I’m fermenting

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I love fermented foods. Their taste, their crunchy texture, the way they combine with a meal and how they are so damn good for our gut. Probiotics are big. Check out some related articles at the end of this post.

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I think fermented food is the kale of last year.

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And well, I love kale too. I can also sit and eat a half a pound of toffee, specifically the Hedgehog toffee that we started carrying, selling and sampling at the shop. I’m pretty well rounded that way:)

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I have not only made my second batch of sauerkraut without having to look up maggot in the back of the book, The Art of Fermentation, but we have also eaten it. And liked it. go me.

I recommend Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, also Sandor Katz,
for the basics of fermenting and recipes. And I’d love to hear if you have any recommendations or favorite combinations. Kimchi is next on my list.

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I thought it was a tad salty but I think I came up short on the 5# of cabbage for the 3 T of salt used. I ended up using the jar filled with water sitting on top of  mini ramekin method. Don’t laugh. It worked and kept the brine above the shredded material which is really one of the main objectives. The other is really packing it down firmly with your hand balled up in a fist. I’m interested to know if anyone has use a pickle press.

I kept it in the pantry covered with a dish towel and rubber band. Don’t worry I’m not selling it in the shop. It looked like this after four weeks. There was a very acceptable amount of scum and no mold.

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I loved chatting with a customer today talking about everything one can ferment. She spoke of her great uncle who was fermenting garden produce more importantly to survive the winter than be hip and replenish his gut with pre and probiotics.  She’s been enjoying fermented cauliflower which I hadn’t thought to do.

With the success of the first green kraut last month, I went on with the red. I tried the mandolin but that was not happening. I chopped this by hand.

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Fermenting really isn’t hard but a few failed attempts is rather discouraging… Come on over Hannah. We’ll see you get your ferment on track!

Fermenting 2-4 I had two heads of red cabbage that had been in the fridge for nearly two weeks.

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A little dried out, it required the addition of two cups of brine. (ratio is 1 cup to 1 T salt). I got suckered into trying this fancy set up, called the vegetable master  no less, from Cultures for Health. A little pricey for a mason jar and plastic air lock, oh and the three glass disc weights. It lets the gas escape while keeping air out. If it’s amazing, I’ll let you know.

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I also put my third head of red cabbage through the food processor as I didn’t feel like cutting it up and just having cut it from its base, it produced it’s own beautiful brine. That’s what it looked like in the garden.

Fermenting

I was lazy on the hand cutting BeCAuSE…I was working on some sourdough pizza. Do you think it’s better for you if you eat fermented organic white flour? I’d like to think so. Here’s a peek at it. I cooked it on the grill on a pizza stone at about 550°F. Honestly, I don’t know if a post will follow unless you beg.  All toppings were from the garden except the mozzarella. Someday it will be too.

sourdough pizza

Back to veggies… Also inspired by  Sandor Katz in July at Firefly Kitchens in Seattle, I did have a go with my multi colored carrots. Lunar white, red dragon and several nantes types.

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They produced a sufficient amount of their own brine. Once again, I’m employing the jar in a jar method.

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With the dish towel and rubber band.

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I rounded out the project with a carrot beet mix with a little white onion and a dash of fresh ginger…no pic. It’s basically purple.

Here’s to a healthy gut…

Tschüß xx

 

Related Articles:

WSJ: Probiotics May Be More Than a Gut Feeling

Mother Jones: Should I take Probiotics

PickleMeToo… A blogger’s view

This time last year:

Chocolate and Zucchini

chocolate zucchini bread-6

43 responses

    • Thanks sis! You should really give this a go. Only a little time up front, then you let it do its thing. Huge benefits physically and they are starting to see some links to mental health as well. Very interesting indeed. xxoo

    • Kimchi is on my short list. I’d like to grow some napa cabbage next year but for now will have a look at the farmers market next weekend. Everybody should be trying this. It’s a real home remedy. thanks! w

  1. You go, girl, indeed! I love how you are doing the sustainability thing…planting, growing, saving, fermenting your own food. Kudos! My favorite line in this post? “I think fermented food is the kale of last year.” I don’t know why I found it so funny but I did.

