What Salt To Use When Fermenting Vegetables

Salt – the Worlds most popular seasoning can make a dish sing. The days when people shunned salt like the plague are thankfully over, but we still need to be vigilant. Not all salts are equal. Bog standard table salt is still the bad guy! It’s been chemically produced, bleached and is devoid of nutrients.
Natural Salt on the other hand is really good for us. Sean Salt, Celtic
salt or Himalayan crystal salt are all good salts. That has a place in healthy eating.

When it comes to FERMENTING it’s very important that you use the right kind os salt.
You should not use a salt with iodine as Iodine kills bacteria. Of course when we ferment we want the good bacteria to grow and flourish.

Salt is our friend when fermenting, because harmful bacteria can’t tolerate much salt but our helpful healthy bacteria can!
So the salt acts as bouncers keeping the riff raff out while our healthy bacteria get to work. The salt tolerating lactobacillus thrive and multiply.

When fermenting I like to use fine salt (sea salt or Himalayan salt) as it will be easier to work and you will quickly reach the salinity that is needed for your lactobacillus to thrive and keep the nasty bacteria at bay.

The salt does not preserve the vegetables, using more salt will not make it safer. Submerging the vegetables in the brine is what makes it safe.  The salt just gives the friendly bacteria the upper hand.

When fermenting try to stick to 1.5% ratio of veg weight. But some recipes demand a much larger % of salt.

♥L

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Recipe: Fermented Cabbage with Lemon and Thyme

Hi! People around me have been really ill this autumn and winter. One after one they have succumb to flu, pneumonia and nasty colds. Not once have I picked up any of them and I’m sure it’s due eating at least 1/2 cup of fermented vegetables a day and drinking a small glass of either water kefir or kombucha every day. It is so easy to ferment at home, sure you need a little bit of patience, but you are growing your own healthy bacteria and they need a bit of time to flourish. More and more research points to the importance of healthy gut flora. I’m convinced we will see even more breakthroughs in this area in the coming years.

♥L

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Healthy Eats – London: High Mood Food

Several ferments, kombucha, kefir and my favorite fermenting book on the shelf (The art of fermentation by Sandor Katz).
High Mood Food is my kind of cafe!
I use to trek down to Chelsea to visit the Pop up , but now  High Mood Food got a permanent home opposite Selfridges.
This is a healthy cafe focused on fermented foods.
If you are new to gut friendly fermented foods and drinks this is the perfect place to dip your toe in the culture pond before you dive in and start your own little probiotic factory in your kitchen.
As I always have a couple of tablespoons of fermented foods with my meals at home, I’m really pleased  I can now get my fix when I grab a quick lunch in town.
Both flexitarians and vegans are well catered for. Everything is colourful and delicious and the staff is super friendly. I think I got a new favorite spot.



♥L

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Spirulina, Cauliflower and Cabbage Ferment

Fermenting your own vegetables is so easy and cheap! With so many people being ill at the moment, this ferment is boosted with health promoting Spirulina. I don’t like the taste of Spirulina normally but when it’s been fermented together with other vegetables the taste mellows and that sharp Spirulina taste disappear and just add an interesting layer of flavoring. Win Win!

Isn’t the colour gorgeous?!

♥L

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Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Vegan Cheese and Fermented Pumpkin

As a last hurrah for Halloween and hello Bonfire Night I’ve made a delicious Spicy Pumpkin Soup, topped with Fermented Pumpkin (HERE) and Vegan Cheese.
This is a great way to eat your
Halloween decorations now it’s all but over.
I have put all the spiders, rats, ghouls and  rapping skeletons  in their boxes and I’m left with loads of small pumpkins. (The larger carved pumpkins have been binned). The smaller ones are great for cooking.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Vegan Cheese and Fermented Pumpkin Topping

– I small pumpkin I used a harlequin Pumpkin about 450g when peeled and de-seeded.

