Kimchi with Apple

People who have a palate for fiery chilis and garlic love kimchi. However, there are others who just can't work up their taste buds to entertain all that red hot drama. Well, here's a recipe with apple added in which adds a touch of tangy sweetness to balance the intense piquancy of traditional kimchi. 

kimchi-with-apple-1.jpeg

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (450 g) Napa cabbage, cut into approximately 1" x 2" (2.5 x 5 cm) pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) sea salt, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) gochugaru* (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Sucanat or natural cane sugar
  • 3 oz. (85 g) daikon, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium firm Fuji apple, diced
  • 3 stalks scallion, chopped

    1. Put the cut cabbage in a large glass, stainless steel, or ceramic mixing bow and sprinkle 1 Tablespoon (5 ml) of salt onto the cabbage. Massage the salt in with your hands for a couple of minutes. Set aside for about 30 minutes.
    2. Place the remaining salt, gochugaru, and garlic into a mortar and pestle. Grind until a paste is formed.
    (Mortar and pestle is a two-piece kitchen tool that dates back thousands of years and it's perfect for for making a spice paste or for grinding whole spices.)

3. Add the other ingredients to the cabbage bowl and mix well.
4. Add the gochugaru paste into the cabbage-apple mixture and mix well.
(You may want to wear gloves, or use a pair of tongs for the mixing so that your hands don't get stained.)
5. Pack the kimchi mixture, including the liquid that has been released, into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar.
6. Using a wooden spoon or rolling pin, pound down the mixture to help release more liquid. Firmly pack down the cabbage mixture until it's level with the shoulder of the jar, and that there is 1 inch (2.5 cm) of brine above the top of the vegetables.
7. Place Kraut Source onto the jar. Allow to ferment between 7 - 10 days in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight. Check every few days that there is water in the moat, and top off as needed (see Note).
8. Replace Kraut Source with a standard mason jar lid and ring. Transfer to the refrigerator.

Note: As Napa cabbage releases a lot of water, keep an eye on your kimchi during the first 24 - 48 hours. There should be about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of liquid above the top of the vegetables, so pour off excess if it looks like it will over flow.

*Gochugaru, or Korean red pepper flakes, is widely available in Asian grocery stores.

Traditional Kimchi

kimchi-in-krautsource-nologo.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 head Napa cabbage, weighing about 2 lbs (900 g)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) sea salt
  • Filtered water
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Sucanat or turbinado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fish sauce, optional
  • 1 - 5 Tablespoons (15 - 75 ml) gochugaru* (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 8 oz (230 g) daikon, peeled and cut into small dices
  • 4 stalks scallion, trimmed and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces

1. Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch (5 cm) wide strips.
2. Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften, then add enough water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, such as a can of beans, or a mason jar filled with water. Let stand for 1 hour.
3. Rinse the cabbage under cold water and drain in a colander for about 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce, if using, in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in the gochugaru, using 1 - 2 Tablespoons (5 - 10 ml) for mild, or up to 5 Tablespoons (25 ml) for a real kick.
5. Combine the cabbage, daikon, and scallion with the paste. Mix everything together with your hands, or use a pair of tongs.
(If you use your hands, gloves are highly recommended to protect your hands from chili stings, and smell.)
6. Pack the kimchi mixture, including the liquid that has been released, into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar, pressing down on it firmly with a wooden spoon or rolling pin until the vegetables are level with the shoulder and there is 1 inch (2.5 cm) of brine above the top of the vegetables.
7.  Place Kraut Source onto the jar. Your kimchi is ready in 5 days, although letting it ferment for up to 14 days is even better. Check every few days that there is water in the moat, and top off as needed (see Note).
8. Replace Kraut Source with the standard mason jar lid and ring. Transfer to the refrigerator.

Note: As Napa cabbage releases a lot of water, keep an eye on your kimchi during the first 24 - 48 hours. There should be about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of liquid above the top of the vegetables, so pour off excess if it looks like it will over flow.

*Gochugaru, or Korean red pepper flakes, is widely available in Asian grocery stores.

