From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fermenting fun

Lately I've been reading a lot about lacto-fermentation of fruit, veg, dairy and beyond. (For more info, click=> HERE and HERE)  The health benefits alone are worth further exploring this method of food prep and preservation.

I've lacto-fermented dairy before - making yogurt and buttermilk.  But there's so much more out there that I never knew about.  Sure - brine pickles, or sauerkraut, but it always sounded too complicated.  Obviously, I was wrong.

Still ... baby steps.

I decided to start slowly - a small batch of carrots.  I had a fresh bag of 'baby carrots' so I rinsed them well and set them aside.

For the flavorings I sliced up a little nub of ginger, 2 each of cloves and allspice, then a pinch of hot chili flakes.

For the 'brine' to 1.5C of filtered water I added 1/4t of Himalayan sea salt (ground fine) and 1.5T of home-made whey (drained from my yogurt making).   Now you can ferment things WITHOUT any kind of starter (like whey), but since I have several quarts of whey in the freezer, using some as a kick-starter to this process will only enhance the process. 

I dropped the flavorings into the bottom of a wide-mouth pint jar, packed in the carrots (within 2" of the top), then poured in the brine almost to the top.

You have to keep veg below the water so I used a small ramekin to keep them submerged.  Finally, I marked the jar and have set it aside for 7-10 days.  If I find any mold on top of the water, I'm just supposed to skim it off.  I'll start sampling after 5-6 days to see how things are coming along.  When the flavor is where I want it, I just cap it and put it in the 'fridge.

The fermentation process introduces Lactobacillii to what is fermented - beneficial enzymes to help replace what we lose due to poor food choices or the (dang!) aging process.

If this works, you'll be seeing a lot more fermentation experiments on this page.  Stay tuned.

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  1. OK, so you've preserved them but when/what/how do you eat them? Do you use them just as a normal side with a hot main?

    1. When fermented I'll use these just like I would raw carrots - sides for sandwiches, snacks, chopped in salads, etc.

  2. This one is interesting.....I will be waiting.

    1. Comin' right up with the next post. :-D