Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

Follow Chloé’s journey to a simpler, greener and happier life.

No Knead Bread

French Breakfast by Conscious by Chloé

Okay, I'm gonna say it right now just so you know I'm not totally delusional. This bread looks pretty sad! Uff, I said it, now we can move along.

French Breakfast by Conscious by Chloé

When I first thought about baking my own bread, I pictured myself kneading and kneading and kneading. One thing about me, my upper body is not my strongest asset (you should see me rock climbing, it's pathetic). So when I read this recipe title on one of my favorite blogs, I flipped.

French Breakfast by Conscious by Chloé

I first tried this recipe a loooong time ago (this details is important, you'll see), then forgot about it because there's a really good bakery in my neighborhood. But since I've gotten into homesteading, making food from scratch and since I had these packs of yeast gathering dust in my cupboard (see where I'm going here), I thought I would give it another go a couple days ago.

French Breakfast by Conscious by Chloé

The result isn't the best looking loaf, but it's still very tasty and perfect for my favorite kind of breakfast: Hot chocolate + OJ + butter & honey tartines. I'll keep going until I run out of yeast and I finally get to making my own sourdough (I've had my eye on this workshop at People's Coop in SE Portland.)

French Breakfast by Conscious by Chloé

On a side note, as you might have noticed, I've decided to collaborate more with local makers and friends here on the blog. So, a couple weeks ago, I asked my friend Erika, of Portland Apron Company, if I could borrow one of her beautifully and consciously made pinafores (which you've already seen in my shop).

Here's my take on the recipe, with the basic tools I already had at home, plus an alternative one.

No Knead Bread Recipe by Conscious by Chloé


NO KNEAD BREAD

This is pretty much the easiest bread recipe on the Internet. Try it, you won't be sorry!

Yield: 1 loaf
Active time: 20 min
Total time:

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, yeast and salt.
  2. Add the water and mix until it forms your dough. You can either use a regular whisk, a dough whisk, a wooden spoon or put all the ingredients in a Kitchen Aid if you're lazy like me.
  3. Gently mix until all the dry ingredients are combined and then cover the preparation with reusable food wrap and let the dough rise for 12-18 hours.
  4. Remove the food wrap and place it on your work surface. Heavily flour it, place your dough in the center and form a big ball, heavily floured.
  5. Cover it with another piece of reusable food wrap again and let it sit an additional 1-2 hours. When your dough has thirty minutes left of this rising period, pre-heat your oven to 450°F and place your Dutch oven with a heat safe knob inside to heat up
  6. After 30 minutes, carefully take your very hot pot out of the oven and place your dough inside (do not grease the bottom of your pot, it will smoke). Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and let bake an additional 15 minutes uncovered.
  8. Remove the pot from oven and place the loaf of bread onto a cooling rack for a few minutes or just cut right into it and enjoy a slice while the bread is still warm.

Notes

I like to keep my bread in a cupboard, wrapped in a kitchen towel to keep it from drying. If I know I will not be eating all of it in the coming days, I just slice it and keep it in the freezer in a cloth bag.


This post was inspired by a recipe published by James Kicinski-McCoy. I'm thinking about baking bread once a week, perfecting this recipe and trying others along the way. If you have recipes to share, please do! Oh and if you try this one, I'd love to see the result. Please tag @consciousxchloe if you post pictures on Instagram!

A Simple Almond Milk Recipe with a Twist

Almond milk recipe by Conscious by Chloé

I can still hear my friend Elisa saying this, one night, when a couple friends and I were having dinner at her place: "Humans are the only mammals who still drink milk once they've reached adulthood". That was close to ten years ago! I remember scoffing. To me, milk was essential. In the morning with cocoa powder. After lunch in the form of a yogurt or cheese. Same thing at dinner. I truly believed in what they used to say on French TV: "Dairy products are our friends for life" (and we should consume them three times a day).

Years later, I gradually stopped drinking milk, mainly because Octave is intolerant. And I started doing a little bit of research, to consider whether I should still buy some for me, or if I could live without it. Long story short, I do not believe that milk is good for my health, my bones, etc (I might even be starting to think the opposite, but I do not want to start a debate, or do I?). I still eat dairy products, fermented ones, like cheese, yogurt (I found a producer who uses reusable containers, but really contemplate on making my own), but I replaced my morning milk by almond milk (served with muesli, cocoa powder or blended in a delicious smoothie).

I love making my own milk, I love baking cookies with the almond meal that I am left with after straining, I love knowing where my products come from (the almonds we buy are local and organic, our house has a filtered water faucet). Now I know almond production is not the most environment-friendly (California/drought), so if you have an informed opinion on this matter, please share it.

Almond milk recipe by Conscious by Chloé

In the meantime, here's the simplest almond milk recipe:


ALMOND MILK

Almond milk is a great alternative to cow's milk and it's so easy to make, you won't regret hauling these milk bottles back from the store.

Yield: 5 cups
Active time: 5 min
Total time:

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 5 cups of filtered water
  • (optional) 1/8 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • (optional) Vanilla or 1 date

Instructions

  1. Soak the almonds in water overnight, at least 12 hours (I sometimes skip this part if I'm in a hurry but it is highly recommended.)
  2. Rinse the almonds.
  3. Put the 1 cup of almonds and 5 cups of water in a blender and blend for 1 minute.
  4. Strain the mixture into a large bowl or pitcher through a cheese cloth.
  5. (optional) Put the mixture back into the blender with vanilla, dates, or any other sweetener and add 1/8 ts salt.
  6. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.