Golden Sauerkraut

Adding turmeric gives a sunny hue to sauerkraut. This golden spice also contains the powerful anti-oxidant curcumin, which research has shown is good for the liver and also calms inflammation, especially when combined with ginger. 

Organic, high-quality spices can be found at www.spicely.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs (675 g) green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 – 3 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 (30 - 45 ml) Tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) sea salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon (15 ml) turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) cayenne pepper

1. Place the shredded cabbage, green onion, and ginger in a large glass, stainless steel, or ceramic bowl, and sprinkle the salt in.
2. Massage the cabbage with your hands for about 5 minutes. Add in the spices and mix well.
3. Pack the cabbage mixture into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar until it reaches the shoulder. If you have time, let the mixture stand for 24 hours to help build up more liquid (See Note).
4. Place Kraut Source onto the jar. Allow to ferment for 10 - 12 days in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight. Check every few days that there is water in the moat, and top off as needed.
5. Replace Kraut Source with the standard mason jar lid and ring. Transfer to the refrigerator.

Note: Depending on the quality of your cabbage, you may or may not get a lot of liquid. Add more brine* to cover the vegetables by 1 inch (2.5 cm), if needed. 

*Brine ratio = 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sea salt dissolved in 1 cup (240 ml) hot filtered water. Allow to cool before using.

Classic Sauerkraut

Ingredients:

  • 1 head green cabbage, weighing about 1-1/2 lbs (680 g), cored and finely shredded
  • 1 -1/2 Tablespoons (22.5 ml) high-quality sea salt

  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) whole caraway seeds

1. Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt over the cabbage and massage by squeezing handfuls between your palms and fingers with a medium firm pressure. Do this for about 5 minutes. (The purpose of the massage is to help release juice from the cabbage. The longer you do so, the more cabbage juice will be released.)
2. Add in the caraway seeds and place mixture into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar. Use a wooden spoon, pestle, or the end of a rolling pin to temper down the cabbage. Be sure to leave at lease 2 inches (5 cm) of clearance from the top of the cabbage and the opening of the jar. If you have time, let the mixture stand for 24 hours to help build up more liquid (see Note).
3. Place Kraut Source onto the jar. Allow to ferment for 7 - 14 days in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight. Check every few days that there is water in the moat, and top off as needed.
4. Replace Kraut Source with the standard mason jar lid and ring. Transfer to the refrigerator.

Note: Depending on the quality of the cabbage, you may or may not get a lot of juice. Add more brine* to cover the vegetables by 1 inch (2.5 cm), if needed. 

*Brine ratio = 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sea salt dissolved in 1 cup (240 ml) hot filtered water. Allow to cool before using.

Real Pickles

Note: the jar used in this video is a half-gallon size jar.

Ingredients:

  • 3-1/2 cups (840 ml) filtered water
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons (15 - 30 ml) high-quality sea salt
  • 6 – 8 Kirby or small Persian cucumbers
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) yellow or brown mustard seeds
  • 1⁄4 onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 – 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 rounded teaspoon (5 ml) of loose green tea leaves (organic if possible)

1. Bring filtered water to a boil. Pour into a glass, stainless steel, or ceramic bowl and dissolve the salt. Allow the brine to cool completely.
2. Trim off 1⁄4 in (6 mm) of the cucumbers at the blossom end.
3. Place the dill, bay leaf, mustard seeds, onion, garlic, and tea leaves into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar and pack in the cucumbers.
(If the whole cucumbers are long and exceed shoulder of the mason jar, cut them in half or into slices)
4. Cover the contents with the brine until it reaches about 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the top of the cucumbers.
5. Place Kraut Source onto the jar. Allow to ferment for 7 - 10 days in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight. Check every few days that there is water in the moat, and top off as needed.
6. Replace Kraut Source with the standard mason jar lid and ring. Transfer to the refrigerator.

Note: Trimming the cucumbers at the blossom end and adding tea leaves will help to keep your pickles crunchy.

