Live Cultured Foods Workshop Jan 2010

I love Live Cultured Foods also called Fermented foods. Did you know this is how they preserved food before canning and refrigeration was available. Lactic acid is produced in this process and is a natural preservative. The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. The lactic acid not only preserves the vegetables and fruits but also promotes the growth of healthy flora in your intestines.

I think we should eat some naturally fermented food at least once a day. The last 2 years I have been planning my garden around what fermented foods I could make out of it and slowly adding more to our diet. Below are some that we have really liked. Both of the recipes below are from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon ( I love this book) and she called for 1 T. of salt. It was too salty for me so I cut it in half. They seemed to have fermented fine. I have taken other recipes and just added 4 T. of whey and 1/2 T.(yes Tablespoon) of salt and they have fermented well!

Ginger Carrots (from Nourishing Traditions)

4 c. grated carrots, tightly packed

1 T. freshly grated ginger

1/2 T. sea salt

4 T. homemade whey

Whey: lots of ways to get whey but I think this one is the most available to everyone. Whey is great to lacto-ferment. I also soak my grains overnight adding a tablespoon or two of whey to the soaking water. Here is how to make it . . line a large strainer set over a bowl with a clean dish towel. Pour in the yogurt, cover and let stand at room temp for several hours. The whey will run into the bowl and the solids will stay in the strainer. When the bag stops dripping the whey is drained out. The solid part that is left is cream cheese, yummy cream cheese.

Back to ginger carrots:

In a bowl mix all ingredients and pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer to release juices. Place in a quart sized jar and press down firmly with a pounder until juices cover the carrots. The top of the carrots should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and leave at room temperature about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.

Salsa

4 med tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

2 small onions, finely chopped

3/4 cup chopped chile peppers, hot or mild

6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. dried oregano

juice of 2 lemons

1/2 T. sea salt

4 T. whey

1/4 filtered water

Mix all ingredients and place in a qt-sized jar. Press down lightly with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the vegetables should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temp for about 2 days before transferring to cold storage.

Coming soon: I am looking for my tomatillo salsa recipe and I’ll ask Wade for his kimchi recipe. I am doing beets this week. I’ll let you know whether those are successful. Tweaking them a little from my last batch.

There was an article this month (Feb 09) in the Catalyst Magazine about Fermented Foods. Here is the link http://www.catalystmagazine.net/component/content/780?task=view&amp…

I highly recommend “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. Lots of great info. The Davis County Library has it, I finally bought it since I needed it so often. It is a cookbook with great recipes filled with great info about food and health. This is one of my “Food Bibles.”

Another great fermented foods resource is a book called “Wild Fermentation.” The whole book is about fermentation. Great recipes.