Notes

This recipe works with all kinds of nuts. Try them all!


Please share your own favorite recipes in the comment section, or on social media with the #consciousby hashtag. I'd love to try them! Pictures by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.

Jun, the honey-based Kombucha

Jun recipe by Conscious by Chloé

At my local farmer's market, there's a Community Table where people can sell what they make, or extra produce they have from their garden. A couple weeks ago, I read on the market's Facebook page that Vera was hosting a kombucha workshop there and selling starters for a small donation.

I had been hearing about kombucha for months, but never really knew what it was, so this was the perfect occasion to learn more. I went to the market, Vera explained to me the difference between kombucha and jun, I picked up a jun mother, Vera's recipe and went back home to start my own brew.

Contrarily to kombucha, jun feeds on honey rather than sugar. It also thrives in green tea. These 2 characteristics led me to brew jun rather than kombucha. Apart from this, both fermented drinks seem to have beneficial properties due to their probiotic content.

During my research, I stumbled upon continuous kombucha brewing recipes. As it looks like the mother, or SCOBY - which stands for Symbiotic Culture of friendly Bacteria and Yeast - does not like being handled too much, I thought it would be a great idea to adapt Vera's recipe to continuous brewing. But, let's be honest, I chose the continuous brewing option because it involved less hassle and less washing up!

Jun recipe by Conscious by Chloé

JUN TEA

It is sometimes called the honey-based "champagne of kombucha". I love its tangy taste. I drink it instead of orange juice during the day or add a little water if I I brewed it too strong.

Yield: 1 gallon
Active time: 10 min
Total time:

Equipment

  • A glass beverage dispenser with a plastic spigot (no metal!)
  • Closely woven material to cover (I cut an old t-shirt)
  • Twine to secure the cover (I used 100% compostable gardening twine)
  • Measuring cups
  • Vinegar for sterilizing instruments (soap can leave traces)
  • A strainer
  • Glass bottles with a plastic lid

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Boil the water and let it sit for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the honey and stir until it is dissolved.
  3. Add the tea and let the mixture steep for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Strain it and let it cool (you may use metal utensils for these steps as you're not in contact with the SCOBY yet).
  5. Once the sweet tea is at room temperature, pour it in the beverage dispenser, add the starter tea (about 10%) and the culture starter.
  6. Cover the top of the dispenser with the cloth and secure it with your twine.
  7. Place your brew in a warm place with air flow, out of direct sun.
  8. Depending on the weather and the size of your vessel, the process can take 4 days to 2 weeks. If it's really warm, start testing around day 5. The more sour and tangy, the less sugar is left, which is considered healthier.
  9. Once you've reached the desired flavor, open the spigot and fill glass bottles. Close them with plastic lids and store them in the fridge. Jun can store out of the refrigerator for some time, but it will continue to ferment.
  10. If you really want fizziness, you might want to do what's called a secondary fermentation once the flavor is to your liking. This is simple. Simply store the bottles closed out of the refrigerator for 3-7 days. This is also when you might want to add flavors such as herbs and spices. You may want to add juices and fruit purees after this period, as there is a tendency to get overly sour or carbonated.
  11. As soon as the level in your container is getting low, prepare more sweet tea and pour it into the dispenser once is at room temperature.
  12. After a few batches, a new SCOBY will form. It it gets too big, you can tear a piece off and give it to a friend with some starter juice so he/she can start his/her own brew. Try not to handle it with your hands too much, but a little doesn't seem to hurt and don't forget not to let any metal instrument be in contact with the SCOBY (like a pair of scissors or a knife).

Notes

Be sure to keep the culture covered at all times and to keep and eye out for those pesky vinegar flies. Sometimes, there are color variations on the new SCOBY forming at the top. It's not mold unless it's a different color or gets fuzzy. If this happens, you need to sterilize and start over. Do not use metal instruments while handling the SCOBY. Jun is more forgiving than kombucha if it gets too sour. It might be too sour for a couple rounds but will return to the original flavor. And don't forget to head over to the Conscious by Chloé Shop to find all the equipment you'll need to make this recipe.


Do you drink kombucha or jun? Do you brew your own? How is it going? Please share your brewer's tips in the comment section below!

Simple Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Simple chia seed pudding recipe by Conscious by Chloé

While living in Switzerland and looking for a better alternative to my usual milk and cereal breakfast, I came across a chia pudding recipe. As chia seeds were pretty hard to find and/or pretty expensive there, I did try it a few times, and then forgot about it. And, I have to admit, I was pretty busy and lazy and would often just forget to prepare it the night before.

Simple chia seed pudding recipe by Conscious by Chloé

Now that I live in the US, with more (bulk) options and a lower price range, and now that I work from home, I try to prepare this breakfast treat more often and have it with my morning cup of tea while slowly getting ready to start my day.

Simple chia seed pudding recipe by Conscious by Chloé

Here is my simple take on the recipe:


CHIA PUDDING

Yield: 4 servings
Active time: 10 min
Total time:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 3 cups almond milk
  • 6 teaspoons maple syrup or 4 teaspoons of coconut sugar
  • Fresh fruit

Instructions

  1. Mix the milk, seeds and sweetener (maple syrup or coconut sugar) in a bowl.
  2. Let the preparation sit overnight in the fridge.
  3. Stir before serving into small bowls or Bonne Maman jam glass jars as pictured.
  4. Add fresh fruit.

Notes

My favorites are bananas and strawberries. This time, grapefruit was a first. It turned out delicious! Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.


Did you ever have chia pudding for breakfast? What's your recipe? What are your favorite add-ons? Pictures by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.