Category Archives: fermented foods

How to easily make delicious beet kvass.

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This is a picture of the beet kvass after I’ve drank most of it. Beet kvass is a wonderful and richly nourishing drink that’s loaded with probiotics and healing properties. It supports immune function and cleanses the blood. I find that it gives me energy and an overall feeling of goodness. It’s my favourite ferment right now.
*update* I am finding that when I do not consume the beet kvass regularly I get dehydrated with headaches. I try to start all my mornings off with beet kvass. Here’s something else that’s interesting… If beet kvass makes your pee (not poo) red, then you have low stomach acid. I figured this out after I went on a research hunt to figure out why the beets had suddenly stopped creating red urine even though I was drinking more than ever. And when I quit drinking it for a while, the beets make my pee red again (low stomach acid) until I’ve been drinking it for about a week consistently every morning.

*i highly recommend making this in a FIDO (clamp down jar). The FIDO (made in Italy) brand does seem to be the best or other brands like LeParfait (made in France). Anything really not “made in China” should be good. When you make it in a FIDO, you don’t have to worry about yeasts and moulds as the environment becomes anaerobic (without oxygen) and yeasts and moulds need oxygen to survive.*

HOW TO MAKE BEET KVASS:

PER LITRE: (I make 4 litres at a time in a large FIDO jar):

-2-3 large beets, cut up with skins on. Notes: (do not grate your beets or they will ferment too fast and turn alcoholic). Your beet to brine ratio should be about half and half to get a good, thick kvass.
To make beets sweeter for your kvass, cut tops off and leave a week to let the sugars concentrate.

-1 TBSP salt (20 grams precisely)- you can use a bit less salt if you don’t like salty tastes.

-1 litre of unchlorinated water (I use the beet water from cooked beets, cooled)

Enchanting Additions:
-cut up pieces of ginger
-cayenne
-peppercorns
-carrot
-dill
-some people swear adding by onions and cabbage for people that don’t like beets.

1. Put all ingredients in a jar, the clamp down ones work best. Leave a good amount of head space, about 1-2 inches. Don’t leave too much or the environment may not become anaerobic.
2. Let ferment 5-9 days on the counter, or longer. It’s fine for long periods of time as you don’t open it.
3. Strain the liquid out once its thick and delicious. Refrigerate liquid. You can use your beets now to make a second batch by adding more brine. I usually add a few more beets.

OR The leftover beets can eaten as pickled beets or in a salad. To make them they should be placed in another brine to ferment them further. 1 tbsp salt to 1 litre water. Add some dill?

Fermented Foods Blog To Come!

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I am quite in awe right now of the attention I am getting in regards to fermented foods. People want to
learn about these cultured foods and I want to teach it. Teaching is has been instrumental to me learning it. I love the wisdom of cultured foods and the availability for everyone to experience them. Beneficial Microbes are waiting for you everywhere. They want to be made into these life giving foods. We need it. Did you know that there are more bacteria in your body than cells!?!? Imagine them with me now, all microscopic and lively living along the walls of your intestines. Your intestinal wall cells (epithelial cells) actually have receptors for bacteria! Bacteria fill up the spaces available and lets hope
Its the good bacteria that has taken up residence. They crowd out the bad guys, did ya know?
Making cultured foods is not expensive or time consuming unless your like me and are consumed by it… Then it is life consuming. And ANYONE can do it safely. Fermented foods are safer than canning. The microbes are genius as they preserve their own environment with acids and alcohol, preventing pathogens. Wow!
So this is my BIG announcement. I’m having a new baby…. A blog baby! A blog dedicated to probiotic recipes and information! Everyday I discover new ways to put together probiotics with healthy ingredients and nourishing coconut oil. And my eyes swell up at the possibilities to be nourished AND have it taste amazing. I can’t keep
It in any longer. My dabblings in cultured treats, snacks and such shall be yours. I’ll post the link to my new site as soon as it’s up. Stay tuned…
UPDATE, new blog:
Cultured Food Humblings

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Robbing The Hole.