  2. Your Sauerkraut was delicious – I will need a hand’s on lesson, although your pictures are pretty self explanatory. Loved the pizza too. If you live nearby, inviting Wendy to a potluck is a must!
    Hannah

  3. Wow you are busy! I envy you the patience to do this. Last year I thought I wanted to make kimchee as that is something not really available here, but I was too lazy… Should make you my role model :-D

    • The kimchi is a different beast. I’ve kept it pretty simple with straight up cabbage, carrots, beets and salt. I wish I would have put a few juniper berries in the 2nd batch of kraut. Maybe I’ll slip some in there this evening.
      I’ll need another influx of motivation myself to tackle the kimchi – lots of ingredients there. cheers x wt

  4. I’m not fond of sweet food unless it is berries or melons or fruit. I do like sour foods and some bitter foods. But I’m not ready to try fermenting food myself. But it is interesting to see people doing it. I’m wondering if the same process you are using would work for homemade kim chi. But I think going to the Asian Market would still be less intimidating.

    • It’s SO EASY. Some kimchi recipes are too complex for me to bother but there are some very doable ones out there.
      And that said, it’s so healthy for you, get it the best way that works for you. An available Asian Market is wonderful!

  5. One of the best canning & jar experiments I’ve seen to boot! I love making a huge batch of pickles and keeping them in the fridge. One of my all time favourites which I usually mix up asian style, but these still look awesome & tasty!

  6. Love the photos of course … but I have heard about fermenting before and never seen it an action. Very interesting. By the way do you know how to stop red cabbage from “bleeding”??? You rinse it under very cold running water for about 30 min.

    • Thanks for that tip. I never knew that. It’s very very easy and we are enjoying eating it just about everyday. I’m going to try some baby bok choy and radishes next for a little something different:)

      • Bok choy … intersting to see how that works out. It’s cabbage, so why not. Please, let me know.
        How is the little shop been doing this summer ???? What I understand the summer has been great in your part of the world too.

    • How did the kimchi go. I just did mine but need some proper Korean peppers. I did a very simple version and I used a little anchovy paste and honey too. Just kind of did my own thing but next time maybe I’ll try a recipe. So far it tastes great but maybe a tad too spicy.

      • I use chili paste (sambal oelek) and sugar, can’t remember if I used a bit of fish sauce… but definitely salt. It turned out pretty good, it definitely has that kimchi distinct scent and flavor. It took about 2 weeks at more or less 70F. I added sliced potatoes (baby creamer potatoes) and they are actually really yummy and extremely crunchy. Rarely seen potatoes being fermented and I wonder why. Do you know why it isn’t that common? I tried fermenting russet potatoes, but there was a bit of a floury texture to them (maybe the higher starch content?).. still ok to eat though.

  7. NICE! How did I miss this post? I just did a batch of swiss chard kimchi yesterday with a girlfriend who had grown some massive stuff. Just posted on the blog. Stopped by the store today to say hello but missed you!

  8. I have never fermented anything, Wendy, nor do I think I’ve tried tasting it. I’m sure curious, is it a bit like pickled veggies? Anything that’s good for us.. and this colorful and pretty would be fun to try! ps love your shop’s website and I’m following it on Pinterest now:D xx

  9. I’ve never fermented anything except sourdough starter and that went horribly bad (I think it was way too hot so it grew both mold and starter culture, ugh!). I’d love to try sauerkraut though, as I love eating the stuff (particularly with bratwurst, mmm!) and it’d be great to know the process behind making it. I like your ‘jar and mini ramekin within a jar’ method. Very resourceful! Oh, and by the way, I just bought the necessary equipment to make my own mozzarella and I am very excited! Eeeek! Can’t wait to see your adventures with cheesemaking too! x

    • I love cheesemaking. So far it’s only been fresh chevre and fromage blanc (basically the same but with cow’s milk). I wish I had a good source of raw milk. Our organic milk is all ultra-pasteurized from the store.
      It took me several tries to befriend the sourdough.
      I got some good info on Breadtopia and learned about stretching and folding. Brilliant. And I’m weighing my ingredients now. AND I use a wetter starter (can’t remember proper term for that)
      Just keep trying. cheers… w

  10. Pingback: kimchi bacon fried rice and eggs « Chez Chloe

  11. This is all fascinating stuff. We have Sandor Katz’s book, but I’ve barely cracked the cover. I’m curious, when you talk about using “fermented flour” in a pizza crust, do you simply mean “sourdough,” or possibly a preferment, or are you referring to something else? Thanks.

    • I do just mean sourdough- makes me feel a little better eating pizza:) I use a classic San Francisco starter I bought freeze dried. I’ve had it a couple years now. We go on and off gluten so it gets a little neglected at times but keeps on coming back to life.

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