Here are some of my everyday favorite basic fermentation recipes that are easy to make and integrate into your healing kitchen!
Makes 1 quart
1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
2 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon sea salt
Brine (optional): 1 quart spring water with 1 tablespoon salt
In a bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds, salt. Pound with a wooden pounder for about 10 minutes to release the juices. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. If the cabbage does not produce enough liquid while pounding, add some brine until the cabbage is submerged.
Cover lightly and keep at room temperature, ferment 1-5 weeks before transferring to cold storage. The sauerkraut may be eaten immediately but improves with age. At 5 weeks it has fermented to its maximum in terms of beneficial bacteria, lactic-acid and other long-chain fatty acids.
Fermented Brined Pickles
BASIC VEGGIE BRINE: 3 Tablespoons salt/1 Quart Water
Time frame: 1-2 weeks
Plate that fits inside crock or bucket
Ingredients (for 1 gallon):
4 pounds mixed veggies: cucumber, carrot, cauliflower, green beans
6 tablespoons sea salt
2 to 3 heads garlic, peeled
1 pinch black peppercorns
1 tsp. each mustard seed and dill seed
Clean and cut veggies into 1 inch pieces.
Dissolve sea salt in ½ gallon of water to create brine solution. Stir until salt is thoroughly dissolved.
Place leaves and herbs at the bottom of the crock. Add veggies.
Pour brine over the veggies, Place the (clean) plate over them, then weigh it down with a clean rock. If the brine doesn't cover the weighed-down plate, add more brine mixed at the same ratio of just under 1 tablespoon of salt to each cup of water.
Cover the crock with a cloth to keep out dust and flies and store it in a cool place.
Enjoy the pickles as they continue to ferment.
About 5 cups
Homemade whey is easy to make from good quality plain yoghurt, or from raw or cultured milk. You will need a large strainer that rests over a bowl.
If you are using yoghurt, place 2 quarts in the strainer lined with a tea towel. Cover with a plate and leave at room temperature overnight. The whey will drip out into the bowl. Place whey in clean glass jars and store in the refrigerator.
If you are using raw or cultured milk, place 2 quarts of the milk in a glass container and leave at room temperature for 2-4 days until the milk separates into curds and whey. Pour into the strainer lined with a tea towel and cover with a plate. Leave at room temperature overnight. The whey will drip out into the bowl. Store in clean glass jars in the refrigerator.
Wild Fermentation: Original Sodas
This is a three-stage process.
Stage 1: The Starter
Take a quart size jar and clean with very hot soap and water. You may want to dip it in boiling water to destroy as many microbes as possible that may interfere with your fermentation process.
Fill the jar 2/3 full with filtered water. Do not use tap water as it contains chlorine which will kill your starter.
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger root with the skin on
1 Tablespoon agave nectar
(do not use honey as honey contains anti-microbial components that will inhibit your starter)
Stir well. This is important. Your starter needs air.
Cover with a cheesecloth and rubber band and let stand out on your counter in a warm place.
For the next 3-7 days:
Each day add:
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon agave
Stir well twice daily.
When you see bubbles on the surface of the liquid and it fizzes when you stir it. It’s finished.
Some of this you will use for your wort. The rest you can place in the refrigerator and when your ready to make a new wort. Take it out, add another teaspoon of ginger and agave some filtered water and let stand out overnight to reactivate. Then begin your next wort.
Stage 2: The Wort
This is the creative part. What kind of beverage do you want? Here are a few ideas:
The basic Ginger Beer:
Take 1/3 cup grated ginger and ½ a vanilla bean and simmer in 8 cups of water for 20 minutes. Let cool.
Mix in 11/2 cups agave syrup.
Add: ½ a vanilla bean, 1 Tablespoon burdock root, 1 Tablespoon licorice
You could cut the ginger wort in half and add 4 cups of ginger wort to 12 cups peach juice, ¼ cup lemon juice with 1 cup starter for a fruit beverage.
Hibiscus, lemon, ginger
Cherry, vanilla, lemon, ginger
Into a super clean gallon jar:
Mix 1 cup strained ginger starter
The cooled wort
¼ cup lemon juice
Enough water to fill the jar
Cover with a cheesecloth and let stand for another 3-7 days allowing the fermentation process to develop. That means look for bubbles.
Strain your wort. Sludge at the bottom of the jar is normal.
Place into bottles with rubber clasp tops leaving a few inches at the top and place in the refrigerator to slow continued fermentation and possible bottle explosions.
Lacto-Fermented Cashew Cheese
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in 6 cups of filtered water overnight (up to 8 hours)
Drain and Place in blender with
1/4 – 1/2 cup or Rejuvelac made with the grain of your choice or (Water Kefir, Sauerkraut juice)
Place in a bowl, cover and ferment for 2 days.
½ tsp salt (or smoke salt)
1 ½ Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp diced shallot
2 tsp sun dried tomato
½ tsp lemon juice
Place in cheese mold in the refrigerator to harden.
Roll in fresh herbs like chives, parsley or dill or dried herbs, cracked pepper and serve.