I’ve been there, trying to stretch your money to make food last the longest. This often means going to a big cheap store and loading up on two dollar boxes of crackers, breads, cereals, granola bars and pasta. When you look at the entire picture, this is actually a very expensive way to eat. I know, I’ve been there, trying to fill the hole so the children don’t go hungry; So they always have snacks. But really, by filling up on cheap, processed foods you are really robbing the hole, not filling it. These foods deplete your body and force it to work overtime to deal with such inappropriate foods for humans. It takes energy, vitamins and minerals for it to pass through you. They also contribute to every known ailment ask Dr.Oz or Dr.Mercola. Hah!
Now, if you’ve been robbing the hole, let’s set aside guilt, it is of no use to us. You were doing your best and now you’re going to do better. What can you do? A lot, even on a tight budget. Think about Grandma or Great Grandma, what did they eat during extremely hard times?
You can watch your health and the health of your family increase dramatically as you replace processed foods with real foods. You all will get use to it, even your tastes will change. Here are some cheap nutrient dense foods to start adding in, you can get them for cheap or often free:

1. Eat eggs! They are good for you again (hehe). Even the little contradictory pamphlets at the doctors office tell me to eat eggs now. Egg yolks are full of Vitamins and good fats and when eaten slightly cooked or raw, your body barely has to digest it to get energy. They contain almost every nutrient we require, as an egg has all that it needs to create a baby chick.
2. Make lard. There’s an abundance of pig fat due to lard being given a bad name and rendering is not hard. But it’s actually a very high quality fat that your body needs; think about the animal fats that your ancestors survived and evolved on. Their brains grew larger on it. Try googling lard is bad for you and all it comes up with is “lard is no longer bad for you” and “lard is the new health food.” This is based on ancient wisdom combined with research. Please eat lard, it’s WAY cheaper than butter and margarine is evil. Evil!
3. Make bone broth now. Have soup once a day, or more. Source bones for free or cheap. Research all the good info on bone broth and ask my kids (or my poops) how Amazing it is. You can do it.
4. Buy lots of organic apples on sale they last and can be made into stuff. Apples are now what my kids (and children visiting us) go for when they want a sweet treat. Your children (or partner) will get use to it and love it eventually as they no longer feel like crap all the time. You can even fancy up your apples with cinnamon and vanilla!
5. Ok, now we are going to get a little more complicated, but we are still staying very inexpensive. Start Fermenting Foods. I can’t stress enough how Important it is to repopulate your gut with good bacteria everyday. E. Coli and Salmonella and Clostridia Dificile are all kept in check in your body by the good microbes, unless you don’t have enough… Good microbes inhabit space and use up available nutrients (prebiotics) before pathogens can, thus crowding them out. Fermenting (or culturing) foods can feel daunting at first, but it’s not hard and there’s a lot of hard working people out there (me included) who can guide you through it. You can start with something easy (and super cheap to make) like kombucha. You need to source a kombucha mother or SCOBY. You can pretty much ferment any real food. I love to make sauerkraut and kimchi and other fermented vegetables like cortido. There’s also dairy ferments like yogurt and kefir and cheese and sour cream and on and on. My family and I have come to crave these foods as has many people who have converted to real foods.
6. Eat organ meats!?!? Yes. Animals store vitamins (not toxins) in their organs especially the liver. Vitamin D ad A specifically, and in high amounts. If you don’t like organs, you can add small amounts into sauces and soups. I blend chicken liver from organic, grass fed chickens into beef stroganoff and it’s amazing. Use very small amounts to start, an ounce or less so you don’t ruin your meal. I cut up the liver and freeze on a cookie sheet to have small pieces to use at a time. We’ve been very fortunate lately and have been getting free liver from Deer. Sound scary? When my mother brought it to me, it was the most amazing and Healthy looking liver I had ever seen. Actually, the entire deer is that way. I stare in awe at feet that are never gnarly, broken or raw. Their hides are so full and thick and their flesh smells so clean that my mom can’t resist eating it raw. O.o

These foods I have mentioned are all inexpensive and will leave you feeling full longer. They are all nourishing and healing. They will also eliminate the cravings for bad foods when eaten for long enough. An apple a day…
By adding in good, nutrient dense foods you are protecting and strengthening generations to come! Hiya!

So, my last words: A box of something processed can buy a dozen eggs or maybe 5 or 10 lbs of pig fat or a head of cabbage to make a fermented, probiotic rich drink (called cabbage rejuvelac) or a whack load Of bones or a bag of apples. Stop robbing the hole and start nourishing it. You deserve it!

For more info on fermenting contact me or join my partner and I on fb at “Nadine and Keirsten’s Fermentation Station.”
Another great resource is Donna Schwenk’s site
http://www.culturedfoodlife.com

Mouth watering goodness. A meal complete with ferments (the jalapeƱos were fermented).

