Fermented Grape Tomatoes

A wonderful way to preserve grape tomatoes for use in salads, etc.

Wash about a quart of grape tomatoes (don’t use water with chlorine) and remove the stems.
Poke a hole in each tomato with a toothpick, to allow the brine to enter the tomato.
Fill a wide mouth quart canning jar with the tomatoes to within an inch and a half of the top, adding a basil leaf every few inches.
Mix 4 cups of water (again, no chlorine as this will prevent fermentation) with 3 Tablespoons of sea salt.
Pour this brine over the tomatoes in the jar leaving an inch of space at the top. (You may not need all of the brine).
End with several basil leaves on the top to help keep the tomatoes under water.
Use a glass canning lid, a well scrubbed stone or a small bag filled with brine to keep the tomatoes submerged under the brine. Cover the jar with an airlock and place in a dark area (ie. a kitchen cabinet) for 3 – 5 days.
If you don’t have an airlock system you can cover loosely so that gases can escape.
After 3 -5 days, refrigerate. The basil imparts a wonderful, aromatic, sweetness to the tomatoes.

Crockpot Lacto-Fermented Pear Butter

Thanks to generous friends, we had a pile of pears in our kitchen waiting to be used. My husband suggested subbing in pears in our standard apple butter recipe. We tried it and loved it. It smells just like fall!

Wash, core, and quarter the pears. Place in slow cooker and add water, cinnamon and ginger. Cook on low for 8-12 hours, or until the pears are soft.
When pears are soft, puree the apple mixture in the slow cooker using an immersion blender. (Alternately, you could transfer in batches to a stand blender.) Continue cooking on low in the slow cooker with the lid off until it reaches the desired consistency, usually about 1-2 hours.
Allow to cool, then stir in 2 T. of whey. Put into jars. Leave at room temperature for 24-48 hours before transferring to the refrigerator.
* This should keep for at least 2 months in the refrigerator.

Cortido (Latin American Sauerkraut)

Cortido is another one of my favorite sauerkrauts! I just fermented a couple of quarts so I thought I’d share my recipe with you. There’s just something about the combo of onion, oregano, and red pepper flakes that’s really unique! If you’ve never had anything like it, you’re just going to have to trust me and try it. My recipe is adapted from the classic traditional foods cookbook Nourishing Traditions.

Cut the core out of the cabbage and cut it in to chunks that will fit in your food processor, if using one.
Shred the cabbage in a food processor with the slicing disc (or you can chop it with a knife).
Grate the carrots.
Slice the onion.
Mix all the veggies in a deep bowl with the oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt.
Pound it for 10 minutes with a kraut pounder, meat tenderizer, large pestle, or just by squeeze it with your hands (you might want to wear gloves because of the red pepper flakes).
This will pull some water from the cabbage to make a brine.
Place the cabbage mixture and brine into quart jars leaving at least an inch of space at the top.
If you don’t have enough brine to cover all the cabbage, add filtered water to the jar until it’s covered.
Place the lid on the jar and leave it on the counter to ferment.
Check it after 3 days and see how it tastes, if it’s to your liking put it in the fridge, if not, close it back up and check again in a couple of days.
Make sure you check the jars every couple of days and release some of the gases that build up. If you forget about it long enough your jar will explode. Then you’ll never make that mistake again!
Store the finished sauerkraut in the fridge.

 
Editor’s Note: I highly recommend purchasing Fido jars for fermenting as their special lids allow for Co2 to escape while also keeping O2 out. They also are not prone to exploding like regular canning jars. Plus, the lids are glass with a rubber seal! Other great options are the Pickl-It Jars and Harsch crocks.

 

Red Cabbage Kraut with Cumin and Caraway Seeds

So far, this is my very favorite flavor of sauerkraut!
This recipe is based on a kraut we were purchasing regularly and spending way too much money on, so I decided to figure out how to make it myself. My favorite ways to use this kraut is with hot dogs, on fried eggs, stuffed into half an avocado, and as a salad dressing.

Cut the core out of the cabbage and cut it in to chunks that will fit in your food processor, if using one
Shred the cabbage in a food processor with the slicing disc (or you can chop it with a knife)
Put it in a deep bowl with the cumin, caraway, and salt
Pound it for 10 minutes with a kraut pounder, meat tenderizer, or large pestle (or just by squeeze it with your hands)
This will pull some water from the cabbage to make a brine
Place the cabbage mixture and brine into quart jars leaving at least an inch of space at the top
If you don’t have enough brine to cover all the cabbage, add filtered water to the jar until it’s covered
Place the lid on the jar and leave it on the counter to ferment
Check it after 3 days and see how it tastes, if it’s to your liking put it in the fridge, if not, close it back up and check again in a couple of days
Make sure you check the jars every couple of days and release some of the gases that build up. If you forget about it long enough your jar will explode. Then you’ll never make that mistake again!
Store the finished sauerkraut in the fridge

Fermented Shredded Indian Carrots

An aromatic blend of spices with shredded carrots, this tastes good fermented or not.

