Fermented food for life

Tag: fermented

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 […]

Simple Kimchi (keto, paleo, vegan)

Simple Kimchi (keto, paleo, vegan)

Recently I was up in Washington visiting one of my oldest friends. No, she’s not old. Well she’s my age so that’s debatable I guess. We were best friends in High School and have this eerily coincidental relationship. No mind reading but we used to show up to school in the same outfit without planning and we were on swim team and lacrosse team together. When we were apart for years at a time there was always a thread of similarity in our life circumstances. We didn’t get into trouble in school really but if we had she would have been the brains and I the crazy. Not that I don’t have brains. But I would say I definitely favored showing the crazy. She would quietly suggest “wouldn’t it be weird/funny/____” you know… and I would be off like a shot climbing walls or leaping people like a nut job. Because it was fun and I enjoyed the shock most of our antics gave people. Frankly, I enjoyed (and still do) small and well placed bouts of social awkwardness. I was the girl who would slowly start using your utensils at dinner to see what you’d do. It was a little insensitive. But the part I really enjoyed was seeing what people were like when they were caught with their guard down. Because in that moment you saw someone’s heart. Or their gut. However you wish to look at it. You see a person when they let down their guard. I guess I still do this but in a more redeemed fashion. I believe in just being myself and people can take it or leave it. I have found really good friends really quickly that way. Which is good, because I have moved around a lot. I think if you just show yourself you may get rejected by people who care a lot about what others think, but you find some real gems. It’s possible this is how I have accumulated so many INTJ friends in a world where they are one of the rarest types. I think it’s great and it sparks joy so I’ll keep it, thank you.

Anyway back to food! And kimchi. Gaaaaaah 🤤

My friend handed me a bag of gochugaru, which is a Korean spice I haven’t been willing to drive out to an Asian store (I like grocery shopping mind you, just not with three little kids and a jam packed schedule). My shopping is done in 20 minute speed trips between one appointment and school pickups thank you very much… because my kids (or I should say my girls) so take after their mother that they think any store with a long aisle is an opportunity to race. 🤦🏻‍♀️

So “M” (yes that’s intentional for you Bond fans) handed me some gochugaru because I have been making my kimchi with everything from jalapeños to cayenne to Hungarian and smoked paprika.

The grocery store had daikon radish in as well so I decided to make up a batch of pretty standard kimchi, minus the fish sauce. I love fermenting… but this is not a particular ferment I like to take part in if I can help it. Thank you Michael Pollan for your wonderful book. It ruined this Asian staple for me forever. Lol.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Napa Cabbage, quartered and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, quartered
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 3-6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2-3″ piece of ginger
  • 3 Tbsp Kosher Salt, divided
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and rinsed
  • 1 daikon radish (about 1 cup sliced)
  • 1 red pepper, quartered and sliced (red retains its color better)
  • 1 large green apple, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1/4 cup water (to puree apple, ginger & onion)
  • 2 Tbsp gochugaru
  • Gallon jar with or without airlock or a 2 quart jar (I use a giant pickle jar for this)
  • fermenting weight(s)

Method:

  1. Sanitize a large 68oz jar or two roughly 2 liter jars and fermenting weights in the oven at 170º for 5 minutes.
  2. Wash and quarter your cabbage lengthwise, then chop to desired length. Thicker is more authentic (about 1 inch), but I chopped mine to about a half inch. Place in a large bowl, toss with 2 Tablespoons kosher salt and set aside for at least 30 minutes to an hour for it to begin to ferment.
  3. Slice the peppers in quarters and then quarter inch slices, set aside.
  4. Slice the garlic and set aside.
  5. Slice the radish in sticks and set aside.
  6. Peel and slice the carrots in rounds or sticks and set aside.
  7. Half the onion and quarter it, reserving for the blender.
  8. Chop the tops off the green onions/scallions and cut off the whites. Reserve the whites for the paste and chop the greens in one inch sections.
  9. Roughly chop the apple so the blender can handle it.
  10. Chop the Ginger a bit and combine with the apple, onion scallion whites, gochugaru and 1 Tbsp kosher salt in the blender with the water and coconut aminos. Blend until smooth.
  11. Rinse the cabbage, drain and then add all the ingredients to the large bowl and toss together.
  12. Carefully scoop the mixture into the sanitized jars and beat down with a wooden spoon or french rolling pin until you have at least 2″ space at the top. There is an actual tool for this but as I try my best to be minimalist I use what I have. Now don’t freak out! You don’t need brine for this one as it ferments better in it’s own juices and the salt. Really. Set the fermenting weights or a ziplock full of water (sealed) and close the lid.
  13. Leave for a week or so to culture fully.
Fermented Aubergine (Eggplant)

