Browsing Tag

fermenting

Featured Recipes

Kimchi

December 16, 2016

Kimchi

Korean Cookery. a spicy fermented mixture containing cabbage, onions, and sometimes fish, variously seasons, as with garlic, horseradish, red peppers, and ginger.

Why add it to your meals? 

Kimchi is full of beneficial microbes for your gut health. Microbes help us digest and clear out toxins (boosting immunity). There are some studies that also show when eating meat with kimchi, less inflammatory markers are present. Most Americans don’t have all of the microbes we should in our GI tract, therefore adding 2 T of Kimchi to your meal will help you digest your food and send lots of lactobacilli bacteria (GOOD) to your inner eco-system. 

GUT HEALTH = physical, mental, and emotional well-being

Kimchi is high in Vitamin C + A. It can also produce amino acids, absorb minerals, and eliminate toxins. So what are we waiting for? 

There are over 300 different recipes for Kimchi and not any two taste exactly the same due to the fermentation process. You can intuitively make one your own with different herbs, seasonal vegetables and spices.

The two ingredients I chose to start with are Cabbage + Daikon Radish. 

Napa Cabbage: 

  • Vitamin K,  C & B6
  • Potassium, phosphorus, Calcium & magnesium

Daikon Radish: 

  • Vitamins A, C, E & B-6
  • Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium & Iron

Add your own: 
ginger
scallions
garlic 
onions
shallots
Coriander Seeds 


img_6406

Start slicing your cabbage and any other vegetables you choose. I recommend going to the farmers’ market to scope out what’s available. 

img_6410

You’ll need a bigger pot to massage all of your ingredients. Sprinkle a good quality sea salt (without anti-caking agents)  + organic red pepper flakes over your ingredients and let sit for a couple minutes.

Kimchi

You’ll notice that your cabbage will start sweating. It’s time! Connect your hands to your ingredients and start massaging for at least 5 minutes. 

Kimchi

The juices will build up and when you intuitively feel it is enough, pour everything into mason jars, a large glass jar or a fermenting crock. Make sure liquid is covering the ingredients. 

Kimchi

“To ferment your own food is to lodge a small but eloquent protest – on behalf of the senses and the microbes – against the homogenization of flavors and food experiences now rolling like a great, undifferentiated lawn across the globe. It is also a declaration of independence from an economy that would much prefer we remain passive consumers of its standardized commodities, rather than creators of idiosyncratic products expressive of ourselves and of the places where we live, because your pale ale or sourdough bread or kimchi is going to taste nothing like mine or anyone else’s.”
Michael Pollan, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

kimchi

When you are ready to cover, you can place a larger cabbage leaf on the top to help keep fluids covering ingredients. With your hands, push ingredients down into the jar to release as much oxygen as possible.  You may need a weight to hold the ingredients down.  Leave for 3 – 5 days, burping each day (opening the jar) or until taste is desired. 

with love

 

 

Featured Recipes

Fermentation

November 7, 2016

Fermentation is an ancient process of food preservation and has existed in every society and culture we have record of.

Fermenting vegetables begins with lacto-fermentation (lactic-acid bacteria also known as probiotics). The lactic acid bacteria work with the naturally occurring yeasts to break down and preserve the food.  Lactic acid is a natural preservative that hinders the growth of harmful bacteria and enhances the nutrient content of the food. Lacto-fermentation increases the vitamin and enzyme levels of the food and makes the raw food easier to digest.  

Fermenting Vegetables

When it comes to fermenting vegetables there are three things that really matter:

  1. Water: the quality of the water matters. Use filtered water, if you do not have a filter fill a bowl with water and let sit uncovered overnight, the impurities will evaporate
  2. Salt: use salt that is free from anti-caking agents, I prefer sea salt. How to tell if your salt has anti-caking agents on it? Read the ingredients.
  3. Vegetables: try to use the freshest most organic vegetables that are free from chemicals

Making a Brine

Sometimes you will need a brine to ferment your vegetables, and can most of the time salt to taste. If your vegetables aren’t naturally water producing like say carrots you’ll need to make a brine.

A good rule of thumb is a {5% salinity brine}:        

3 tbsp sea salt  :  1 quart filtered water

Weighing Down the Vegetables

Fermenting is an anaerobic process therefore the vegetables must stay submerged. Sometimes your product will stay submerged on its own, or when it doesn’t  you can use a cabbage leaf or pickling weights.

Time

How long your product will take to ferment will vary. There is no set amount of time but you should let it sit for at least 3-5 days. You can start tasting after day 3 and then keep tasting until your pallet is satisfied.  

Homemade Sauerkraut

 

img_4568

Grab a common cabbage, sea salt, mason jar (or crock), a large bowl, knife AND your hands! 

img_4563
Add 1 TB of Celtic Sea Salt to 1 head of cabbage. Then, begin massaging your shreds of cabbage until it is slightly tender with lots of juice. You can add ginger, turmeric, other spices or vegetables (see below! I added juice pulp). Fill a mason jar OR a fermenting crock if you have one to use. Whether you’re using mason jar or crock, you will need a weight to sit on top of the cabbage. 

img_4566
If you’re using a crock:
 Keep the crock in a warm area (68-72 degrees) for the first couple days and then move it to a cooler area (59-64 degrees) for the rest of the time. NOTE: you can ferment your sauerkraut for a minimum of three days. Be sure to add the salt water mixture to the seal when it runs low.  

img_4588

After 2 weeks you can open the crock to skim off any layer of mold or bubbles (don’t worry, it’s natural) and add more salt water mixture to the original level. NOTE: the longer you wait, the stronger the sauerkraut gets! 

img_4577If you’re using a mason jar: Allow it to sit and some of the natural water from the cabbage should rise. If necessary, add some of the cooled salt water until the top of the cabbage is submerged 1 inch. You can then use a great device called, KrautSource OR use a larger mason jar and place a smaller jar filled with rocks as a weight to keep the cabbage well packed. Check out The Art of Fermentation for more reading. 

img_4558

Lacto-Fermented Pickles

To make pickles you first have to make your own whey by straining yogurt in cheesecloth over a bowl overnight. The liquid that has separated, the whey, is the key ingredient to making your pickles.

als_140812-6762

Next you add 4 tablespoons of whey, 1 tablespoon of non-­‐iodized salt, 2 teaspoons of seasoning of your choice and sliced cucumbers together in a mason jar. Be sure that your salt has color, such as pink sea salt! Then just fill it up with purified water to cover the top of the cucumbers and top it off with the lid. Be sure to use water without chlorine. Put the jar in an open container to prevent a mess from what takes place next.

This is when the lacto-­fermentation begins! First the bad bacteria are killed off because they are no match for the salt. The good bacteria, also known as lactobacillus, survive, multiply and get to work. They convert lactose and other sugars into lactic acid, which preserves the cucumbers.

Preserving your vegetables this way provides many health benefits. According to http://www.culturesforhealth.com, “Lactic acid also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract. That is why lacto-fermented foods are considered probiotic foods.”

als_140812-6772

If your pickles are not turning out right here is some troubleshooting advice. The room temperature could have been too hot during the fermentation process. It is best to lacto-ferment veggies right after picking. You can also add grape leaves to help keep that delicious crutch! Be sure to read the labels of your ingredients.

Special thank you to Alie Romano, a chef specializing in fermented foods who held a guest workshop at The Local Juice.

img_4557

with love