Shred carrots either with a grater or in a food processor. Place in a large non-reactive bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well and let rest for about 15 mins. by now the salt should have released the juices from the carrots. You can mash it a bit with a kraut pounder, wooden spoon or just squeeze in your hands. Spoon into a mason jar or fermentation vessel, pressing down so the carrots are submerged in their juices. Use a weight to keep the carrot submerged. Cover and let set at room temperature for about 5 days.

Brine Pickled Celery

Usually for me celery is just a tool to get ranch dressing to my mouth but I’ve fallen in love with pickled celery. This ferment is very simple to do with much rewards.

Trim celery and cut into pieces to fit your jar. Stuff celery in a quart sized mason jar (you might need 2 jars depending on how much celery you have). Insert garlic, onion slices and dill in between the celery stalks. Pour in starter culture and cover with salt brine to about 1″ from the top of the jar. Cover tightly and let set at room temperature for 5-7 days. Burp the jar daily to release built up gases.

Sprouted Navy Bean Hummus, GAPS Legal

A GAPS legal hummus made from navy beans. Fermenting adds a wonderful tang to an already yummy dip. Sprouting directions can be found on my website.

In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until a smooth paste. Place in a quart sized mason jar filling only to about 2″ below the lid (you might have some left over to enjoy now). Cover loosely and let set at room temp for 3 days. Move to cold storage.

Brine Pickled Brussels Sprouts

Closely related to cabbage, they are a perfect vegetable to pickle. The best part about these, besides the awesome taste, is how cool they look in the jar.

Layer the Brussels sprouts, shallots, and red pepper flakes in 1 quart mason jar, packing them tight. Pour whey or vegetable culture over the top and fill with salt brine to cover, leaving about 1” of head space. Use a small plate or cabbage leaf to keep Brussels sprouts submerged. Let set at room temperature for one to two weeks. Place in cold storage.
Beware when opening the jar. This smells almost as good as kimchi.

Crockpot Lacto-Fermented Apple Butter

This is so easy and makes your kitchen smell delicious! It requires very little hands-on time and tastes just like Grandma’s apple butter.

Wash, core, and quarter the apples. Place in slow cooker and add water and cinnamon. Cook on low for 8-12 hours, or until the apples are soft.
When apples are soft, puree the apple mixture in the slow cooker using an immersion blender. (Alternately, you could transfer in batches to a stand blender.) Continue cooking on low in the slow cooker with the lid off until it reaches the desired consistency, usually about 1-2 hours.
Allow to cool, then stir in 2 T. of whey. Put into jars. Leave at room temperature for 24-48 hours before transferring to the refrigerator.
*This should keep for at least 2 months in the refrigerator. I’ve also frozen it both before and after lacto-fermenting with great results. Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Lactofermented Indian Spiced Cauliflower

I’ve had the image of golden colored cauliflower in my head and having had cauliflower curry in the past, I knew this combo would be smashing. Crunchy, sour and spicy!

In a 1/2 gallon mason jar, layer cauliflower, spices and salt, gently pressing cauliflower in. Pour whey over the top and fill jar with filtered water. Cover tightly and shake to disperse spices and dissolve salt. Loosen cover and let set at room temp for 3-5 days. I like to tighten the lid on the last day of fermentation to seal in a little effervescence. Nothing more fun than fizzy vegetables!

Lactofermented Mushrooms with Thyme and Marjoram

These are great on their own or as a salad topping. Flavoring with thyme and marjoram just seemed right.

Quarter mushrooms and layer into a quart sized mason jar with thyme, marjoram and garlic. Fill to the top with the brine solution. Use a weight to hold the mushroom under water (I just used a small spice jar filled with water that fits nicely inside my jar). Cover loosely and let set for 3-5 days. If you don’t use all the brine, place remaining in the fridge for future use.

Simple Lacto-Fermented Salsa

Do you notice your store-bought salsa molds soon after opening? Or perhaps you’re only checking out this post because you’re skeptical about the word “simple” in association with “lacto-fermented.” I promise this recipe will take less than 15 minutes for the average person, and what do you receive in return? Salsa with a longer refrigerator life and an aid in your body’s digestion.

Pour salsa into Quart Jar and add whey.
Cover with paper towel or cheese cloth and a rubber band to hold the cover on.
Sit Quart Jar in a warm part of your house.
After 2 or 3 days, put the Quart lid on and refrigerate as usual.