Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fermented foods..

I'm making Sauerkraut 
Here's a quick rundown of what I did. There's so many ways, so this is Suzi style.

1. I got 1.5 ORGANIC cabbages, 3 organic carrots and a red onion (any pesticide/fungicide will prevent fermentation)

2. Chopped it up finely, salted it (use Maldon, Himalaya or any salt that hasn't been processed or iodised) and then I left it covered overnight to wilt.

3. Then I stuck it in my food grade plastic tub and smooshed and bashed  the heck out of it with my masher and rolling pin end until the natural water content was released.
4. This is when you add flavour if you like (see Polish lady links below), but I didn't have anything interesting on hand.

5.After layering with herbs/mixing in dry spice, it needs to be weighed down. I placed a plate over the top to keep the cabbage from rising. I used zip lock bags filled with water to weigh it down. It's nice as you can see what it's doing through the bag.

6.  Cover with cling/plastic wrap, gently place lid ontop and leave in your kitchen for 3 days. Then move it to a cooler place (but not the garage, you don't want to the process to slow too much) for about 3 weeks checking daily.
                  (mine's orange because of the carrots. I'll try purple cabbage and beetroot next time)
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There is so much anecdotal evidence about fermented food that I'm not sure what to think. I like and agree with some of the information.. but find a niggle in my mind about the lack of evidence either way.

I just pick at what I feel like doing and if it makes me feel good, then that's great! You'll hear about it :o)

                                                                                                                                             ( pic milk and water Kefir "grains")
Dom, (click here for his site)and has started a big come back (from the traditional cultural use) of Kefir, shows the breakdown of micro-organisms found in milk Kefir. I'm sure you'll gasp when you see some of the bad names in there. They seem to have a use though at keeping the others in check and are generally regarded as safe. Interesting reading...

Milk Kefir tastes like a cross between cream cheese and plain yoghurt.. hard to drink a glass of that a day. Water Kefir you can flavour with fruit like the original fizzy drinks. Ginger would be great!!

BUT Kefir is a bit high maintenance for me. A bit like sourdough. I love sourdough bread and I can FEEL that it's low GI. It's an alkaline food which helps prevent inflammatory conditions but you have to feed it all the time. Thank heaven for freezers! (baby jabba is sleeping there right now - he may be dead... )
                            
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So anyway I watched this Polish lady who makes the traditional recipe for Saxon Sauerkraut. She's great to watch and I love it when she sticks her feet in!

Then went to this site for the recipe I used as I was sure it would be fail safe. She talks a lot but it's all interesting. I'd like to see lab results though.. as the proof seeker I am, how does she know it takes 3-4 weeks to get "Tri-i-llions of lacto-bacillus" ??


So! What's your fermented favourite?

 There's a huge amount of them out there, naturally fermented soy sauce for one, homemade kimchi (at any good Korean eatery, sauerkraut (NOT the one in the jar with vinegar), Kombucha, Sourdough bread (stone ground please)... and the list goes on...EDITED TO ADD: Chocolate!! Hello!! Cacao pods are opened, fermented and then the cocoa butter (cream colour and a good fat) is separated from the brown solids that we use as powder.


1 comment:

farmer_liz said...

those looks like some interesting links, I'm going to have to come back to this post and have a good look at them. I usually refer to Nourishing Traditions for recipes and advise on fermenting. I've only tried the sauerkraut and kefir. I keep forgetting to eat the SK, but we have kefir every day :)