– 1 large carrot cut into pieces

– 2 celery sticks

– 1 small red onion

– leek about 35g

– fresh ginger 10g

– 2 garlic cloves

– 2 tablespoons coconut oil

– 1 tablespoon bouillon powder

– 1/2 tablespoon curry powder

– 1/4 teaspoon cumin

– 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

– 500ml water

Topping – optional

– grated vegan cheese

– 1/2 tablespoon fermented pumpkin per person (when using the fermented pumpkin in the soup I normally don’t mix it with maple syrup as it’s not needed)

– pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS:

1. Pre heat the oven to 190C
2. Peel and de-seed your pumpkin.
3. Cut your pumpkin into pieces and mix with 1 tablespoon with coconut oil and let it roast for about 40 min or until soft.
4. Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil to a pan and add first union and then all the other veg. When soft add the spices. Last add the roasted pumpkin.
5. Add the water and the stock powder. Let it simmer for about 5-10min.
6. Use a hand mixer and mix until smooth.
7. Serve  and top with a tablespoon of fermented pumpkin, grated vegan cheese and pumpkin seeds.

♥L

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Fermented Pumpkin – Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!
Hope you had a wonderful evening with loads of candy and mayhem.
We’ve been out for hours, I’m sure my baby Killer Clown had several kilos of sugar in his bucket.
I have incredibly creative neighbours. The decorations were absolutely amazing. It’s so fun to see the kids take over the streets with their friends. We lost some of them for a good 30min and after that I had a well deserved drink outside the my favorite pub together with the sugared-up kids and tipsy neighbours. Love it!

Did you get lots of extra pumpkins for decorations?
Why not make some lacto fermented pumpkin?

This is how:

Transcript:

Hi, everyone, hope you’re all well. Happy Halloween. I love Halloween. I love everything about it. The one thing is you end up, normally if you’re me, with a lot of pumpkins. And some of them like this big one we’re going to cut out and it’s going to be in the house and normally gets a little bit yucky after a while so we just have to throw them out. But these smaller ones like the onion ones and the harlequin one, they’re just for decoration and I’m not going to cut holes in that one.

                              So instead of just throwing it away, I’m going to make sort of a pumpkin fermented little sort of jammy type thing that you could use either ona raw pumpkin pie maybe or on pancakes or sometimes I eat it with a little bit of cheese. Vegan cheese or cow’s cheese. it works quite well with cheese or just with a meal. It has all the amazing friendly bacteria that we need in there and it’s also a bit of a fun because it’s going to stay orange. So it’s a nice sort of colour to add to everything else at the table.

                              So this is what you need. A small pumpkin. I’m using an onion pumpkin. That normally works quite well. You also need your filtered water and your salt, Himalayan Crystal Salt or ordinary sea salt. You normally mix one litre of water to 20 grammes of salt but this one I think needs a little bit more salt so I’m going to use 25 grammes of salt to one litre of water.

                              Also for the ferment I’m using a little bit of black tea, just a pinch. And one tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice mix. And if you don’t have the mix you could just make your own just mix up nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. And when the whole thing has fermented I’m going to mix it up with some maple syrup, just two tablespoons of maple syrup. But that’s optional. I think it tastes a bit nicer with it but it’s completely optional.

                              You also need a Kilner jar. So I measured up the salt and I’m going to mix that together with the filtered water. So that’s our brine that we really need to keep the pumpkin submerged under water. Now I’m  cutting up the pumpkin and I’m going to remove the skin and then I’m going to let it go through the food processor because I’m too lazy but you can just use a hand grater if you want.

                              We put it all in a mixing bowl and then I put the black tea in and the pumpkin pie spices mix and then … okay and now in a sterilised Kilner jar I’m going to start packing it. Keep it really tight. Then we need the water, the brine. Mix it really well because otherwise you might end up with too little salt. The vegetable needs to be covered by salt brine at all times and also you need to leave a little bit of room for expansion.

