Today I just wanted to share a little more detail about what happens in our kitchen during the week. We do a lot of fermented foods because they aid digestion, boost immunity, and they're yummy to boot! This came about as a result of the GAPS diet we've been doing and we're lovin' it!
Pretty much, once a week or every 10 days, we make a batch of Sauerkraut. After trying a few different things, our favorite recipe was one of the most basic ones and I've adapted it from the recipe in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook.
1 head of green cabbage, shredded
1/4 head of purple cabbage, shredded
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. caraway seed
1/4 c. whey (I like to add a dash more, too)
Pound all the above ingredients together with a meat pounder for about 10 minutes. Put into a glass jar and add a little extra water if necessary, so that the juices come to the top of the cabbage. Cover (but don't seal tight) and set in a dark place at room temp. for 3-5 days. In my house, which is usually around 70 degrees, 3 days is usually enough. Make sure to use a jar with some extra space for expansion. After it's bubbly and fermented, put in the refrigerator. It's great with any meal and is loaded with good-for-you probiotics! The kids love it too!
Today we also made some Lacto-Fermented Ketchup because we just finished our last jar. This is a ketchup that you will want your kids to eat because it, too, is loaded with probiotics and isn't full of the sugar that you get in store-bought varieties. It is alive and soooo tasty! After a few tries, this is our favorite recipe!
3 c. tomato paste
1/4 c. whey
1/4 c. - 1/2c. grade B maple syrup (we like about 1/4 c. + 1/8 c.)
pinch - 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (we like 3 pinches)
1 tbsp. sea salt (and i usually add about 1/2 tsp. extra)
3 cloves mashed garlic (we use lacto-fermented garlic but it's not necessary)
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/8 c. Braggs Liquid Aminos
1/2 c. spring water (don't use tap water if it's chlorinated as it will ruin the fermentation process)
After 3-5 days, when it's done fermenting and tastes just the right amount of tangy, put it in the refrigerator for storage. It will keep for several months. Delicious!
Today I was also soaking almonds and tonight they're de-hydrating in the oven so that tomorrow I can make some No Grain Banana Muffins from the Healthy Home Economist Blog.
NO GRAIN BANANA MUFFINS
2 1/2 c. finely ground almond flour (from soaked/dried raw almonds)
1/4 c. expeller pressed coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 very ripe, mashed bananas
2 tbsp. honey (or 5 drops stevia extract)
Mix everything together well in a glass bowl. Pour batter into a muffin pan and bake for about 50 minutes at 300 degrees F. This will be a yummy treat for breakfast on Shabbat!
Also out of some of our soaked almonds, we made almond milk. (Don't mind the wierd paper on the jar in the photo -- we reuse glass jars from the store all the time!)
1 cup almonds
3 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Soak the almonds in the water for 8-10 hours or so. Blend in a strong blender or food processer with vanilla extract until almonds are ground into fine meal. Strain in a nut bag over a bowl or jar. Milk will strain out and you can use the leftover dried almond meal in baking.
Tomorrow, Lane plans to use the almond milk to make a raw Kohlrabi soup for dinner. We've been eating a lot of Kohlrabi out of the garden lately so we thought we'd try a new recipe out for some variety! He's going to make the cold raw soup to go with a german fish recipe that he found online. Could be interesting!
The photo to the right is water kefir brewing. Every three days, we also make a fresh batch of this great stuff. Pretty much every day we make a green smoothie of some sort using our water kefir. It, too, is loaded with probiotics, and it's a little fizzy and lightly sweet, so it makes for a great smoothie. Heidi and I also like to drink it straight because it's quite refreshing. I don't really have a recipe for the water kefir. I just take the grains I have (and sometimes take some off if they've reproduced too much), pour a bunch of spring water over them (about a half gallon) and stir in about 1/2 c. raw sugar. The grains feed on the sugar and it's molasses and their by-product is probiotics. Instead of water or milk, I'll often use it to make salad dressings as well. Tasty stuff! On the left is another picture of the finished water kefir. At that stage, we could add fruit or many other things to flavor it, but our favorite is just plain.
We are also starting to make milk kefir. Yes, we're in love with kefir. This tastes a lot like yogurt and is just a thinner consistency. It also works great in smoothies or just to have as a treat. I use this in dressings and any other way I can think of as well. This is just an itsy-bitsy batch because we haven't had our grains very long and they're still growing, so we only get about 8 oz. every couple days. But they are growing! Lane doesn't handle milk very well, but he can do the milk kefir because it is pre-digested thanks to those lovely kefir grains. The grains feed on the lactose in the milk and again, their by-product is probiotics. Yay for kefir!
I'm really looking forward to the day when we can eat sourdough bread again, but in the meantime, we certainly aren't lacking good things to eat!