmeric root fresh from the garden, dirt and all.

How do you balance good health while juggling a busy lifestyle?

It’s all about meal preparation. Every Sunday morning I go to my local farmers’ market and pick up as much fresh produce and meat as I can get my hands on. I take it all home and have a massive cook up. Everything from breakfast frittatas to roast chicken, vegetables and slow cooked a lamb shanks. I package everything up ready for my week ensuring I’m never unprepared for the ‘fungry’ phase.

Being savvy with snack time is also a big factor. I can’t go past Primal Collective’s roasted crickets, an avocado with salt and pepper or even something as simple as a hard boiled egg if I’m short for time.
Describe your typical ‘day on a plate’?

Paleo Foodies_Train HolisticTypically my plate is high fat, medium to low protein and low carbohydrates. I start my day with a Bulletproof Coffee using Primal Collective Ghee and after smashing out a workout I’ll eat a large meal like a vegetable-packed frittata or a turkey mince stir-fry with kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts. Either option is usually accompanied by a generous chunk of grass fed butter, half an avocado and a side of sauerkraut.

“Every morning I squeeze fresh lemon into a glass of warm water with a double shot of apple cider vinegar. It activates digestive juices and puts hair on the chest.”

Lunch will consist of a grilled piece of chicken breast with steamed vegetables, all sticking to the paleo style of eating.

For my mid afternoon snack before I do a workout I will have a handful of mixed nuts, a hard boiled egg or a homemade primal granola bar.

Jayce Love-Attard

No two nights are the same at home and I enjoy cooking something different so it may be a green chicken curry, slow cooked anything, salmon fillet or if I’m feeling like something lighter, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower in Primal Collectives Ghee.

Supplementation in between meals and my training program is with nothing but The Red Hippo Athlete Blend.
What are your top five essential ingredients?

Coconut oil – I use this in all aspects of my life; to me it’s more than an essential ingredient (as I do use it on my skin also)!

Turmeric – I put turmeric in everything I cook. You can even have a turmeric latte with coconut milk, which is great through the colder months. I’ve been known to munch down on straight turmeric root fresh from the garden, dirt and all.

Apple cider vinegar – Every morning I squeeze fresh lemon into a glass of warm water with a double shot of apple cider vinegar. It activates digestive juices and puts hair on the chest.

Ghee – I am a newcomer to the ghee craze, having only discovered it about six months ago. It adds such a creamy, delicious flavour to any meal. I’ve been adding it to roast vegetables and using it in my Bulletproof Coffee.

Ginger – Much like turmeric, I also eat this straight from the ground. This miracle root I add freshly grated into salads, thickly slicing for tea, mincing for paleo sweet treats and chopped for curries and savoury food.
As a foodie, what are your favourite types of food?

I have a bit of a fetish for a really good cut of pasture fed red meat. I would take a medium rare fatty rib-eye fillet over a sweet treat any day!
What’s your favourite ‘go-to’ healthy snack or meal at home?

When I get the chance, I make a massive batch of my coconut zucchini bread, which is unreal toasted and smeared with ghee and avocado.
What are some of your favourite restaurants / cafes and what do you like about them?

Asana in Brisbane – Owned by my paleo-spiration (yeah, it’s a thing), Pete Evans, the sweet potato fries are the best thing to have graced my mouth.

Bondi Wholefoods – Great mix of an awesome and ever-changing menu and ridiculously good looking people!

Paleo Foodies_Wholefoods

Ora in Manly – This is a new favourite, with a very big focus on gut health and organic produce.

Primal Pantry in Brisbane – This café has one of those menus that you could close your eyes and point to anything and you’d love it.
What’s your top travel destination for experiencing great, real food?

To be brutally honest, I have travelled to a lot of different destinations throughout Indonesia, USA, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Thailand and Mexico. However, I find that we are very spoiled for choice on our home soil, particularly living in Sydney, which in my opinion has the most accessible and diverse cuisines available. Call me uncultured but every time I go abroad I just can’t wait to get back and eat at home.