Fermented food for life

Tag: healthy gut

Cultured Swedish Turnips with Cloves (vegan, paleo, keto)

Cultured Swedish Turnips with Cloves (vegan, paleo, keto)

Fermented Swedish Turnips (Rutabaga) I did this recipe in a 68oz pickle jar but you can adjust proportions if you like. Fermenting lids and weights are helpful but you can do this with stainless steel, plastic lids or a swing top like this one as […]

Cultured Fir Tip Hummus (Vegan, Paleo Hacked, keto cycling)

Cultured Fir Tip Hummus (Vegan, Paleo Hacked, keto cycling)

If you saw my post on collecting fir tips back in May you might have wondered what I do with it other than just put them in goats brie grilled cheese… and this is the big one! I’ve been doing keto for a while now […]

Cultured Baba Ganoush (paleo, keto, vegan)

Cultured Baba Ganoush (paleo, keto, vegan)

Cultured Baba Ganoush: post-fermentation method

This is my second post on the popular aubergine hummus otherwise known as baba ganoush. Most Americans will know it as an eggplant, but I first had it in France and found the rest of the world also calls it by its french name: aubergine. Frankly it sounds much more appetizing than eggplant so I’ll stick with it. I love how it roasts and grills to smoky excellence and comes alive with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. I have been making smokey baba ganoush for years and it is one of my favorites with crudités or a mezze platter. I have been known to eat it straight with a spoon as well. The last time I posted this was with the pre-fermentation or “classical” method. You can read that post here. Personally I find this method easier as it is exactly like making any other fermented hummus.

Consuming fermented foods aids your microbiome (the life in your gut) and helps your neurotransmitters send positive signals to your brain. This can help manage things like anxiety and inflammation and also helps your body process other vitamins more effectively.

Now, I have had a bit of a nightshade issue but the fermentation does deal with that issue to some extent. But that being said, I have had this post in my drafts for some time and am getting it out there while at the same time possibly saying goodbye to my beloved baba for who knows how long. We shall see! This is a much easer method than the pre-fermentation method and also allows you to remove the skins and seeds if needs be in order to lessen the source of nightshade related inflammation. So please enjoy. This is made with love. 🙂

Ingredients:

*If you want more authentic baba ganoush, put these optional ingredients in. If you want the more Romanian version, leave them out. For this recipe I put in the cilantro but left out the lemon. It made for a lovely smooth and smoky hummus.

Method:

  1. When picking your aubergines consider that the insides will shrink when roasting. The longer you roast, the less final product you will have. so when eyeballing them imagine the total product for each one to be about 1/2 – 2/3 the size.
  2. Roast your aubergines in a preheated oven at  350ºF/175°C until just blackened, turning over in between. This should take about an hour but keep an eye on them as it can vary according to size.
  3. When ready you should be able to poke the tops and feel a small pocket of air. Remove and let cool.
  4. While the aubergine is cooling, sanitize your jars and lids at 175 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven for 5 minutes.
  5. When they are cool enough to pick up, pull the tops off and scrape the insides into a colander to let any juices drain out. Often they are dry enough that I can skip this step. Set aside the juices.
  6. Place the strained aubergine in your food processor with roasted & diced or fermented onion (if using diced you will need to add a 1/2 cup culturing juice) or whey) and all other ingredients except for the olive oil. If you need more liquid, add in some of the strained juices. Process until smooth.
  7. Scoop the contents carefully into your jar. I used a 1.5 liter swing top kilner jar for this.
  8. Pour the olive oil over the top, close the lid and carefully turn the jar until the gap of air is coated in olive oil up to the rim of the lid. This will keep any bad bacteria out and allow the air bubbles to escape as the hungry wild yeasts do their magic. You always want a jar that has at least 1/3-1/2 empty after your ferment is inside when it comes to hummus, mash, sauces etc as they can get a little over excited… believe me. I have come downstairs to the hummus blob and olive oil all over my kitchen counter. No fun.
  9. Leave to ferment for 1-3 days depending on taste.  Once finished, stir the olive oil in and store in a 1 liter glass container in the fridge.

If serving immediately, leave out the culturing liquid.  Spoon into a bowl and stir in 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, then drizzle a bit more on the top. I sometimes just save some out, culturing liquid and all and serve with olive oil.