Note: the jar in this image is a half-gallon size jar

Note: the jar in this image is a half-gallon size jar

Killer Kimchi (with SOSU's Barrel-Aged Sriracha)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of Napa cabbage, weighing about 1.5 lbs (675 g), chopped into 1” x 2” pieces (2.5 x 5 cm)
  • 3 oz (85 g) daikon, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon (30 ml) sea salt
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon (30 ml) fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 stalk scallion, chopped
  • 5 - 6 Tablespoons (75 – 90 ml) SOSU Barrel-Aged Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) raw turbinado sugar

1. Place the chopped cabbage, onion and daikon in a large bowl. Add sea salt and massage the vegetables with clean hands by giving them gentle squeezes for about one minute. Set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. 
3. Pack everything, including the liquid that has released from the cabbage, into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar.  
4. Using a wooden spoon or rolling pin, pound down the mixture to help release more liquid. Firmly pack down the cabbage mixture until it's level with the shoulder of the jar, and that there is one inch (2.5 cm) of brine above the top of the vegetables.
5. Place Kraut Source onto the jar. Allow to ferment for 5 – 14 days in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight. Check every few days that there is water in the moat, and top off as needed.
6. Replace Kraut Source with the standard mason jar lid and ring. Transfer to the refrigerator.

Note: As Napa cabbage releases a lot of water, keep an eye on your kimchi during the first 24 - 48 hours. There should be about one inch (2.5 cm) of liquid above the top of the vegetables, so pour off excess if it looks like it will over flow.

For a traditional kimchi recipe using gochugaru, or Korean red pepper flakes, please visit this page.

Purple Sauerkraut with Caraway Seeds

Purple cabbage is extremely high in anthocyanin, a polyphenol that research has shown to improve blood circulation (helping to prevent hypertension), promote vision health, and protect the liver from oxidative damage. It is the rich red, purple, or crimson colors in vegetables and fruits that signal the presence of anthocyanin. Black and blueberries are also notable examples.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs. (675 g) purple cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 oz. (56 g) carrots, optional
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) caraway seeds
  • Additional brine, as needed

1. Place shredded purple cabbage and carrots (if using) in a large bowl. Massage sea salt into vegetables for about 5-6 minutes or more, if you wish. Add in caraway seeds and mix well.
2. If you have time, allow the massaged cabbage to rest in the bowl for up to 24 hours, as the salt will draw out liquid. If you do not have time to wait, simply pack cabbage into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar.
3. Use a wooden spoon or rolling pin to firmly press down the cabbage. The top of the vegetables should be level with the shoulder of the jar.
4. If not a lot of liquid has been released, make a brine* and pour into the jar to cover the vegetables by one inch (2.5 cm).
5. Place Kraut Source onto the jar. Allow to ferment for 5 - 10 days in a cool spot, away from directly sunlight. Check every few days that there is water in the moat, and top off as needed.
6. Replace Kraut Source with a standard mason jar lid and ring. Transfer to the refrigerator.

*Brine = 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sea salt dissolved in 1 cup (240 ml) filtered water

Note: The purple kraut juice makes a wonderful, probiotic-rich salad dressing
Use a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. My favorite is Barbara EVOO, which comes from olives grown in the beautiful Trapani Valley of Sicily.

Rose & Beet Cultured Mimosa with Manchego Omelette

In celebration of Mother's Day, I created this elegant libation that is beautiful to drink and to behold.
       It is dedicated to my own Mom who didn't like mimosas with orange juice because she said she couldn't taste the champagne! "What's the point?" she asked. Quite right, Mom.
       Well, I am sure that she would approve of this version. The fermented beet brine pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the rose sugar, and with every sip, the happy champagne bubbles come through and dance on the tongue.
       And if you wanted to treat your Mom to a home cooked brunch, there's also an easy recipe for Manchego Omelette that goes deliciously well with the mimosa.

Rose & Beet Cultured Mimosa rimmed with Rose Sugar

Rose & Beet Cultured Mimosa rimmed with Rose Sugar

Mimosa Ingredients:

  • 1 wedge lemon
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) fermented beet brine from Fermented Beets with Apples & Raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) rose sugar + more to coat rim of glass
  • (See directions at end of post on how to make rose sugar)
  • 5 fl oz (148 ml) champagne, cava, or prosecco

1. Run the wedge of lemon around the rim of a champagne flute, then coat with rose sugar.
2. Add in the fermented beet brine and rose sugar.
3. Lift the class with one hand and tilt the class to a 45 degrees angle, then very slowly pour in the champagne. (Tilting the glass helps to prevent bubbles from foaming to the top.)

