Cultured Foods

Health

I talk about gut health all the time and the importance of having good bacteria so here are the recipes for Water Kefir, Milk Kefir and some Fermented Vegetables.

Water Kefir

2 TBS of Water Kefir Grains 3 Cups of filtered water

1/4 cup of sugar (I use rapadura sugar or coconut sugar)

Boil water and dissolve sugar.

When liquid has cooled add water and grains to a jar.

Place cheese cloth or nut bag over top of jar with rubber bad or kitchen tie.

Leave to ferment for 24-48 hours (depending on room temp. Perfect temp around 20C) (I leave my Kefir on the bench, on top of fridge on in pantry.)

Remove grains from water (they are ready to go again)

Your Kefir is ready to drink.

Now for something purely amazing try this….. Second fermentation

Transfer liquid to bottles, add ginger and screw lid on really tight (I mean tight), leave to ferment again for another 24-48 hours and WHAM…ginger beer!

Also try…

Creamy Soda-adding 2TBS of vanilla
Lemonade- a chopped up lemon

Raspberry Soda- 8 Raspberries ….the world is your oyster really, let me know if you make a killer recipe.

Coconut Kefir

4 young coconuts. You want the water
(Drain separately. If any water is pink discard, it means the water is off)
Got no coconuts? Use 1Lt 100% Natural Raw C coconut water (or whatever is available and is 100% real with no added sugar)

Heat coconut water to 40c
Leave to cool
Add 1/4 cup of grains
Bottle with lid on for 36 hrs

Strain and rebottle. I don’t flavour as I love the champagne taste.

Milk Kefir

2 TBS Milk Grains

2 cups of room temperature raw milk (if not raw then un-homogenised milk or as real as you can get)

Add grains and milk to jar.

Cover with cheese cloth or nut bag. Leave at room temperature to ferment for 24-48 hours. (same as Water Kefir)

Milk Kefir will have a sour taste (not unlike greek yoghurt but thinner in consistency.

Strain the grains (some people rinse them, some don’t. I do as I’ve found my batches ferment better) Refrigerate and enjoy*

Like Water Kefir here’s the amazing second step…. Let’s flavour this stuff!!

Something sweet- berries, vanilla, maple, cacao….you can be as conservative or adventurous as you like Savory- chives, garlic, onion, homemade relish…I could go on.

Berry Kisses Blueberries, Strawberries, any berries- blend them, add a little vanilla. Eat straight up or…Put in moulds and freeze. TOTAL Yumminess! (We add ours to smoothies)

Vegetables

Lacto-fermentation is an amazing process (once you move past the fact that it’s bacteria). Fermenting not only preserves food but it also enhances the nutritional content of the foods, and also aids the breakdown of foods meaning that we absorb more of the good stuff in our vegetables.

The fermenting process takes place over 3-10 days depending on vegetables used and during that time the bacteria also produces Vitamin B’s and Enzymes that are so beneficial for our guts and digestion. The process and breakdown of foods involves a type of bacteria, yeast or fungi.

All fermented vegetables have a tart ‘earthy’ flavour, as the sugars and carbohydrates and lactic acid are broken down and used up in the culturing process, which is why they are so beneficial for our guts.

Storage wise- once you have fermented you store in your fridge in the same jar it was fermented in for as long as it takes to consume them.

There is a knack to fermentation (clean utensils, a good starter culture and a dark warm space to ferment)

 

Any vegetable can be fermented which is great for experimentation but most people start with a cabbage (sauerkraut) or carrots.

Other types used are beets with carrots, ginger, garlic, leeks, onions, dulse (seaweed), and jalapeños. Kimchi recipes include cabbage, red chilli peppers, garlic, ginger, and onion. Pickles can be spiced with dill and garlic; sauerkrauts can include juniper berries, caraway seeds, and so much more.

Most people that eat fermented vegetables eat them because they have been diagnosed with IBS, leaky gut or have a low immune system. They improve digestion are a natural biotic and expand the bacteria of the gut (the good stuff)

It is recommended that you have them with every meal. I like to think of them as a cleanser. You eat your normal breakfast, lunch, dinner and the cultured vegetables are like brushing your teeth (for your gut) I guess. The first time you try them you’ll wonder what all the rave is about as it’s not a snickers bar, but you get used to it.

 

Cabbage

1/2 head purple cabbage (leave 2 leaves whole and aside)
1/2 head green cabbage (you can use 1 head of either, but I like mixing the 2)
3 small or 2 large carrots
2 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
2 Tbsp dill
1-1 1/2 Tbsp sea salt/ hymilalan salt
2TBS of coconut kefir

Shred, grate and chop your veggies.
Place in a bowl with salt
Massage until the cabbage becomes translucent
Add flavourings
Place in jar
Place 2 cabbage leaves on top
Place a jar filled with water on top of leaves (you’ll have a jar in a jar look) Push down so its compact
Place jar in a bowl or on a plate (this is to catch any liquid that my bubble over if you have filled to top)
Cover and store in a dark place
Check after a day or so and push the jar further down. You will see the liquid increase.
After about 5 days you will have yummy, bright purple kraut. The taste will be salty and vinegary with an amazing earth flavour.

Try doing the Same with just carrots. Add more spices. I love ginger carrots with cardamoms and coriander.

Include these four cultures in every meal. Start with 1/3 cup of vegetarian with every meal. Think of it as your cleanser for each meal.

Grow that gut health and live with all the vitality you can.

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