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.

Lactofermented Sauerkraut

Here is the way this extremely nourishing condiment was traditionally prepared, lacto-fermented style. This is a raw recipe that is chock full of enzymes that aid in digestion and the immune system. Cabbage is an amazing superfood that provides a lot of vitamin C, fiber, and is rich in cancer-inhibiting elements. Eating cabbage in the form of raw, lacto-fermented sauerkraut is probably the most nutrient dense way to prepare it, in my opinion.

Toss your cabbage in a bowl and add the caraway seeds.
Now add the sea salt and whey.
Pound it all with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer for 10 minutes.
Now stick it all in a quart-sized wide-mouthed jar and press it down really well until the juices cover the top. I found that a ladle did the trick for this part.
There should be at least one inch above the cabbage and the top of the jar.
Cover tightly and keep it at room temperature for about 3 days, then store it in the fridge. You’ll notice the flavor improves the longer it’s been stored. I wish more foods were like this…

Lacto-Fermented Sumac Onions

I first tasted sumac onions at my first visit to a Persian restaurant. Right away, I was hooked and was putting these sour marinated onions on everything, with extra sumac shaken on. Love that stuff! Since then, I have been wanting to create a fermented version for extra nutrients. Serve with just about any Middle Eastern dish!

Peel and thinly slice onions. I use a food processor. Sprinkle sumac over the onions and stir to coat.
Firmly pack the onion mixture into 2 quart sized mason jars and leave an inch of head space.
Mix together a 3.6% brine by adding 2 tbsp unrefined sea salt into 1 quart of non-chlorinated, filtered water. Stir to dissolve.
Pour brine solution over onions. Press onions down so they are under the liquid. At this point you can cover with a cabbage or grape leaf and weigh down with a sterilized rock or fermenting weight. Keep the 1 inch head space. I am using a homemade airlock system, but it’s not necessary. You can just cap them with a canning lid.
Set out of the way on the counter and cover with a cloth to block out light. Leave on counter for 3-7 days before transferring to refrigerator. Watch for signs of fermenting after a couple days. You should see small bubbles trapped on sides. After 3-4 days, smell to see if has the sour fermented smell. Use a clean fork to test a piece. If not to your taste leave out a few days longer. Will keep 6 months in fridge.
Note:Ferments happen slower in cooler weather. Also, if you choose to use a starter, such as whey, only use 1 tbsp of salt in your brine and leave on the counter only 2 days as the starter greatly speeds up the fermenting process.

Lacto-fermented Garlic

An amazing way to preserve garlic! The lacto-fermenting process also takes some of the heat out of the garlic, making it pretty easy to eat raw. The benefits of eating raw garlic are astronomical. Garlic is known to have great healing qualities. Use your lacto-fermented garlic in any recipe that calls for fresh garlic. Of course, if you cook it, you will lose probiotics, but the flavor is fantastic.

Place garlic heads on a cookie sheet and put in a warm oven, no more than 200 degrees for about an hour. Alternately, you could place in a dehydrator set at 160 for the same time. This precess helps to loosen the skins from the cloves, making the garlic easier to peel.
Peel the garlic being sure to leave the root end intact. Cutting off the root end of the clove could cause the fermentation process to be uneven.
Fill a clean quart size mason jar with the peeled garlic. Pour in the whey or veggie juice at this time if you will be doing it that way. Dissolve the 2 tablespoons of sea salt in 1 quart of water. Pour over the garlic, leaving at least an inch of head space.
I weigh down the garlic with a cabbage leaf and place a clean rock (that I’ve boiled to sterilize) on top to keep them below the liquid.
Cover with a lid and leave on the counter for 48 hours if using the whey option, otherwise leave on the counter for about 5-7 days. Open up the jar after a few days to see if it is beginning to smell sour to your liking.
Remove cabbage leaf and rock and store in the refrigerator for up to a year. Can be eaten right away, but I like them after they have aged about a month in the refrigerator.
*NOTE: Some garlic pieces may turn blue in this process. Don’t be alarmed. It is a chemical reaction with the copper in some water and is harmless.

Homemade Fermented Kimchee

An easy and delicious version of Korean Kimchee. This dish will keep indefinitely in your refrigerator after the initial fermentation. All the veggies I use in this dish are organically grown.