Rose & Beet Cultured Mimosa served with Manchego Omelette topped with Beet & Apple Ferment

Rose & Beet Cultured Mimosa served with Manchego Omelette topped with Beet & Apple Ferment

Manchego Omelette Ingredients:

  • 2 - 3 whole eggs (from pasture-raised hens are best)
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.62 ml) sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) butter, coconut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) grated manchego cheese + a little more for garnishing
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) Fermented Beets with Apple & Raisins
  • Sprig of parsley or basil for garnish

1. Break the eggs into a bowl, add salt, and fluff with a fork.
2. Heat a small cast iron or omelette pan to medium-high heat with the cooking oil of choice.
3. Pour the egg mixture onto pan and spread around the pan. Cook for about one minute to set the eggs, and then add in the 1/3 cup grated cheese.
4. Fold the omelette in from two sides, and cook for another minute until just set.
5. Turn omelette onto a plate and top with serving of the Fermented Beets with Apples and Raisins. Grate a little more cheese on top, and add the sprig of herb.
6. Serve immediately with the Rose & Beet Cultured Mimosa.

Check out of blog on 10 Steps to Save Mother Earth.

Happy Mother's Day!

How to make Rose Sugar:

  • 1 part organic dried rose petals
  • 2 parts organic sugar

1. Place ingredients into a mortar and pestle and ground until fine.

You can purchase organic rose petals at www.mountainroseherbs.com

You can purchase organic rose petals at www.mountainroseherbs.com

Chocolate Custard (with Sauerkraut Brine) & Kefir Cream

That's right, kraut brine added to a dark chocolate dessert! This secret ingredient is what gives the perfect salty balance to the rich, sweet complex flavors of dark cacao. And to top it all off, a dollop of luscious kefir cream and enchanting rose sugar.
     There are several steps to this recipe, but they are all simple and well worth the time. And if you haven't used milk kefir grains before, why not try something new?

For the Rose Sugar:

  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) organic rose petals
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) turbinado sugar

1. Place ingredients into a mortar and pestle.
2. Grind until powdery.

This will give you more than enough for this recipe. Store the rest in a small container.
Use to sweeten your next cup of tea, or sprinkle on yogurt
.

For the Kefir Cream:

  • Milk kefir grains (about 2 Tablespoons or 30 ml)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) organic heavy cream

1. Place milk kefir grains into a small glass jar.
2. Pour cream over and place cover on.
3. Allow to culture at room temperature for 2 days.
4. Strain out the kefir grains.
5. Store kefir cream in fridge until ready to use.
6. Whip up the cream to serve on top of the chocolate custard.

Left over cream? How about adding that extra Rose Sugar to it and eat by the spoonful?
(More information on milk kefir grains and where to get them at end of post.)

Milk kefir grains (L) Whipped kefir cream (R)

Milk kefir grains (L) Whipped kefir cream (R)

For the Chocolate Custard:

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) turbinado sugar
  • 1 organic egg yolk
  • 3 oz (85 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fermented sauerkraut brine from Classic Sauerkraut
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.625 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.625 ml) cayenne powder, optional

serves 2

1. Place milk and sugar in a small pot and simmer until sugar is melted.
2. Put the yolk in a small bowl and very slowly whisk in the heated milk.
3. Return mixture to the pan and cook over low heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon and keep the heat low until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
4. Remove pan from heat and stir in rest of the ingredients.
5. Pour custard into two ramekins or cups and chill for about 5 minutes.
6. Top with the Kefir Cream and sprinkle with Rose Sugar to serve.

What are milk kefir grains?
They are not "grains" really, but a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts) that have co-evolved together. According to The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, this SCOBY contains more than 30 types of microbes, including Lactobacilli, Leuconostoc, and Saccharomyces.

You can learn more about milk kefir grains and purchase them at:

Kombucha Kamp

Cultures for Health

Happy fermenting,

Lemoncello Rosemary Cultured Cocktail

This cocktail combines the zestiness of lemons fermented with jalapeno mellowed by fermentation and a dash of herbaceousness from rosemary.

