I love 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 adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon ( I love this book). I started out with her recipes and adapted them to my taste.
4 c. grated carrots, tightly packed
1 T. freshly grated ginger
3/4 T. sea salt
1/4 c. homemade whey
Whey: lots of ways to get whey but I think this one is the most available to everyone. (Whey is great to live culture with. 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.
4 med tomatoes, diced
2 small onions, finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped bell peppers
1 jalapeno or 1 habanero, habanero will be hot, jalapeno will be mild
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
3/4 T. sea salt
1/4 c. whey
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.
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&…
I highly recommend “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. Lots of great info. It is a cookbook with great recipes filled with great info about food and health. This is one of my “Food Bibles.” She devotes one chapter in this book to Fermented Foods. The rest of the book is extremely valuable as well. Here is the Amazon link to Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
Another great fermented foods resource is a book called “Wild Fermentation.” The whole book is about live culturing foods. Great recipes. This book helped me become Fearless in my Live Culturing and it became so much more fun. Here is the Amazon link to Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods