• Food

    How to Make Sea Salt

    Make your own seasalt

    Want to make your own Sea Salt from Seawater? 

    Congrats! Making your own sea salt is basically the equivalent of being an actual, honest to goodness badass homesteading pioneer, if you ask me. Use your DIY salt to flavor your favorite meals, maybe in some homemade peanut butter, or as a thoughtful gift. Salt-making is kind of magical and addictive once you start too, so be prepared to dive in.  

    My salt making adventures began because we’re hunkered down on an island in Thailand to wait out the Covid-19 pandemic. I was really missing the flavor of sea salt in my meals as it’s now quite expensive. We can buy boring ‘ol table salt, but the good stuff isn’t available without paying an arm and a leg. What a ridiculous thing to miss, I mused one day, when the ocean is a 3-minute walk from our house.

    So, I made it my mission to make some salt from scratch (well, from sea), and I was pleasantly surprised at how simple and easy it is.

    I experimented and tried a few methods of making homemade sea salt, and here’s the method for creating your own salt that I found that worked best and most reliably for me.

    1. Gather Your Seawater.

    Go to an area that you know isn’t overly polluted on a relatively calm day. You want the sea calm so not too much sediment is stirred up.  I recommend starting with two big 1.5 L bottles of ocean water to start with your first homemade sea salt attempt, which will yield about half a cup to ¾ a cup of salt. As a quick reference point, a gallon of seawater makes about one cup of salt. Wander into the sea, scoop that liquid gold, and off you go. If you are able to carry extra water (for a second batch or in case of any screw ups, hehe) go for it! 

    filtering ocean water to make sea salt

    2. Filter it.

    No need for a fancy filter here, just run the water through a fine sieve or even a simple piece of cloth. A charcoal filter will really purify things, but isn’t strictly necessary.

    3. Add Flavoring, If You Want.

    I did a few batches with flavors added during the cooking process just to mix it up. I tried putting garlic into the boiling water (add big cloves so you can pull them out later), orange peel and thyme, and loved the results. The sky is the limit here, feel free to add spices to your heart’s content. (Note: you can also do this at the end when the salt is done). You could even add essential oils like lavender if you’re making a sea salt scrub for the bath.

    boiling ocean water to make salt
    sea water boiling into salt becomes more dense
    homemade sea salt recipe salt boils down hard

    4. Boil That Sucker Down.

    This is the main part of your creative work, aka, the part you can screw up. You need to boil the saltwater until it’s almost evaporated, but be SUPER careful not to burn it, or all your gathering was for naught. It’s preferable to use glass or ceramic cookware for cooking your seawater, but we are stuck on an island and not able to get any at the moment, so I made mine in our regular pots.

    Fill your pot, then bring the water to a boil. Once it’s at a hard boil, lower the temperature to a simmer; you don’t want to burn it. When the water is reduced down until most of it has evaporated into steam and you’re left with a goopy salt-like substance the consistency of wet sand, you’re ready for the next step. Depending on your stove, this could take all day, so be ready to make an activity of it.

    During the boiling process when bits of salt start sticking to the side of your pot, scrape them back down into the liquid. I loved having a silicone spatula for this to avoid too much scraping and fighting. 

    Honestly, it was like an alchemy for me the first time I saw the water boil up and turn into salt before my eyes, heckin’ magical!

    As the water volume shrinks down, increase the amount of stirring you do.  I’ll say it one more time since I made this mistake a few times myself: be really careful not to scorch your salt as its boiling.

    Note: If you prefer not to run your stove all day, you can set the water out in the hot sun for a few days to evaporate that way, but, aint nobody got time for that around here.

    5. Cure It

    Once your salt is boiled down to a goopy sludge, scrap it out into a big pan and finish it to dry (cure it) in dry heat. There are a few ways you can do this. 

    The first way is to spread the salt out and either leave it to bake in the sun on a big flat pan for anywhere from hours to days depending on your climate. 

    The second way, which is quicker, is to spread it on a pan and bake it at a low temp (200) in the oven for 30 minutes.

    And the third way, which is turbo fast is to  put it in the BBQ to cure—spread it in a pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet – sea salt is sticky as heck as it cooks down. Put the pan in a medium hot BBQ, and cook it on very low heat for a few minutes until it is dry. Be super careful not to burn it, it cooks quickly, within 5 minutes on the BBQ mine was ready, so be standing at the ready and check it continuously.