Ingredients:

  • 2 fl oz (88 ml) lemoncello
  • 1-1/2 fl oz (44 ml) vodka
    (I used my favorite gin made from organic California Red Winter wheat by Spirit Works)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) fermented brine from Lemon & Jalapeno Ferment
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary, as garnish
  • 1 segment of lemon rind from Lemon & Jalapeno Ferment, as garnish

1. Place 2 - 3 cubes of ice in a cocktail shaker.
2. Pour all the liquids into the shaker. Place lid on and shake 30 times.
3. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish.
 

Lemon & Jalapeno Ferment

Lemon & Jalapeno Ferment

Happy fermenting,

Grilled Chicken with Fermented Lemon-Jalapeno Salsa & Lemony Mayo

This is the most satisfying combo ever! And every bit is filled with cultured goodness.
All based on our Lemon & Jalapeno Ferment recipe. This dish has several steps, but it's really easy and well worth the effort.

For the chicken:

1. Place the chicken pieces in a container and pour in the brine.
2. Cover, and store in the fridge to marinade for 24 - 36 hours.
3. When ready, lift the chicken pieces out and pat dry. Discard the brine.
4. Cook the chicken pieces on a grill or roast in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Serves 4 - 6

Cut the flesh away from the rind. Add flesh to the marinade. Save rind for the Lemony Mayo.

Cut the flesh away from the rind. Add flesh to the marinade. Save rind for the Lemony Mayo.

For the Salsa:

  • 2 whole fermented lemons from Lemon & Jalapeno Ferment
  • 1 whole fermented jalapeno from Lemon & Jalapeno Ferment
  • 3 whole fermented pearl onions from Lemon & Jalapeno Ferment
  • 2 Tablespoons (10 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1. Finely dice the fermented ingredients and place into a bowl.
   (If you don't want the heat from the jalapeno peppers, remove the seeds.)
2. Add in olive oil and mix well.

For the Lemony Mayo:

  • Rind from 2 fermented lemons from the Lemon-Jalapeno Ferment
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) fermented brine from the Lemon-Jalapeno Ferment
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) honey
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1. Place the first 4 ingredients into a blender and pulse a few times until mushy.
2. With the motor running on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a mayonnaise-like mixture is formed.
(You may need to add in a little more olive oil to achieve a smooth consistency.)

That's it! Now you can assemble your very own cultured dinner. And if you want to make that Lemoncello Rosemary Cultured Cocktail, click HERE.

lemon_chicken_fork.jpg

Happy fermenting,

Lemon & Jalapeno Ferment

Inspired by Moroccan preserved lemons, I created this version with a twist. Traditionally made preserved lemons call for a lot of salt and the brine is usually too salty to use, or there isn't much brine at all.

This recipe delivers mild yet tangy flavors, with ingredients that can be eaten straight, plus plenty of fermented brine that can be used to marinade meats, added to cocktails, or salad dressings.

You can also chop up the fermented ingredients to make a yummy salsa.
(Links to more recipes at end of post.)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (960 ml) filtered water
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) sea salt
  • 5 - 6 lemons
  • (You may need more depending on the size of lemons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) sea salt for each lemon
  • 4 - 5 jalapeno peppers
  • 8 - 10 pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 sprig rosemary


Equipment:

  • 1 half-gallon (1.89 L) wide-mouth mason jar
  • 1 Kraut Source unit

1. Make a brine by bringing water to boil and stir in the salt to dissolve. Allow to cool.
2. Trim off the top and bottom of each lemon, about 1/4 in (0.625 cm), and cut a cross about 3/4 of the way down each lemon, being careful to leave the bottom intact.
3. Spoon in about 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) sea salt into the cut section of each lemon.

4. Pack the lemons, peppers, and onions into jar.
   (Ingredients should reach the shoulder of the jar.)
5. Pour the prepared brine over the ingredients. There should be enough brine to cover the top of lemons by about 1 in (2.5 cm). Add in more brine if needed.
6. Secure Kraut Source onto the jar according to directions.
7. Place your ferment out of direct sunlight and allow it to culture for 2 weeks.
8. When ready, replace Kraut Source with the mason jar lid and ring. Transfer to the refrigerator.