                              For this one I’m going to use these pebbles to keep the pumpkin submerged. Put it on the kitchen counter and after three days I would taste a little bit to see if it’s done its thing. Otherwise wait until five days, after that it should be  good. When you feel it’s all done, you can mix it up with some syrup, I do, because I use this a little bit more like a jam. Then just put it in the fridge. Make sure it’s submerged in water and you can keep it in there for a really long time.

♥L

 

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Eat Fermented Foods

5 reasons why you should eat fermented foodsHere are 5 good reasons why you should eat Fermented Foods.
There are far more than 5!
So don’t be surprised if you see another post with another 5 reasons very soon!
You probably know that I’m completely in love with lacto fermented foods, and I’m beyond pleased it’s become the next big thing.

1. Probiotic galore:  Lacto Fermented foods contains plenty of friendly bacteria and can help restore the  balance in our gut, that might be out of whack due to unhealthy diet,  antibiotics, stress  etc. We all know that taking a probiotic supplement is helpful for our wellbeing but by eating lacto fermented foods you get a wider variety of healthy bacteria and also loads more of them than if you only rely on a supplement!

2. Boosts absorption:   Fermentation Improves absorption of Iron and other minerals .
The healthy bacteria help break down a substance called phytic acid which is found in grains and nuts and blocks mineral absorption.  So fermented foods can enhance absorption of all the food on your plate.

3. B12 Factory:  Lactobacillus makes Vitamin B12 – The energy vitamin.
B12 is mostly found in milk, meat and eggs. So deficiency is therefore common in vegans,
but research has found that B12 deficiency is also common in carnivores, and the older you are the more likely you are deficient in this very important vitamin, which is involved in the metabolism of all cells in the body.

4.  Increased Immunity:   Lacto fermented foods are awesome for keeping your immune system working to full capacity. A healthy gut equals a healthy immune system. The more healthy bacteria the more you increase your chances of fighting off  infections. The gut is  the first line of defence against pathogens and also aids in the production of anti-bodies.

5. It tastes so GOOD:  The taste of the food changes when you ferment it.
It will be slightly tangy and mellow and well, just gorgeous in my opinion!
Bringing interesting new flavours to your food.

♥L

How to ferment Vegetables:

Ferment Vegetables for Natural Probiotics

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Kombucha 2nd Fermentation for Fizz and Flavour

Hi everyone.
A while back I did a post about making kambucha for beginners HERE.
This is the follow-up. how to flavour it and making it fizzy with a second fermentation.

My two favourite kombucha flavours are with lovely fresh raspberries, or plain oranges.
The kids really like these two flavours, they are uncomplicated and sweet.
If I’m brewing just for me I might get a bit more adventurous with fresh turmeric, cinnamon or even rose

When your first fermentation of your kombucha is done, and you are happy with the taste it’s time for the second fermentation.this will really make it fizzy and will also elevate the taste.

(Put your Scooby in a jar together with 1 cup of the kombucha liquid and store in the fridge until you are ready to make your next batch).

Now you can get creative with your kombucha using all sort of different flavours or play it safe like I do in this video where I use 3 peeled and sliced oranges.
Transfer your kombucha liquid into a jar with an air tight lid so the fizz don’t escape, a big kilner jar is perfect.
Leave a little bit of air at the top of the jar.
Add the oranges, close the lid and wait for 24 hours, have a taste.
Depending on how hot it is it might be ready or it might take up to 3 days before perfect.
Taste as you go along. When you feel the taste is just right then you are done.

Fish out your fruit and either transfer to glass bottles or just keep it in the jar in the fridge.
Now you have a super lovely drink that you made all by yourself and it’s so full of good probiotics that you actually made yourself. You’re taking back your power 🙂 Enjoy!.

Kombucha for beginners: HERE

How to Make Water Kefir


Hi everyone.
Water Kefir is amazing for our guts and our health in general.
It’s so easy to make your own water kefir and it contains millions of beneficial probiotic microorganisms, vitamins, minerals amino acids and live enzymes.