    And as a final salt curing method, if you happen to have a food dehydrator, you can also put it on parchment paper in there and it should be cured in less than an hour.

    6. Package It

    Package your homemade sea salt goodness up! Either jar it up, put it in a salt grinder or collect it in any way that is pretty and pleasing to you. Makes an amazing gift, too.

    Sea salt is quite flavorful, and is traditionally used more as a finishing flavour than thrown into dishes with abandon, but experiment and find out what works for you.

    Good luck you salty studs!

  • Food

    Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies

    orange ricotta chocolate chip cookies on a plate

    I’ve got another super easy Christmas cookie recipe comin’ in hot at you today. These chocolate chip orange ricotta cookies are actually quite special. They’re pillow soft, have that zesty citrus orange bite, and aren’t too sweet. They’re honestly hard to have around the house, I keep eating and eating and eating them. 

    One caveat: these are delicate so be sure not to burn the bottoms. I wouldn’t use a dark pan, as this can encourage burning. I like my brightly coloured silicone liners. 

    Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients

    • 2 cups flour

    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

    • 1/4 tsp salt

    • 1 cup sugar

    • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter

    • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp orange zest 

    • 1 egg

    • 1 cup ricotta cheese 

    • 1 tsp vanilla 

    • 1 cup chocolate chips

    Cookie Glaze Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 cups (154g) powdered sugar

    • 2 1/2 Tbsp fresh orange juice

    • 1 tsp orange zest (about 1/2 navel orange)

    Instructions: How to Make Your Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

    2. In one bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt 

    3. In second bowl fitted to an electric stand mixer cream together sugar, butter and 1 Tbsp orange zest 

    4. Add egg , ricotta and vanilla to wet ingredients. Once combined add in flour mixture and chocolate chips. 

    5. This one is up to you: chill for two hours, or if aint nobody got time for that, just be okay with working with slightly soft dough 🙂 

    6. Scoop dough onto cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop (about 1 Tbsp per cookie)  

    7. Bake 13 or so minutes until almost set. 

    8. Let cool a few minutes. Move to wire rack. 

    9. For glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Spoon over cookies. 

    10. Let glaze set. Enjoy!  

    orange chocolate chip ricotta cookies close up

    What did you think of these cookies? I’d love to hear from you! 

  • Food

    Homemade Raspberry Jam

    raspberry jam

    This is probably the world’s simplest homemade raspberry jam recipe, which is why I love it. It’s quick and easy, and the jam doesn’t last very long once I’ve whipped up a batch! 

    Ingredients

    4 cups mashed raspberries
    3.5-4 cups sugar, depending on how sweet you like it

    Instructions:

    • Use a very large pot.

    • Heat mashed berries until they reach a full rolling boil. When the jam reaches a full rolling boil it will double in volume.

    • Boil 2 minutes.

    • Add sugar.

    • Stir well.

    • Bring to a boil again, stirring constantly, boil for 2 minutes.

    • Remove from heat.

    • Beat with hand beater for 4 minutes.

    • Pour in sterilized jars and seal them.

    Enjoy!

    Jam in jar

  • Food

    Keto Ginger Cookies

    Homemade keto Ginger SnapYummy Christmas keto ginger cookies are a simple treat I love to whip up for some guilt free snacking. 

    Here’s the keto ginger cookie recipe I use and love:

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup melted butter
    • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 TBSP pure blackstrap molasses
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 6 drops liquid stevia
    • 2 cups almond flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp allspice
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • pinch of salt

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat your oven to 375 deg
    2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat
    3. Mix butter, coconut oil, egg, molasses, vanilla and stevia together with a hand beater until combined.
    4. In another bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients.
    5. Pour combined dry ingredients into egg mixture and continue mixing with hand beater.
    6. Refrigerate for 10 minutes
    7. Roll dough into 1” balls and line them on the baking sheet, pressing slightly with a spoon.
    8. Bake 10-12 minutes.
    9. Let cool for 5 minutes then move to a wire rack.
    10. Store in an airtight container.
    Enjoy!
     
    keto ginger cookies