There are many delicious dishes you can make with this ferment, including:

Lemoncello & Rosemary Cultured Cocktail                          Grilled Chicken with Fermented Salsa                                                                                                                              & Lemony Eggless Mayo                                                                                                           

Lemoncello & Rosemary Cultured Cocktail                          Grilled Chicken with Fermented Salsa
                                                                                                                             & Lemony Eggless Mayo
                                                                                                          

Happy fermenting,

Effervescently Green Drink (Non-Alcoholic*)

Think green, be green, drink green. The perfect St. Patrick's Day celebration libation without the alcohol, too! No booze, just lots of phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants, AND probiotics.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small sweet red apple, such as Fuji
  • 3 - 4 ribs celery
  • 1 cup (240 ml) organic parsley leaves, packed
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) organic sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups (600 ml) filtered water
  • 2 capsules high-quality probiotics**, such as Just Thrive
  • Lemon slices for garnishing

Equipment:

  • Quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar
  • Kraut Source unit (moat and cap only)
  • Flip-top glass bottle OR recycled plastic soda bottle

1. Juice the apple, celery, and parsley. It should yield about 1 cup (240 ml) of green juice. Set aside.
2. Place the sugar in the mason jar and bring water to boil. Pour the water over sugar to melt. Allow to cool completely.
3. Add green juice to the sugar water.
4. Break open the probiotic capsules and pour in probiotic powder. Stir well.
5. Place the Kraut Source moat onto the jar, and secure with the standard mason jar ring.
6. Fill the moat 3/4 up with tap water, and place the cap on.
7. Place your ferment in a warm spot for 2 - 3 days. (Unlike fermenting vegetables/fruits,
lacto-fermented beverages can be placed in warm spots and it's OK if exposed to sunlight)
8. After the initial fermentation of 2 - 3 days, filter the liquid into a flip-top glass bottle (such as this one), and allow to ferment further for 2 - 3 days. This will help to produce a more effervescent drink. Store in the refrigerator when ready.

Tip: Enjoy it straight from the bottle, over ice, or dilute it with sparkling mineral water.

Note: As the flip jar creates a seal, the carbon dioxide that is produced during fermentation cannot escape. This is what will give the beverage bubbles; however, the carbon dioxide can also cause the bottle to explode if too much pressure is built up. Follow these steps a couple of times a day while at room temperature.
1. Open the cap, allow the carbon dioxide to go "whooosh," and then close it up again.
2. Once in the fridge, the cooler temperature will slow down the buildup, and you will not need to "burp" the bottle.
If you are concerned about exploding bottles, use a recycled plastic soda bottle. Open the cap to "burp" and screw back on. Plastic will expand with the build up of carbon dioxide.

*"Non-alcoholic" beverages are defined as having no more than .5% alcohol-by-volume. As there is a small amount of alcohol produced in lacto-fermented beverages, be mindful of consumption by children.
**Get a probiotic supplement containing several strains of lactobacilli cultures.

Here's another version made with berries to try.

Happy Fermenting!

Cultured Green Ice Cream (Avocado & Pistachios)

Avocado lovers here we go! Now you can love avocados even more by churning it into ice cream. This recipe includes a splash of fermented brine and yogurt to pump up your probiotic intake while experiencing cold creamy sweet euphoria. Perfect for St. Patrick's Day, Earth Day, or listening to Green Day.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (227 g) avocado, just the flesh by weight
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) full-fat, plain yogurt (grass-fed is best)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) Half & Half (organic is best)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) shelled pistachios, finely ground
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) organic sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) stevia leaf powder*
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) brine from your lacto-fermented Real Pickles or Classic Sauerkraut
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) wheatgrass juice powder**, optional

Serves 4

1. Place all the ingredients into a blender and mix well.
2. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions.
3. Serve topped with more chopped pistachios, if desired.

