Fermented food for life

Preserved Lemons (Keto, Paleo, Cultured, Vegan, AIP)

Preserved Lemons (Keto, Paleo, Cultured, Vegan, AIP)

It has been a wee while since my last post. We have had a couple emergency room visits in the past week and a half and are adjusting to some new physical limitations. Adjusting to a Hashimoto’s life has been a challenge to say the least and my foods have become increasingly limited. I may not have much to blog about personally when it comes to food and recipes, but will continue to post what I come up with as well as including recipes for my family. If folks are interested in my “older” recipes, many of which are einkorn based, let me know and I’ll do my best. In the meantime I will share a bit about my food and health journey here and there. I am currently eating a diet that falls somewhere between mostly piscavore and pescatarian… which is not terribly creative or interesting and makes me all the more thankful that I can still eat avocados! My body can only handle a small amount of select cooked veggies but still thankfully can process some of my longer ferments like cole slaw (I just realized I haven’t posted that!) and aip kimchi. In addition, this is possibly my last wordpress post. I will still be blogging but probably less often and likely on a simpler user interface. Stay tuned.

Hurrah! I can still eat lemons! The first time I experienced preserved lemons was during one of my trips to Morocco in my young explorer days. They add depth to dishes and are eaten skins and all. It had been quite a while but I recently had dinner with my brother and his wife and she had been busy stuffing these into jars. So Maddy, you instigated this post!

Fermenting takes the bitterness out of many vegetables and it is true of some fruits as well. The flavor profile is a bit like a not so sweet lemon sour patch kid. They are so tasty and addictive! Most people rinse the salt off of them before eating but as I can blame my E.R. trip on low sodium levels I have been eating them simply cut up over my fish and avocados. I now have a shelf filled with them for the winter thanks to a sale at whole foods. Woot. Woot.

Ingredients:

  • 6-10 organic lemons, washed (varies with the size of your jar)
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • French rolling pin or tamper for pressing down lemons
  • Swing top glass jar (1-2 liters)
  • Bay leaves (optional)
  • Peppercorns (optional)
  • Cinnamon sticks (optional)

Method:

  1. Sanitize your jar and fermenting weight in the oven at 180 for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Put a tablespoon of pink salt in the bottom of your jar.
  3. Place the lemon nose up and stem down on a cutting board and slice down from the top, stopping about 1/2 inch from the bottom. Rotate the lemon 90 and slice down again, making a cross or + shape.
  4. Open the lemon slightly and sprinkle salt in the flesh on both sides and then open it the other way and sprinkle with more salt. Place in the jar and press down.
  5. Repeat with each lemon until you get about 1/2 way and press it down until the juices cover the rinds.
  6. Sprinkle a bit more salt as well as your peppercorns and other spices if using. I usually slide the tip of a couple bay leaves and a cinnamon stick into the edge of the jar at this point.
  7. Repeat the slicing and salting until the jar is filled and then press down with your rolling pin again. Add more lemons if needed or squeeze some lemon juice in to cover the top. Press down again until you have about 2″ room at the top.
  8. If needs be you can break them apart to fill the gaps.
  9. Once the liquid covers the lemons, place your fermenting weight in the top and seal the jar.
  10. Write the date on the bottom and leave to ferment for a month!
  11. When you want to use a lemon for a recipe you’ll most likely want to rinse it (the Moroccans do). Use them sliced up in a dish or if you’re one of those crazies like me just eat them chopped up in a salad.
Top Center: ten lemons in square 2L jar, top right and left: 8 lemons in round 1.5L jars, Bottom right and left: 6 lemons in 1L jars. Center jar is preserved limes.

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