All posts filed under: Fermentation

Delicious fermented beets

I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor, pickled beets from the first episode of Fermentation Fun. They are a totally delicious accompaniment to my lunch of lamb stew. It was so delightful to present these simple ferments at People’s Food Coop last month. For those of you who missed the class or lost the recipes, read on. Both pickled beets and beet kvass allow you to enjoy and easily digest the many benefits of beets. These include nutrients such as iron, potassium, fiber, folate and antioxidants. Then there is boron which helps build bones, elevates, testosterone and improves blood flow, contributing to the use of beets as an aphrodisiac. Not to forget, sodium nitrate which is credited with allowing you to exercise for 15% longer and helping some British athletes win in the 2012 Olympics, according to Jo Robins in Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health These lacto fermented foods will provide your gut lining with a fresh batch of live, digestion enhancing bacteria. Eat fermented foods with every meal! …

Fermentation Fun at People’s Food Coop

All About Beets:   Sunday, January 19, 2-3:30pm Beets are highly nutritious, packed with iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, vitamins A and C, niacin and even folic acid. They are delicious both cooked and raw. But have you ever tried them fermented? Lacto-fermentation makes the nutrients more bioavailable and provides beneficial bacteria to your digestive system. Pickled beets are easy to make at home and so is the refreshing beverage Beet Kvass. This hands on class will walk you through the simple steps of fermenting beets and give you a taste of the results. Free, call the co-op to register. Catherine has been fermenting in jars, bottles and crocks for over a decade. There are times when 9 or more different types of products are bubbling around her home. She loves to experiment with food and share it with anyone interested in tasting something different.

what about the white film on my Sauerkraut?

Last night I was serving a friend dinner. Roast lamb and veggies with homemade sour cream and sauerkraut. My 3 gallon batch of fermented cabbage, burdock, apple, cranberry, seaweed and herbs was ready to harvest after bubbling for several weeks. I lifted the lid off the crock and found the surface of the brine covered with a thin white layer of yeast. This is the same yeast that I find on top of my sourdough starter, so I just wiped it away and pulled out a cup of kraut for us to eat. My friend curiously looked into the crock and asked about the white film. I told her it was yeast and that it’s not a problem. There is lots of yeast living in the air of my house since I have been fermenting for so long. ( this picture shows little bits of the yeast after I scooped most of it off) But this morning I woke up with some nagging doubts. Is the yeast really not a problem? It is what I …

Gut Rebuilding: the beginning of the GAPS diet

I’m enjoying the soothing effect of chicken broth on my intestines on day 4 of the GAPS intro diet. It is a rather involved process to switch to a new diet. Even for someone like me, who has been eating primarily whole, natural, gluten free foods and who ferments fervently, it is quite the adventure. I thought I would share a little about how my process is going so far to give folks a sense of what is involved. GAPS, the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet is an adaptation of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). It has a lot in common with the Paleo Diet in that it focuses on whole, natural meats and vegetables and excludes grains, sugar and all processed food. But it differs in some key points which make it uniquely suited to gut rebuilding. Particularly in the beginning, the main foods are bone broth, soups and fermented foods and all complex carbohydrates including potato and yam are excluded. GAPS was developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell–McBride to support the healing of her …

Water Kefir

Water Kefir is a wonderful way to make enzyme rich fermented beverages out of coconut water or fruit juice. It starts with this wonderful crumbly SCOBY that is a symbiotic relationship between fungal and bacterial cells. The water kefir grains tend to be in smaller clumps than kefir grains growing in milk, but they have the same property of making an effervescent, nutritive, slightly sour drink.

Teff and buckwheat gluten-free sourdough pancakes

It’s been too long since I’ve posted any beautiful food here. Today I’m having these amazing pancakes with cashew butter, homemade yogurt, blueberries and Borage blossom infused honey from my bees. Wow! If you’re curious to know my elaborate journey of making these pancakes, read on. My daughter insisted that I write out a recipe because she said these pancakes are amazing and I should make them again. There are no exact measurements, because I just mix things up until it is a good bubbly, barely pourable batter. It all started with sprouting buckwheat earlier this week.  I ended up cooking it together with teff grain to make a breakfast porridge. We added in dried currants that got wonderfully plumb in the boiling process. It was delicious, but we didn’t eat it all. So I tossed it into my gluten free sourdough starter and let it ferment overnight. In the morning I added three eggs, some homemade kefir, baking soda,  salt and vanilla extract to finish it up. Fried in butter, we decided that was …

Gluten Free Sourdough Starter

When I started eating grains again I wanted to eat the ones that were most easy for me to digest. One way to make grains more digestible is to ferment them first. My favorite way to ferment them is with a sourdough starter. The best starters are those that have been around for a while and have collected wild yeasts out of the air. They tend to be the most robust, because they have a large variety of yeasts. If you have a friend who’s been making sourdough bread for some time you can always get a little to start yours. But since I like mine to be completely gluten free I make it myself. It is really quite simple. Take a clean quart sized mason jar 1 cup of flour of your choice (my favorites are buckwheat, teff, millet, rice, gf oat, blue corn) 1 cup of warm filtered or spring water a hand full of blueberries, a couple plumbs or other fruit that has the white powdery yeast on the outside or a …

Fermentation Workshops in your home

Introducing a selection of short workshops to learn how to create delicious, gut friendly fermented foods and beverages in your own kitchen. Do it with your whole family or invite a group of friends to explore the joy of fermentation with you. Water Kefir and Beet Kvass: Delicious fermented beverages can be made completely dairy free to provide a wide spectrum of probiotics and healthy gut bacteria. Immune Boosting Herbal Sauerkraut: Organic Cabbage, root vegetables, berries and herbs are transformed into a delightful, tangy healing treat through the power of salt and time. Hands on, simple, step by step instructions, handouts and samples. Most kitchens will accommodate 3-6 participants.  

Listening to my gut

I’m not going to tell anyone how to eat, unless they ask my advice, of course.  But I finally told myself and am following my own advice. I got to the point where my aching joints, delayed bowel movements, frequent gas and dry skin just got to be too much for me. So I eliminated sugar, gluten, legumes and most grains from my diet a week ago. I know those are the foods I’ve struggled to digest in the past. And wow, do I feel better. The joint inflammation and pain is almost totally gone. My bowel movements are softening and totally unexpectedly I feel warm, even when it was 57 deg in my home. I’m excited and inspired. Have been browsing some paleo blogs for recipes and checking out the Gaps diet for extra ideas such as drinking bone broth with my meals. On some intellectual, moral, spiritual and environmental levels I think being vegetarian would be better. But my gut doesn’t seem to think so at all and that’s who I’ll be living …

Making Stuff

I seem to be obsessed with making stuff, or at least the idea of it. Beef stock Saurkraut Kefir Beeswax candles Knit seat cushions Intarsia gloves Salad dressing (just made some with my daughter yesterday, Yum. duelling flavors) Fermented Ketchup Kombucha not to mention the pile of half processed herbs and about a dozen new blog post ideas All these are running around my mind and whenever I have a minute I come up with more.Whoa! What is going on? I so don’t have time to make all of this. And where are all these ideas coming from?I’ll credit the 4 planets in Pisces, Realm of Possibility, where my Sun and Mercury live. My imagination is currently highly stimulated. Well, it’s weekend now so we’ll see where I get too. Maybe my hands in the dirt or a brisk walk outside would be good too. To clear my mind and ground my inspirations. ******************** Checking in a few months later. I have finished my fingerless gloves, and they are lovely.     It pleases me …