Fermented Aubergine (Eggplant)

I adore baba ghanoush. Actually I adore MY baba ghanoush. Which I always begin by smoking the tar out of a pile of eggplant. I met this vegetable on a pizza in the south of France and it was called an aubergine, so forgive me […]

Cultured Barbecue Sauce… Minus the Nasties

Cultured Barbecue Sauce… Minus the Nasties

One of the first things I learned to ferment was barbecue sauce. I had always wanted to give it a go, but my newfound resistance to refined sugars and the discovery that I could inject nearly any food with probiotics naturally put me over the […]

Cultured Black Bean Dip (vegan, paleo hacked)

Cultured Black Bean Dip (vegan, paleo hacked)

When I was in N. Ireland learning to be frugal (FRUGAL FRUGAL) I started fermenting beans like crazy. Because beans are cheap, dried beans are cheaper and fermenting makes everything better. In the case of beans, fermenting not only tastes great but it eats up most of the phytates and lectins (which can act as anti-nutrients, preventing your body from getting what it needs from other foods.) I love beans too much to care but with this I get to eat them and not worry about the consequences. It’s a great paleo hack and the finished product is jam packed with probiotics. If you choose to use it as a hot dip you’ll lose the extra benefits but it’ll still be mostly depleted of the baddies.

This is one of my simpler recipes and uses the same method as the hummus, but you can leave out the tahini. It’s good with tahini but the result is less Tex-mex.

I so wanted to eat these with tortilla chips but I’ve been having pretty terrible reactions to them lately. I like it on a taco salad with guac or with home made air fried plantain chips. I recently tried Michelle Tam’s less lazy recipe (mine are just sliced) and they are pretty freaking awesome. You really do need to fry them though… they don’t turn out quite as well in an air fryer. My waste not want not side will find a way though because I hate the idea of throwing things out! To make the slices, peel a green plantain and slice it diagonally. Toss with sea salt and melted coconut oil and put in the air fryer. You could try slow roasting them in the oven. I haven’t tried it but let me know if you do!

Day 2 ferment (and done)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked black beans (250g dried beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and cooked)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, sea salt, or pink salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup culture starter (I used some from a giant batch of white onions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or ancho chili flakes
  • 1/2 an onion, quartered (I actually used fermented white onions)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or 1 Tbsp dried (optional)
  • extra-virgin olive oil (poured over top to seal out bacteria)
  • 2 liter jar

Method:

1. For a roughly mashed bean dip, similar to refried beans, add beans, spices, crushed garlic and minced onions to a bowl and mash with a fork to desired consistency, adding the liquid culture starter as needed. Season with salt, stir, and transfer to a fermentation vessel.

2. For a bean paste add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.

3. Pour the extra virgin olive oil over the top of the beans, cap tightly and slowly tip and swirl the jar until the oil coats the inside of the jar without sloshing the mash. Set somewhere out of direct sunlight and allow to ferment 2 to 5 days, depending on temperature. During the fermentation gases will be released, so keep an eye on the lid and burp the jar daily to ensure it does not explode.