Prepare all the vegetables and put them into a very large bowl, crock or food safe bucket, or more than one container if you need to in order to have enough room.
When you add the cabbage, do it in layers, adding the salt as you go.
Pound and mix the vegetables until it is very juicy.
Pack firmly into a gallon-sized glass jar.
Cover with cabbage leaves held down by clean rocks. The vegetables need to be kept below the liquid that rises to protect them from the air and spoilage. You can also use a food storage bag filled with water, and sealed tightly to hold the vegetables down. I would double bag the water, to be safe.
Cover jar. Let sit at room temperature, venting the jar occasionally, for 3 days. Then refrigerate.
When you are ready to eat some, either right away or after a week or two, remove the rocks and cabbage leaves and enjoy! Once it is refrigerated, you needn’t worry about it spoiling and can leave off the cabbage leaves.

Lacto-fermented Cranberry Apple Chutney

This lacto-fermented apple chutney is sweet, spicy, slightly tangy and a perfect compliment to raw cheddar, kefir, yogurt, poultry and more. It’s hard not to eat a whole bowl full of this stuff! Think of all the awesome probiotics you will get eating this lacto-fermented chutney.

Combine the water, lemon juice, salt and whey. Mix the combined liquids with the other ingredients and pack firmly into 2 - quart sized jars or 1 - half-gallon jar, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace at the top. The liquid should come to the top of the fruit. Add a little more water if necessary. (I usually layer apples, cranberries and pecans together in my food processor and let it do all the work.)
Cover and leave at room temperature for 48 hours (alternately, use a lacto-fermentation device that has an airlock system, such as those offered by Cultures for Health. You should see trapped bubbles around the sides, which is a sign of active fermentation.
Refrigerate and leave in the fridge another week before eating. Will keep for about 2 months in the refrigerator. Be sure to always use a clean utensil when dipping out of the jar and re-pack the fruit each time.
Tip: Use this lacto-fermented cranberry apple chutney as a “dressing” on top of shredded cabbage for a probiotic rich salad.

Fruit Kimchi

A Korean fermented food, fruit kimchi, is spicy, sweet, and healthy. This recipe is very simple to make for even a beginner fermenter.

Place all the fruit, vegetables, and nuts into a 1 quart mason jar. I mixed my fruit up well to ensure a good consistent flavoring through the entire jar. Pack the fruit in very tightly.
Add the pineapple juice to the jar to fill in all the gaps between the fruit. The pineapple juice should cover your fruit. The pineapple juice acts as a brine solution. The acidic nature of the pineapple juice will prevent extra scum from growing on top.
Place the lid on the jar and screw on the top. Place the jar in a temperature stable location out of direct sunlight. I left mine on the counter away from the stove.
The next day loosen the top to release the gas build up in the jar. You will see bubbles and hear a distinct spewing sound of the gases being released. The bubbles and gas build up indicate that the fermentation is occurring. Retighten the lid.
Repeat step 4 everyday for a week.
After 1 week open up the jar of the fruit kimchi and remove any scum. I did not have any scum on top, but yours might have scum on top. Enjoy your kimchi!
Store in the leftovers in the refrigerator. This ferment will last a long time in your refrigerator, probably 3 months.

Kimchee (Korean Sauerkraut)

Colorful and tasty and just a bit spicy, this is a kraut sure to please.

Chop/shred cabbage, carrots, green onions, ginger and garlic by hand or with a food processor. Combine all ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to sit at room temperature for 1/2 hour while the salt helps pull the juices out of the veggies.
Pound a few times with a potato masher or meat hammer (or kraut pounder) to make sure it is getting juicy. Leave for another 1/2 hour if desired, or proceed.
Transfer ingredients to a clean quart-size, wide mouth jar. Press down firmly so that liquid comes to the top of the mixture. Leave 1” space at the top of the jar. Put on lid and band and screw tightly.
Allow to ferment at room temperature for three to seven days. In the first 24 hours, open the jar and press down firmly on the ingredients a few times to make sure the brine is fully covering the mixture (it will continue to be released over time).
Fermentation may proceed faster at very warm temperatures. Burp jar daily, even keeping the jar on a towel to catch seeping liquids. Skim off any mold or fuzz that develops on top (everything beneath the brine should be fine).
The mixture will be bubbly, and the vegetables will soften. Stop the fermentation when you like the flavor and texture. (We like ours best at 5 to 7 days.) Transfer to the refrigerator or cool storage. Repack carefully each time you serve. Will keep several weeks in the refrigerator.
Serve alongside main dish chicken, turkey, beef, or ham. Serve with eggs for breakfast. Enjoy!