Fermented Parsnips with Lemon, Ginger & Peppercorns (vegan, paleo, keto)

Fermented Parsnips with Lemon, Ginger & Peppercorns (vegan, paleo, keto)

You can do this with 2 quart masons or a 2 Liter swing top and some fermenting lids and weights. I have taken to pouring a bit of avocado or olive oil on top of my vegetables to help keep out the bacteria. The flavor […]

Cultured Turnips (vegan, paleo, keto)

Cultured Turnips (vegan, paleo, keto)

Fermented Turnips I did this recipe in a 1 Liter Kilner swing top canning jar but you can adjust proportions to your liking. Fermenting lids and weights are helpful but you can do this with stainless steel, plastic lids or a swing top like this […]

An Aubergine Story: Cultured Smoky Eggplant Dip

An Aubergine Story: Cultured Smoky Eggplant Dip

This is a recipe I have been anticipating for a couple of years now. There are a couple ways to do this. I would consider this the trickier but as I have yet to try the other method we will go with it. Let’s call this the classical method.

Enter the humble aubergine. Eggplant, for the Americans. I love it, but many don’t. My favorite thing about aubergine is how well it roasts up with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. It behaves like a mushroom in this way, but the flavor, to me, is even more magical. I have been making smokey baba ganoush for years and it is one of my favorite dips for a Mediterranean spread… or just to sit over with my bowl of carrots and celery and devour all on my own. But how to culture it? It has been my mission over the past couple years to inject all my food with probiotics in the amazing old school method of fermentation. Old school preservation. No nasty stuff. No need for sugar. Just salt, water and wild yeasts.

Fermenting helps your microbiome (the life in your gut) and helps your neurotransmitters send health to your body and happy thoughts to your brain. For real.

So for this recipe I fermented aubergine and then proceeded to make baba ganoush with it, but it was missing something… That wonderful smokey flavor I loved was no longer there and the texture was off… I assume that if I were to let it culture much much longer it would be fine but as this was only cultured a week the result was a bit chunky. So I took the other half of my aubergines and quartered them, roasted them to blackened and divided them in bags: 2-3 a piece for freezing and 2-3 for this recipe, depending on size.

By the way I did this a long while ago but then promptly ate the whole thing and with all my daughter’s health issues never got around to posting it. Here it is now. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

*If you want more authentic baba ganoush, put these optional ingredients in. If you want the more Romanian version, leave them out. Personally I have loved the latter for a change. You can even go heavier on the onion if that’s your jam.

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, including the olive oil as the aubergine is pre-fermented. Yay! Process until smooth.

Put in a pretty bowl and top with olive oil and hemp seeds, if you like. Obviously, I like.

Let me know how it goes for you!

Easy Fermented Carrots (vegan, paleo, keto)

Easy Fermented Carrots (vegan, paleo, keto)

Most people know these as those pickled carrots you can sometimes get in really authentic Mexican restaurants.  And “pickled” is appropriate, or at least used to be an appropriate term for fermenting carrots.  These days pickling often refers to a method of preserving vegetables in […]

Green Giant Kale & Broccoli Fermented Hummus (Vegan, Paleo Hacked)

Green Giant Kale & Broccoli Fermented Hummus (Vegan, Paleo Hacked)

Above: the jolly green giant hummus topped with organic hempseed for protein and fancy pants presentation. Green Giant Kale & Broccoli Fermented Hummus Sooo…. Thanksgiving happened.  Sandwiched between having a wicked flu myself and dealing with a full night and day of helicopter vomit with […]

