Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Homestead Eating: Beet Kvass ... and other ferments
So, about fermenting. I found something that I can reliably ferment successfully. Two things actually, if you count the lacto- pickles. The key to it, for me is to drown the foodstuff in water and either kefir culture or salt, so that the brine far far far overwhelms the food. One day I will be able to ferment in a crock, rather than only being able to ferment in a mason jar. Oh the sweet sense of success! But I digress. Beet kvass is bad ass.
Chock full of pro-biotics, and the fermenting makes the beety amazingness of vitamins and minerals and micro nutrients that much more accessible to the body. It tastes good too, if you like the sour of real fermentation and the earthiness of beets. Fortunately I love the latter and am falling in love with the former.
The 4th 2-quart jar of the stuff is currently fermenting on the counter, and I've got about a quart in the fridge. a 1/4 cup twice a day is recommended as a tonic for the digestive system and the blood.
I use the recipe from Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions," though Nourished Kitchen also has a recipe. I haven't actually been using salt in mine. I started the first batch with some whey from kefir (though you could use other whey, or even the clear juice - yes, that's whey - that collects in a container of good live yoghurt), and the subsequent batches with some of the previous batch :-)
In fact, my success with the kvass has been so heartening that the other night I cleaned out my moldy crock, and started a brand new batch of Kimchi (vaguely following Wild Fermentation's recipe) - being liberal with the brine, which I hope will keep the whole thing from imploding into green spores. So far so good, this morning, the brine above the lid/plate was thickening and starting to smell ferment-y!!!! I used one half of (last week's) GINORMOUS head of Napa Cabbage from the CSA. I have another one from this week, so am anticipating possibly plenty more of the same!
And I threw together a kohlrabi dill pickle ferment: pictures and instructions to come in a CSA Eating post later this week.