Fermented food for life

Month: May 2019

Probiotic Granola. Really.

Probiotic Granola. Really.

For this day of remembrance and rest I am using one of my many recipes I haven’t gotten around to posting.  It is appropriate… a bit if mixing in the morning and leave it out all day and dry it overnight.  Tasty.  Nutritious.  It feels […]

Cultured Kefir Guacamole (keto with vegan and paleo options)

Cultured Kefir Guacamole (keto with vegan and paleo options)

Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend! Guacamole is about the only way my husband and children like their avocados. Conveniently, it is also an easy way for me to sneak live cultures into their food and at the same time preserve the green of […]

Fermented Fir Tips (Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Fun)

Fermented Fir Tips (Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Fun)

Though I know I first heard about eating for tips from James Wong, the BBC botany darling, in my favorite gardening book “Grow for Flavour” I frankly did not remember. Sorry James.

My dear friend Kirsten of @theeightacrefarm and I went picking at her lovely farm for a bit of a mom date. (10 minutes away from children= mom date). She showed me the fir tips that she had picked and dried for winter vitamin C tea. I can’t remember whose idea it was for sure but to be fair it was probably her! “I wonder if we could ferment these?” Yes. Yeah Momma, more like. So we picked and I came home and stuffed them in jars with salt and water. You follow the same proportions for really any herb you want to preserve this way and they seemed pretty “herby” to me.

The taste was something of a revelation. Raw they are nice but sharp with a bit of aftertaste of pine cleaner. Not that I’ve ever consumed pine cleaner but things often taste as they smell. Fermented they lose all that astringent cleaner taste and what you are left with is like Christmas in your mouth. reminiscent of a light herbal balsamic with hints of lemon, rosemary and mint. It’s hard to describe but the flavor is downright addictive. I ate half a jar on a wedge of Trader Joe’s Wild Mushroom Brie and some keto crackers I had made from Dr Berg’s Amazing Keto Bread recipe, edited. Enough talk. Here’s how it’s done.

You’ll want to get the smallest softest ones possible and pick them above the encasing bud or they’ll fall apart in your hands. We had little helpers so had a few tough bunches in the batch.

Ingredients:

  • 4-8 cups freshly picked Douglas or Noble Fir tips. The smaller and softer the better.
  • 1-2 cup sizes mason jars, sanitized (you can do larger but smaller sizes are handy) I used 3 wide mouth Pint masons.
  • 1 tsp kosher, sea or pink salt per cup of fir tips
  • Fermenting weight, small jar (sanitized) or some people use a cabbage leaf.
  • Avocado or olive oil for the top to seal out bacteria.
  • Non-corrosive lids. I have taken to using the ball leak proof lids in grey.

Method:

  1. Sanitize jars in the oven at 180°F for 2-3 minutes.
  2. With washed hands, rinse the fir tips and strain them in a colander.
  1. Pack the greens into the jars and pay attention to how many cups are in each jar.
  2. Add 1 tsp salt per cups. For my jars I added 2 tsp pink salt per jar.
  3. Cover with a bit of olive oil and then place your fermenting weight on the top, leaving 1″ headroom and seal the jar.
  4. Leave for 7 days or longer to produce some amazingly bright northwest flavor!
Post Fermentation.
Cultured Cuban Mint Mojo Dressing (keto, paleo, vegan)

Cultured Cuban Mint Mojo Dressing (keto, paleo, vegan)

Okay. Admittedly I have never been to Cuba. But a few years back the movie Chef came out and I was watching all that beautiful food happen and could almost taste it. My husband was working in Northern Ireland and I and the kids were […]

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 Fennel, Avocado & Roasted Brussels Salad: Two Ways (paleo, keto, vegan)

Cultured Fennel, Avocado & Roasted Brussels Salad: Two Ways (paleo, keto, vegan)

I came up with this recipe in an attempt to veer from my standard potluck fare of chips and salsa. I took it to my first potluck at our new church. I got a bit of the mick taken out of me by our pastor when he caught me snapping a photo of it. “You going to post it?” he asked, with a good deal of cheek in his voice. Of course I was. Ha! Caught red handed despite it being a very green dish. It had so many complements I had to make it again with my other fennel variation… and the second time my husband had three helpings, which to me is always a win. It’s very simple once you have the cultures on hand.

