I’ve been getting into fermentations lately, but after reading Wild Fermentation I am a nut about it! That book is full of great information and written in a very engaging manner. Fermented foods are highly nutritious and allow you to preserve food without cooking it. While I have several projects in the works, here are some of the completed ferments:
Beet kvass: looks weird, sounds weird, tastes a little weird but beets are jam packed full of nutrition and this beverage has been touted for its liver cleansing benefits. I was emboldened to try this after watching The Healthy Home Economist do it on her blog. You can do the ferment twice, and I noticed the second batch is markedly less salty than the first. I know it was too salty for some people, so I would recommend watering it down the first time through if that’s the case. I had some problems with mold on the kvass. It was pretty easy to skim it off, and it’s not going to hurt you, but I think next time it’s on the counter I will fill a bag with brine and set it on top like I did with the kimchi to prevent molding instead of just screwing the lid on. This was the only ferment I experienced mold with.
I’ve also made a couple of batches of sauerkraut. This is super easy and delicious. I never ate the canned stuff, but I really enjoy this ferment. Again, I watched The Healthy Home Economist demonstrate and decided, I can do that! And I could. Amazing. And the stuff keeps forever. Apparently it is at its peak at six months of aging, but will last much longer. I like the sauerkraut with sausage. I may even be able to eat bratwurst (an old nemesis) if I can have kraut with it. Oh, gee…I have some pastured pork bratwurst in my freezer right now…
I’ve also made some pickles, including these fermented “pickled” green beans. They were interesting. It seemed like they fermented differently than the kraut. At one point, I could actually hear the kraut bubbling on the
counter. But with the beans I barely saw a bubble come up to indicate fermentation. They did it, though…definately fermented. They are an interesting accompaniment.
Finally, the dill pickles. I got this one out of my Joy of Pickling cookbook, and it’s a simple, great recipe for pickling those little cornichon pickles. This one does not use whey, only salt, for the fermentation. They are quite green in the picture (when I first put them in the jar) but after sitting out for about a week they turn the familiar dark green/gray color we associate with pickles. They are yummy, not too salty and because there’s a pepper in there some of them get kinda spicy, too! A nice change. Also, my pickles didn’t get soggy at all
even though I didn’t use a horseradish leaf or anything to keep them crispy. Luck? Maybe.
Next on the fermentation list: kombucha, honey mead, ketchup, mayonnaise, salsa, mango chutney….