Fabulous Ferments!

One of my new years resolutions this year is to eat more fermented foods!

So, on New Year’s Eve day I spent most of the day in the kitchen (my favorite place) and got some ferments going. I am planning on doing this once a month or at the most every six weeks, since they take so long to ferment and mellow. My goal is for Blake and I to consume at least 3 fermented foods or beverages per day- I am aiming for 5, but 3’s a good start.

If you are not familiar with fermented foods- you should be. They are full of beneficial bacteria and enzymes for healthy digestion. It’s one of the oldest ways to preserve food and  has been a part of human nutrition for centuries. Lacto fermentation uses lactobacillus bacteria to transform the sugars and starches in foods into lactic acid and enzymes. The lactic acid prevents the food from decomposing, which preserves the food.

Along with providing you with beneficial bacteria they also make vitamins and minerals more available and carbohydrates are broken down requiring less insulin for digestion. In addition to all the health benefits they just plain taste good!

I will be posting the recipes and how to’s soon- but in the mean time check out these beauties!

I cannot wait to start eating them! They have been fermenting for a week and now they are ready to transfer to the fridge to mellow. I could probably eat them now, but I prefer the taste after they have mellowed for about a month. Notice there is one called “Something Strange”? That is one that Blake and I decided to do some real experimenting with- rutabaga, apples, radish, ginger, cinnamon- Oh My! Wonder how that baby is gonna taste!! :0

I am particularly excited about these brined lemons! I can almost taste the fresh lemonade these will make! These beauties won’t be ready for about 6 weeks though- I can hardly wait. If they turn out to be as delicious as I think I will be making a HUGE batch next time.

Now- this pretty lady is beet kvass. Kvass is an excellent for your liver and blood and excellent for digestion.

From Nourishing Traditions:

This drink is valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are just loaded with nutrients. One 4 ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment kidney stones and other ailments.

I just found out that you can also make kvass from other fruits and vegetables such as apples, ginger or raspberries! I will be trying this soon. I like the taste of the beet kvass but apple-ginger sounds so good!!

Just an FYI- some recipes call for using whey as the innoculant, but since I cannot tolerate whey I just use salt. I have tried the beet kvass before using the whey and I didn’t care for the taste.

These are a staple at our house and are another type of ferment. They use water kefir grains- you can see them settled at the bottom of the jars. I almost always have a batch going, as we drink them daily. I mentioned the coconut water kefir here before. The water kefir we use to make homemade sodas.

So, this is what I have going right now. Look for the recipes to follow soon!!

Do you eat any fermented foods and beverages yet? If not, are you willing to try some?

*added to Simple Lives Thursday , Melt In Your Mouth Monday , Sunday School , Sugar Free Sunday  , Homestead Barn Hop , Real Food 101 , Meatless Monday , Mouthwatering Monday , My Meatless Monday , Fat Tuesday , Probiotic Food Challenge , Freaky Friday

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22 Responses to Fabulous Ferments!

  1. hännah says:

    I’ve got my first batch of sauerkraut going in the pantry! I can’t wait to try it 🙂

  2. JoAnn says:

    Looks really good, but your kimchi needs more red pepper (we like ours red). ; ) Let me know how it turns out

  3. Allison says:

    I have some lemons in salt right now (I think that counts?) We made sauerkraut over the summer also. My husband drinks kefir every day, but I don’t really drink it in the winter. I’m not usually big on cold drinks when I’m already cold! 😉 I did receive a good on fermentation for Christmas, so there’s probably more of it in my future.

  4. Allison says:

    P.S I’m trying to find a way to follow your blog through a reader. Do you have one?

  5. Heather says:

    Eating more fermented foods is on my list this year as well! I have made kimchi once, and we get a lot of fermented foods from our winter CSA. I’m hoping to start making some more of my own soon. There is a really great recipe for lacto fermented salsa here http://www.simplebites.net/lacto-fermentation-a-healthier-more-sustainable-way-to-preserve-2/?doing_wp_cron=1326207583

    • Linnae says:

      I made kimchi once using whey and I loved the taste of it but couldnt eat it because I discovered I have an allergy to whey shortly after I made it. So, this new batch has no whey and I cant wait to eat it! I made the salsa this summer with tomatoes from my garden, we love it! My son love to eat it on sweet potato and beet chips! so yummy!

  6. Liberty says:

    Oh those lemons look great – curious about the brine solution…
    We’ve had a bumper crop of turnips this year and I’ve made fermented turnips with success….so delish.
    the only thing not palatable is kale. too iron-y to swallow…

    • Linnae says:

      The brine is just water and salt- thats it! super easy! The turnips sound so yummy! I would never have thought to use kale- good to know!! Thanks!

  7. Very cool! I think fermented foods is in my future too. I just finished reading Real Food Foragers 28 day probiotic challenge.. You should check her out. http://realfoodforager.com/28-day-probiotic-food-challenge-signup/

    Thanks for linking to this week’s Sugar Free Sunday!

  8. Connie says:

    Love Kimchi…my niece is Korean and wow does she ever make fabulous Kimchi….unfortunately, you really don’t want to be around people for a few days after…definitely need Scope or gum LOL.

    Great Post.

  9. Pingback: Simple Lives Thursday #78 | GNOWFGLINS

  10. nice, more ferments for me to try! 🙂

    Thanks for posting on FF.

  11. gogardengirl says:

    Have been experimenting with ferments since the summer. A friend was very sick this fall and took 3 rounds of stronger and stronger antibiotics. Someone suggested drinking kombucha, but at 3-4 a bottle she was cringing. I suggested that we order the kombucha scoby and I also tried the water kefir from Cultures for Health. We are still waiting on the scoby to rehydrate, but the kefir has been producing amazing amounts. Mine does look quite different as we are using combination of sucanate and turbinado sugar. It starts out a rich brown color, but after a couple of days on the counter it is mellow yellow color. No sugary taste, but some nice fizz. Curious how you are producing such a clear kefir. We have also enjoyed kimchi and beet kvass. Yum! Have fun.

    • Linnae says:

      Good luck with the kombucha! I love the stuff and drank it quite a bit about a year ago but recently had some weird reactions to it-I’m so bummed! I’m gonna try and drink beet kvass to detox for a couple months and then try the kombucha again. Regarding the water kefir, I sometimes use sucanat and it turns out more brown like you described, but lately I have just been using organic white cane sugar. Even though I would NEVER eat white sugar,I read somewhere that its the stuff the kefir grains love the most, same with the kombucha. I actually bought the bag of white sugar when I started making the kombucha because that’s what was recommended over the sucanat. In my opinion the kefir grains produce the same with the white sugar as they do with the sucanat. So, next time I have to buy sweetener for ferementing I will just pick up whats the cheapest. 🙂 Happy fermenting!

  12. Pingback: Recipe: Strawberry Vinaigrette | ournourishingjourney

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