Cultured Roasted Beetroot Hummus

Cultured Roasted Beetroot Hummus

Above: the gorgeous hot pink hummus topped with organic hempseed for a kick of protein and contrast.
Cultured Roasted Beetroot Hummus
Okay, so a quick word about fermenting beans and legumes.  Generally beans are not beloved by paleo or keto folks because they contain a high level of phytates and lectins, which are believed to slow the absorption of dietary minerals including iron, zinc, manganese and calcium.  So in essence they can be an “anti-nutrient”.  Cooking and then fermenting legumes can reduce these phytates and lectins by up to 85%, essentially making the issue a non-issue.  It is similar to why people who are lactose intolerant can often drink milk kefir… because the kefir granules “eat” the lactose and produce the super-probiotic yogurt that is so good for our guts.  This is a process we are much more familiar with in the production of wine, beer and spirits but in these forms produces a significant amount of probiotics, which benefits our gut and therefore all those beautiful neuro-transmitters that effect our brains and body as a whole.  Also, as a lovely side note, the beans become a little less the “musical fruit” we all so lovingly sang about as children.  Or was that just my family??
Moving swiftly on!  This lovely pink stuff is a remake of the famed hummus, which my neighbor savored for months… yes, months.  I love beetroot, which is something I only discovered upon visiting Australia for first time.  B.A. (Before Australia) I had always despised it.  There are certain things that seem to be a part of a country’s identity… sometimes that covers the preparation of certain foods.  Well this is one area where they beat the U.S. all to heck.  In addition to the gorgeous sweet pickled beetroot I found on many a table when visiting… my now Australian family introduced me to beetroot hummus.  One day my bro and sis in law came in after church with some amazing smelling Turkish food… Ekmek (BIG pita style bread) alongside a spread of tzaziki, olives, shawarma, standard hummus and this pot of hot pink beetroot hummus.  I fell.  The following recipe is one I developed when my little family and I were living in Northern Ireland.  It’s fun, budget friendly and sooooo yum.
I have done this with roasted beetroot or cultured beetroot… both are good options and have slightly different flavors.  Keep your roasted root to a cup for this one as too much caramel is not a good taste in savory hummus.  Believe me, I’ve tried.

Above Left: Day 1 with olive oil sitting on top and protecting from outside bacteria.
Above Right: Day 2 of ferment; hummus has expanded with gas and is ready to eat or store in fridge to slow ferment.
Ingredients
200g dried chick peas, soaked overnight and cooked, drained and rinsed (makes about 3 cups)
1 cup roasted beetroot
4-6 garlic cloves
½ cup whey from a batch of live yogurt or milk kefir, cultured vegetable juice from a previous ferment (I used the juices from my fermented red onions)
1/4 cup tahini or 3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds or toasted sunflower seeds
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon sea salt, celtic sea salt or pink salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ – ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (poured over top to seal out bacteria)
Method
I like to use dried chickpeas, so I measure out 250 grams (a little over a 1/2 pound/8oz) and soak them overnight in.  Pour into a bowl or container, fill with water and cover.  In the morning, strain and rinse the chickpeas.  Bring a pot of water to boil, pour in the chickpeas and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  I’m totally lazy and ADD so I prefer to stick them in the crockpot and forget about them until I have time to get to them.  Once cooked, strain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse.
While your chickpeas are cooking, wash, trim and dice 2 – 3 red beetroot (one bunch usually suffices if they come in a group of 3)
Lay parchment paper or foil on a cookie sheet and spray with a little coconut oil to prevent the extreme sticking that happens when beetroot caramelizes.
Toss the beetroot on and roast on medium to low heat for 30-60 minutes.  (I did 275 degrees F for 1 hour.
When you can stab your beetroot easily with a fork and they are soft, move them to your food processor.
Add the chickpeas and all other ingredients (hold out the olive oil) and process until smooth.
If serving immediately, leave out the whey.  Spoon into a bowl and stir in 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, then drizzle a bit more on the top. Serve with crudite platter or chips.
If fermenting, hold out the olive oil until the very end. Transfer hummus to a 2 litre clip top jar, cover with the olive oil and clamp closed.  Slowly rotate the jar until the olive oil seals the entire empty surface.  Leave to ferment for 2 days.  Once finished, stir the olive oil in and store in a 1 liter glass jar or BPA free container in the fridge.
Pro Tip: Make sure your jar is double the capacity of your hummus or you’ll find a really gross ooze all over your counter in a couple days… or sooner.

Super Gut Healthy Fermented Red Onions!

Super Gut Healthy Fermented Red Onions!

How I missed Red Onion Chutney when I first made the move away from sugars in my diet. It was sooo good for sprucing up sandwiches, salads and as a garnish to entrees. Once I discovered fermenting though… a whole new world of peppery flavors […]