Simple Apple Cyser
• 1 Gallon Organic Apple Juice
• 2 lb Clover Honey
• 3 Cloves
• 2 Sticks Cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp Yeast of choice
Remove enough juice from the jug to allow for the addition of honey. Place the jug in warm water, and increase temperature to 150 degrees F. Pour honey into jug, using a funnel if needed. It can help to warm up the honey in warm water before pouring. Hold the temperature of the must at 150 degrees for about 5 minutes, then cool to 80 degrees or below. Add the yeast, and ferment at room temperature. Fermentation should slow after about three weeks. At six weeks, rack into a second jug in which you have placed the cloves and cinnamon. Bottle when the cyser clears.
Makes 1 quart
4-5 pickling cucumbers or 15-20 gherkins
1 tablespoon mustard seed (brown and/or yellow)
2 tablespoons fresh dill, snipped
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 oak or grape leaf
Wash cucumbers and place in quart-sized wide-mouthed mason jar. I like to use cucumbers just long enough to fit into the jar and cut them into spears. Wedge them tightly together. Add remaining mustard seed, dill and salt and enough water to cover the cucumbers. The top of the cucumbers should be below the surface of the water and the water at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.
4 lbs pickles
oak or grape leaf
Use the BASIC VEGGIE BRINE Ratio with the following ingredients:
4 Heads nappa cabbage
1 Bunch scallion
1 Inch diced ginger
1/2 Head garlic
1 foot daikon
2 Tbsp Korean chili flakes
5 Large shredded carrots
Fermented Apple Chutney
4 Apples, diced
10 Dried apricots, diced
¼ cup Raisins or currants
½ cup Minced red onion
2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Agave
4 Tbsp. Minced cilantro
1 Tbsp. Minced ginger root
½ tsp. Red pepper flakes
½ tsp. Fennel seeds
½ tsp. Coriander seeds
1 tsp. Sea salt
¼ cup Whey
Cut fruit, onion, ginger and cilantro and place in clean glass mason quart jar.
Measure into jar, spices and sea salt.
Mix lemon juice, agave, and whey and add them to the jar covering the rest of the mixture with water.
Leave 1 inch of space at the top off jar and weight down the mixture with small lid pushing the chutney ingredients well under the surface of the liquid.
Cover with cheesecloth and leave on the counter for two days until you begin to see bubbles forming.
Beet Kvass: Fermented Beet Juice
1 two-quart glass jar
2 large organic beets, peeled and chopped
¼ cup whey (this is the enzyme rich liquid found in milk after curdling…I use the liquid from Strauss whole milk plain yogurt.)
1 Tbsp. sea salt
Non-Dairy Alternative: Add 11/2 tablespoons of salt to beets and omit the whey
Place beets, whey, salt and water in glass jar, cover with spring water and allow to ferment on your counter for 2-5 days depending on how warm it is in your kitchen. The warmer the kitchen, the quicker the fermentation process.
After fermentation, strain beets, cover and place in refrigerator. You may use this liquid to start your next patch of kvass. If you do this, add ½ cup of liquid to your new batch.
Beet Kvass is traditional, functional food medicine. It can be used for cleansing the blood, building blood, relieving constipation, supporting intestinal flora, strengthening immune function and has marked anti-cancer properties.
1/3 cup of water kefir grains.
1 black mission fig or apricot
1/2 lemon sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1 quart uncholorinated, clean water
Combine all of the above in a half gallon mason jar.
Cover and let sit 24-72 hours
Strain and put liquid in an airtight bottle (like a snap lid beer bottle) and do a “second fermentation with ginger, raspberries, or the juice of one lemon. Experiment with different fruits and flavors.
Do not use aluminum or other reactive metals as the metal can be eroded by the acid. Culture grains in a glass jar with tight-fitting lid, using clean stainless steel or plastic utensils when handling the grains.
Water kefir grains, also known as Tibicos is a symbiotic cluster of bacteria and yeasts that forms spontaneously on the pads of the Opuntia cactus (from Mexico) as hard granules that can be reconstituted and propogated in a sugar-water solution. It is found around the world and varies as it attracts bacteria and yeast from the local environment. It is also know as Japanese water crystals.
3 ½ quarts water
8 tea bags
1 cup sugar
Boil water, add sugar and tea and cool completely. Add ½ cup fermented kombucha from the previous batch and scoby, symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Cover and wait 1-2 weeks for bubbles to be seen.
2 cups wheat berries
1 quart water
1. Soak berries for one day. Rinse and sprout.
2. Cover with water and a clean cloth and let stand for two days.
3. Pour off rejuvelac.
4. Add one quart of water to wheat.
5. After one day, pour off your second quart of rejuvelac.
6. Keep R. refrigerated.
7. Begin soaking for your next batch
Ketchup with Whey
From Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon
Makes 1 quart
3 cups tomato paste (preferably organic, in glass)
1/4 cup whey
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup fish sauce (homemade recipe is in Nourishing Traditions)
Mix all ingredients until well blended. Place in a quart sized, wide-mouthed mason jar. The top of the
Ketchup should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Leave at room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to refrigerator.