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Liver on a cookie sheet.

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Soaked Oatmeal.

Me.

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Our newest investment… A new baby! Little Aayla Olive.

Food Preparation Becomes Meditation.

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I’m making probiotic almond milk for the first time. I’ve soaked the almonds for days and days in a nut milk bag. I’ve rinsed the almonds every day by pulling out the bag and leaving the liquid. It’s ready.
Now it’s time to do something with the milk and the almonds. I’m going to skin the almonds by hand. By gently squeezing each one the skins pop off. One by one, I’m in a beautiful daze taking note of the tiny sprouts protruding; the browns of the skins which remind me of tree bark. It all amazes me; the colours, textures and smells…but mostly by the ability of food to be brought to life simply with water and maybe salt. Now I have live almonds that I can use to make tamari almonds and almond flour for cookies or muffins. Probably muffins. It took a long time to peel but it was time spent reflecting and enjoying the process. When I’m skinning almonds, I’m skinning almonds.

Fermented Banana Muffins (Grain-free, GAPS)

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I’ve had this idea for a while…
What if instead of replacing sugar with out natural sweeteners, we just ate things less sweet? Could companies make things less sweet instead of adding artificial sweeteners? I think so.
My tastes have certainly changed since eating a more traditional diet. I actually find many things too sweet. Sometimes an apple is overwhelmingly sweet to me!
So, I was on the hunt for a “less sweet” banana muffin recipe that still had butter and eggs in it and used fermented bananas.
It was nowhere to be found! And so I had to invent it.
We always have such an abundance of wonderful pastured eggs here and they are so good for you, I use a lot of them.
I used 15 for this recipe, but it’s also a double recipe. If you’re like me, you make huge batches and share them with friend, neighbours while still gorging on them yourself!

Less Sweet Fermented Banana Muffins RECIPE:

-I ferment the bananas in a glass container for up to a week. They get sweet and black. You’ll need about 8-10 bananas for this recipe. I always make more and use it for other stuff, or
freeze it. It will keep in fridge for weeks longer too.

-Now is the time to get happy and preheat your oven. If you won’t do it now… When!?!? 325 degrees.

-Start melting your butter or coconut oil.

Ingredients:

2 cups of coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
10 eggs yolks plus 5 eggs (or 10 whole eggs, but I prefer the yolks for extra nutrients and good fat)
2/3 cup melted butter or coconut oil
2 TBSP vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
3 joyful dashes of salt
1/4 cup sweetener (maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar or nectar or Rapadura- use more sweetener if you are use to really sweet stuff)
3 1/2 cups of fermented bananas (if you don’t have enough you can sub any kind of milk)

I put everything in a bowl and mix it like muffins never should be! It’s so against the rules, but since it’s gluten-free it will be ok!

Bake 15-20 min at 325.

-Eat it and enjoy the natural essence and sweetness of the bananas. Close your eyes if you have to.

*update* this is what the fermented banana looks like pre-fermentation.
Will post post-ferm picture later!

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What are cultured/fermented foods? An introduction.

Cultured foods are foods which have broken down by yeast, bacteria or
Fungi. They consume complicated substances like carbohydrates and sugar, breaking it down into simpler forms while producing acid or alcohol. The acid or alcohol preserve their environment, making it impossible
for harmful bacteria (like botulism) to occur. They also produce valuable
enzymes and minerals. They unlock nutrients making them easily absorbable.
Some better known fermented foods are yogurt, cheese, wine, beer, sauerkraut and hard alcohol. The alcohol you buy no longer has any probiotic benefits. Most commercial sauerkraut is pasteurized. it
does not contain the beneficial bacteria if it has been.
Increasingly more I am seeing other cultured foods in health food stores
such as kefir, kombucha, sprouted grains and traditional pickles.
Most cultures I am encountering have some form of fermented foods which I will cover in another post.
Fermenting foods at home is easy. You can do it in little time with very little equipment and it is safe. I started with making mozza and sauerkraut and then moved to kombucha. After that I dabbled in kimchi, beet kvass, fermented fish sauce, kefir and lastly I am making water kefir.
I’ve never felt better.
Each cultured food has their own different properties and benefits. Diversity in our body is key!
So eat your cultured foods and eat them often! You can pretty much ferment any real food!
Please let me know what you would
like to know more about!

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