If there’s one thing we’re missing in this day and age, it’s good bacteria,
Antibiotics, unhealthy foods and our general western stressy life-style kills off our friendly bacteria that we so desperately need to keep ourselves in tip top form.
Brewing your own  water kefir could be helpful in  balancing the bacteria in the gut.

Kefir is mild and a little fizzy and only takes about 24 to 72 hours to brew.

You need  your water kafir grains,  you can get them online or from a friend (you will have more than you need after a couple of brews).

Mix it with white sugar, ginger, lemon juice and a handful of dried fruit.
The grains grow and metabolise the sugar and you end up with a really tasty , refreshing drink full of healthy bacteria.

I use white sugar because I think it gives the drink a smoother taste, but you can use most sugars, but stay away from honey as it’s antibacterial and can hamper the grains growth.

You can put a lid on your jar or just a cheesecloth with a string around to keep creepy crawlies out.
Leve it on your countertop for at least 24 hours, the warmer your house the quicker it goes.. Taste as you go along.

Use a wooden or plastic spoon. to taste..

When your kefir is done, strain with a plastic sieve..
The grains are ready to be used straight away or you can keep them in the fridge for a week with a little sugary water.
I use the fruits in my stews.
Transfer to bottles and keep in the fridge.

Water Kefir
Ingredients:

– Water Kefir Grains  I get mine here

– 1 litre filtered water

– 1/3 cup suger

– thin slice of ginger

– 5 apricots without sulphites

– juice from 1/2 lemon

Method:
Dissolve the sugar in the water. Add ginger, apricots, lemon juice and the kefir grains. Let it brew between 24 and 72 hours. Use 1/2 cup of the grains or a bit less to start the batch.

♥L

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Fermented Carrot Ginger and Horseradish Relish

Hi, Happy New Year!
This is another totally tasty fermented relish.
I’m using grated carrots, grated ginger and grated horseradish.
It’s super easy, super quick, super cheap, you just need to be a little bit  patient as it ferments itself.

The first thing i do is to make the brine so it’s room temperature when I need it. I boil one litre of filtered water to 15g of salt Himalayan or sea salt but not table salt.I peel and grate 500g of carrots, I’m also using my all time favorite horseradish, finely grated and fresh ginger, making the whole thing taste so lovey and, ginger is fabulously anti-inflammatory.

Massage all the vegetables together and fill up your your Kilner jars.
Pack it really tight, really push the vegetable down.Fill up with the brine and you need something to keep the vegetables under water at all times.
I prefer to use a cabbage stem and leaves but you can also use a brine filled plastic bag like I did here.If the bag, for some reason split it’s just full of the brine that’s in there anyway so it doesn’t matter.
Put a little clip on the bag, push down your veg and close the lid.
Now you need a little bit of patience.

You want to burp these wild ferments now and then, maybe once a day or at least once every second day to make sure they don’t explode.
After seven to ten days in a fairly warm space you relish should be ready.

I love this relish, it’s so easy to do and it’s spicy and tangy and so lovely!
It goes fabulously well together with so many types of foods and it really elevates our health because it’s so full friendly bacteria.

Update 2017 with loads of fermented vegetables and your health will be in a better place than it was 2016!

Fermented Carrot, Ginger and horseradish Relish
Ingredients:

– Carrots 500 gram

– Fresh horseradish 36 gram

– Fresh ginger 10 gram

– Brine 15 gram of salt to 1 litre of water

Directions
1. Grate the carrots in a food processor or by hand, grate the ginger and horseradish finely.
2. Mix by hand and pack in a kilner jar. Add the brine so the veg is covered use a plastic bag filled with brine to press the veg under water.
3. leave for 7-10 days, taste as you go along, and don’t forget to burp your babies 🙂

♥L

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