*To get stevia in its most natural form, I recommend the leaf powder from Mountain Rose Herbs. Stevia helps to pump up the sweetness without adding too much sugar, and it is good for people with blood sugar issues. If you don't want to use stevia, increase the sugar by 1/4 cup (60 ml).
**Wheatgrass provides chlorophyll and other nutrients that are good for the body.

I dream of green ice cream!

Homemade Corned Beef Brisket

I look forward to making this dish every year for St. Patrick's Day. Although it takes a little time
to brine the brisket, it's well worth the effort! After you've tasted your very own made-from-scratch version, you simply cannot go back to the store-bought one. And what's the PERFECT accompaniment? Sauerkraut of course! And not just any plain kraut, either. My Cinnamon & Raisin Purple Kraut balances this hearty dish with its subtle sweet and beguiling flavors.

For the Brine:

  • 2 quarts (1.89 L) filtered water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) coarse sea salt
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) Sucanat or turbinado sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) ground cloves

For the Brisket & Cabbage:

  • 8 - 10 lbs. (3.63 - 4.55 kg) beef brisket* (grass-fed is best)
  • 4 - 6 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly mashed
  • 1 head cabbage, sliced into 6 - 8 wedges with the core

For the Cooking Liquid:

  • Enough filtered water to cover the meat 3/4 of the way up
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) mustard seeds
  • 4 - 5 whole cloves
  • 4 - 5 whole allspice
  • 6 - 8 cloves garlic, peeled

Serves 6 - 8

1. Combine all the Brine ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer to dissolve the salt. Allow to cool completely.
2. Place the brisket and garlic in a large baking pan, pot, or roasting bag and pour in the brine. (Cut the brisket into 2 - 3 pieces if necessary to accommodate the container.) Cover and place in the fridge. Allow to marinade for 6 - 7 days. At the half way point, rotate the brisket pieces to ensure that they're marinating evenly.
3. When ready to cook, take out the brisket and discard the brine.
4. Add the Cooking Liquid ingredients and the brisket pieces In a large lidded pot or Dutch oven.
5. Bring to a simmer and cook, with the lid slightly ajar, for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
6. Place the cabbage wedges into the pot about 20 - 25 minutes before turning off the heat, and cook until they are soft.

Serving Suggestion:

Slice the brisket into 1/4" (0.625 cm) slices and serve with a wedge of cabbage and Cinnamon & Raisin Purple Kraut.

*Don't have time to brine the brisket? Well, here's a delicious version made with grass-fed beef from our friends at Stemple Creek Ranch.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Persimmons Sparkly (Non-Alcoholic*)

This is a beautiful, gently effervescent libation endowed with probiotics from Thrive.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups (1.92 L) filtered water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) raw honey, or organic sugar
  • 2 Thrive probiotic capsules**
  • 2 medium Fuyu persimmons, chopped

Equipment:

  • 1/2 gallon, wide-mouth mason jar
  • Kraut Source unit (moat and cap only)
  • Flip-top glass bottle OR a used plastic soda bottle with twist top

1. Bring water to boil and pour into the mason jar.
2. Add honey or sugar and stir to dissolve. Allow mixture to cool completely.
3. Add in the Thrive capsules by opening the capsules and pouring in only the probiotic powder. Mix well.
4. Add in the chopped persimmons.
5. Place Kraut Source moat on the jar, and secure with the standard mason jar ring.
6. Fill the moat 3/4 up with tap water, and place the cap on.
7. Place your ferment in a warm spot for 2 - 3 days. (Unlike fermenting vegetables/fruits, lacto-fermented beverages can be placed warm spots and it's OK if exposed to sunlight)
8. After the initial fermentation of 2 - 3 days, filter the liquid into a flip-top glass bottle (see image above), and allow to ferment further for 2 - 3 days. This will help to produce a more effervescent drink. Store in the refrigerator when ready.

Tips:

  • Enjoy it straight from the bottle, over ice, or dilute it with sparkling mineral water.
  • You can substitute other fruits that are in season in your area. Apples, pears, mangoes, and citrus fruits are great options.

