Fermenting Vegetables

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Starter recipe 

Ingredients:

         3 heads green cabbage, shredded in a food processor

         Several cabbage leaves

         6 carrots, large shredded in a food processor

         3-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped

         6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

         2 Apples

         1 packet of Body Ecology® Veggie Culture Starter

         1 Scoop of EcoBloom

         ½ cup warm (90°) water

         ½ tsp of sea salt

         3 mineral capsules

 (makes 6-8 large jars)

 

Instructions:

  • Dissolve Veggie Culture Starter with warm water. Add some form of sugar to feed the starter (try Rapadura, Sucanat, honey, Agave, or EcoBloom). 
  • Let the starter/sugar mixture sit for about 20 minutes or longer while the L. Plantarum and other bacteria wake up and begin enjoying the sugar. Put aside.
  • In a blender combine the apples, salt, minerals removed from their capsules, culture starter mixture and filtered water to fill blender ¾ full. Blend well and then add brine back into first vegetable mixture. Stir well.
  • Pack mixture down into a glass or stainless steel container. Use your fist, a wooden dowel, or a potato masher to pack veggies tightly.
  • Fill container almost full with packed veggies and remaining liquid, but leave about 2 inches of room at the top for veggies to expand.
  • Roll up several cabbage leaves into a tight “log” and place them on top to fill the remaining 2-inch space. Clamp jar closed.
  • Make sure there is enough liquid in the jar to just cover the vegetable line
  • Let veggies sit at about a 70° room temperature for at least 3 days. A week is even better. Refrigerate to slow down fermentation. Enjoy!

 

Once you master the basic technique, be creative. Try different vegetable combinations, and include dark green leafy vegetables like kale and collards. Soak, drain, and chop up some ocean vegetables like dulse, wakame, hijiki, and arame. Add your favorite herbs (dried or fresh), seeds (dill or caraway), and juniper berries. Even lemon juice can be added to the "brine." Try leaving out the cabbage all together and making a batch of cultured daikon.

One important secret to making really delicious yet medicinal cultured veggies is to use freshly harvested, organic, well-cleaned vegetables. After washing the veggies, spin them dry. Clean equipment is essential. Scald everything you use in very hot water.


Kefir

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Coconut Water Kefir

 

 

Ingredients:

     1½ quarts. Coconut water

     Kefir Starter or Culture Starter

 

Directions

  • Pour Coconut Water through strainer into sauce pan. Ideally, Microflora prefer that the liquid be 92° F (31° or 32° degrees C), so be careful not to overheat.
  • Use an inexpensive thermometer if desired, to check the temperature.
  • Add kefir starter or culture starter to the heated coconut water. The culture starter contains plantarum, an antiviral bacteria, and the kefir starter contains lactobacillus and beneficial yeast.
  • Put lid onto glass container and shake well!!
  • Ideally the room temperature should be around 70°F to 75° F). If your room is colder you may want to place glass container into insulated storage. Kefir is ready in 36 hours (may vary with temperature).
  • Once fermented, coconut water will become cloudy and lighter in color.

(After fermentation is complete, you will want to refrigerate your kefir to extend its life. It should maintain its fresh flavor for about 3 weeks.)