Caught taking this photo… but it was so pretty…

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs brussels sprouts, washed and halved
  • 2 tsp Kirkland organic no salt seasoning OR 1/2 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp granulated onion, 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil for roasting sprouts
  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 english cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into 3/4″ slices OR roasted zucchini cut the same way
  • 1 quart/liter fermented fennel or apple, ginger & lemon fermented fennel
  • 1/4 cup soaked and dried or sprouted pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 2-3 Tbsp hulled hempseeds (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. In a large cast iron pan or a baking sheet with a silicone mat, place halved brussels sprouts cut side up
  3. Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning or with a mix of: 1/2 tsp granulated garlic, 1/2 tsp kosher or pink salt, 1/2 tsp granulated onion, 1/2 tsp black pepper.
  4. Spray or drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and roast for 30-45 minutes. If you are using zucchini instead of cucumber, roast them together with the sprouts.
  5. When the brussels have begun to blacken to your taste, remove them and toss with prepared cucumber or zucchini, seeds, 1/2-1 quart of fermented fennel of choice.
  6. Halve your avocados and divide each half into 6 parts (three cuts: 1 lengthwise and then sideways in thirds)
  7. Toss the avocado with the rest of the salad and serve. The fermentation liquid from the fennel culture will prevent the avocado from going brown too quickly.

Let me know what you think!

Apple, Ginger, Lemon & Fennel Cultured Salad (vegan, paleo, keto)

Apple, Ginger, Lemon & Fennel Cultured Salad (vegan, paleo, keto)

Who loves fennel?! I do (obviously) and so does my husband and a handful of other folks I’ve met but for the most part when I explain that the key vegetable that goes into one of my favorite salads is a licorice tasting bulb I […]

Cultured Cilantro Lime Tahini Dressing (keto, paleo, vegan)

Cultured Cilantro Lime Tahini Dressing (keto, paleo, vegan)

Happy Cinco De Mayo Folks! This is a wicked addictive dressing (or dip, if you make it thicker) and perfectly quick and tasty to whip up today for your celebrations. Give it a go… you won’t regret it. Ingredients: 1/2 cup stirred tahini 1/4 cup […]

Fermented Roasted Tomato Salsa (vegan, paleo, keto)

Fermented Roasted Tomato Salsa (vegan, paleo, keto)

I love fresh salsa… and all the more when it is both smoky and fermented. This is achieved by first blackening the tomatoes with the onions, jalapenos and garlic and then blending it together with the rest of the ingredients. It’s relatively quick to make and disappears just as fast. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 14-15 Roma tomatoes halved
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2-4 jalapeños
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 large handful cilantro
  • Juice of 1-2 limes according to taste (I used 6 key limes)
  • 1/4 cup fermented onion juice from a previous batch (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes or chipotle flakes
  • 2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • avocado oil for the top
  • 68oz mason or big pickle jar

Method:

  • Wash all vegetables and sanitize jar, fermenting weight and lid in the oven at 175 degrees for 5 minutes.
  • Wash hands and prepare vegetables.
  • Lay tomatoes cut side up in cast iron pan along with onions, garlic and jalapeños
  • ROAST @ 350 for 45m – 1 hr or BROIL on High for 30 minutes until tops are blackened
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to roughly “chop”
  • Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking and then pour into sanitized jar
  • Cover with avocado oil to keep the bacteria out.
  • Leave to ferment for 2-3 days.

Get this prepared a few days ahead and refrigerate for Cinco de Mayo!