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 […]

Tahini, Kale & Cranberry Winter Omega Superfood Salad (Vegan & Paleo)

Tahini, Kale & Cranberry Winter Omega Superfood Salad (Vegan & Paleo)

It’s cranberry season!  I cannot begin to express my love for cranberries.  They are super tart, mildly sweet little fruits that bring bite to savory dishes, chocolate treats and magic to Thanksgiving dinner. These little beauties are chock full of antioxidants, beating out most other fruits and veg in this area.  They are one of my favorite superfoods; containing a large amount of vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin K1, Manganese, Vitamin E and Copper. They help boost immune system, ward off UTI’s and are also known for decreasing both blood pressure and bloating because of their anti-inflammatory properties.  The latter is very helpful for yours truly at the moment as I’ve been doing WAY too much recipe experimenting with keto and paleo treats and not filling up on much needed nutrients.   You can read more about the benefits of cranberries here.

If you saw my last post for massaged kale salad you’ll have the base for this one.  To it I have added spinach, cultured red onion, avocado, pumpkin seed, hempseed, and roasted cranberries drizzled with my favorite garlic tahini dressing (again).  This salad is a veritable super-salad of Omega fatty acids, manganese, probiotics, minerals and vitamins.  It takes only a few minutes to throw together (if you already have the cultured onions).  I removed the kale leaves from their stems last night and massaged them with olive oil and a spritz of lemon and left them to further macerate overnight.  Because frankly, I am an impatient person and don’t love standing there with my hands in greens for minutes on end when I’m hungry.

I would encourage you to read up on the ingredients as each of them is a superfood in their own right but for now I’ll run you through why I benefit from them, which in all honesty only covers a fraction of their benefits.  As I covered the benefits to kale and pine nuts in my last post I’ll simply cover the other ingredients in this one.

Hemp hearts! Most people know that they are high in protein but did you know they also help speed your metabolism, regulate your hormone balance and decrease inflammation?  Yes.  I know.  Food is amazing.

Avocados as we know are high in proteins and healthy fatty acids but they are also rich in antioxidant phytochemicals, which aid in with eye health, and phytonutrients that help with inflammation and more importantly, help reduce the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders throughout the body.  Think of it as a yummy grease in your kogs.

Pumpkin seeds are chockers with nutrients, antioxidants and magnesium, which helps you sleep!  They help lower your blood sugar and are super heart healthy and as an added perk they help keep a healthy prostate.  They are also loaded with phosphorus and zinc and thereby help with sperm quality and E.D.  Yes, I said it.  If you like babies… pumpkin seeds are sexy as.

Spinach is full of iron and high in vitamin K, manganese, magnesium and acts as  yet another anti-inflammatory.

It’s no wonder I feel so vibrant when I’m eating gorgeous loaded salads all sunny summer long.  I need to remember that these super foods are all the more necessary when the sun is scarce and it’s cold outside.  I certainly feel the difference when I do.  And if you can make a big batch of kale salad as a base it’s fairly easy to throw whatever toppings you like in and go… busy mom style.

Ingredients:

Method:

If you can prepare your kale ahead of time and take the slow route in roasting the cranberries, I would recommend it (350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes)  I was hungry and impatient, so I put them in the oven on a pan sprayed with coconut oil and set them to broil on high for five minutes until the skins burst.

Wash and dry the kale, dabbing it with a tea towel.  Strip the leaves off the stems and break them into small pieces and lay them in a bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and a squirt of lemon and “massage” the leaves for at least two minutes until the leaves soften and relax.  Some kale is more stubborn than others and it could take up to ten minutes.  After two I tend to get bored and pull out my french rolling pin or a wooden spoon to smash it to bits.  When it is soft, drizzle with the tahini dressing and set aside.

Slice your avocado in half and if you plan to eat the whole thing, remove the pit.  If you don’t, rinse the pit half in water and wrap it in clingfilm to prevent oxidization (browning).  Carefully slice the other half in the skin and then scoop the whole thing out with a spoon.

In a bowl, combine the dressed kale and spinach and top with pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, pine nuts and fermented onion.  Pull your hot cranberries out of the oven and scoop them into the salad.  Drizzle with more tahini dressing and you are good to go.  This is incredibly comforting for a salad in winter, and is hearty due to the greens, seeds and tahini.  The hot cranberries add a warmth that is akin to cuddling a cup of hot soup.

Enjoy immensely.

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 […]