    Note: As the flip bottle creates a seal, the carbon dioxide that is produced during fermentation cannot escape. This is what will give the beverage bubbles; however, the carbon dioxide can also cause the bottle to explode if too much pressure is built up. Follow these steps a couple of times a day while at room temperature:
    1. Open the cap, allow the carbon dioxide to go "whooosh," and then close it up again.
    2. Once in the fridge, the cooler temperature will slow down the buildup, and you will not need to "burp" the bottle.
    If you are concerned about exploding bottles, use a recycled plastic soda bottle. Open the cap to "burp" and screw back on. Plastic will expand with the build up of carbon dioxide.

Why Thrive?
As a nutritionist, I know the powerful healing properties of probiotics. And that is why I ferment and encourage people to make their own lacto-fermented foods at home. In addition, I advocate the use of probiotic supplements, especially for those with digestive issues. 
Thrive is formulated by MegaSporeBiotics

*"Non-alcoholic" beverages are defined as having no more than .5% alcohol-by-volume. As there is a small amount of alcohol produced in lacto-fermented beverages, be mindful of consumption by children.
**Get a probiotic capsule containing several strains of lactobacilli cultures.

Cheers!
 

Cultured Love Potion Cocktail

Impress you sweetheart with this beautiful, and amorous libation shaken with a hand-crafted gin from Spirit Works, a premium tea and hibiscus mixer from Owls' Brew, and live-cultures from your homemade kraut.

1. Place ingredients into a cocktail shaker with 2 -3 cubes of ice.
2. Shake vigorously 30 times.
3. Strain into a glass and garnish with an apple heart.

Happy Valentine's Day!
 

 

 

Vanilla and Rosebuds Kraut - Version II

Here's a twist on the original favorite...
And you can also make our Cultured Love Potion Cocktail using the fermented brine from this recipe!

Ingredients:
1-1/4 pounds green cabbage, finely shredded
1-1/2 Tablespoons sea salt
1 whole crisp apple (I like Fuji)
1/3 cup organic rose buds
3 to 5 whole juniper berries
1/2 whole vanilla bean

1. Place the shredded cabbage into a large wooden, stainless steel. or glass bowl.
2. Add salt and massage into cabbage for about 5 minutes.
3. Add in rest of the ingredients, and mix well.
4. Pack mixture into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar, by using a kraut pounder or end of a rolling pin.
   (Ingredients should reach the shoulder of the jar.)
5. Place your Kraut Source unit onto the mason jar according to directions.
6. Allow to ferment for 7- 10 days.

 

 

 

Eggless Eggnog (Vegan)

Here's a vegan version of eggnog that everyone will love, and includes a splash of live-cultures from sauerkraut brine that adds just the right hint of savory balance to the rich, sweet flavors of this classic Christmas libation. Whip up a batch and amaze your friends and family with this easy and thoughtful concoction that will please all your guests; from the herbivore to the omnivore.

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) raw cashew
  • 1-1/2 cups (360 ml) filtered water
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) almond milk
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) filtered water
  • 1 fl oz. (30 ml) fermented brine from Classic Sauerkraut, Real Pickles, OR any fermented brine that is neutral in color so that it doesn't tint your Eggless Eggnog
  • 2 - 3 medjool dates
  • 1/4 frozen banana
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.48 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.48 ml) ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.48 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tablespoon (7.5 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 fl oz. (59 ml) bourbon OR whiskey, more if desired (I highly recommend using Rye Whiskey from Spirit Works)
  • 6 whole cinnamon sticks for garnish
  • Grated nutmeg for garnish, optional

1. Soak the cashew in the filtered water with salt for 5 hours or overnight.
2. Drain the soaked cashews and place them in a blender.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add a little more almond milk if you feel that the mixture is too thick.
Note: Do not be tempted to add in more banana; doing so will detract from the other flavors.
4. Serve over ice and top with grated nutmeg, if desired.

Happy Holidays!
 

Cultured Cran-Apple Spiced Cocktail

Ingredients:

1. Place ingredients into a cocktail shaker with 2 -3 cubes of ice.
2. Shake vigorously 30 times.
3. Strain into a glass and garnish with a star-anise or cinnamon stick, slice of apple,
and a few fermented cranberries.

Read the blog about how women entrepreneurs came together to make this cultured cocktail! 

Happy Fermenting!

 

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