What you need:
-medium head cabbage (purple or green)
-3 tablespoons sea salt
1. Clean supplies thoroughly. Sanitize bowl and mason jar. Wash hands well.
2. Remove outer leaves of cabbage. Cut cabbage into quarters, core it, then slice into thin pieces
3. Put sliced cabbage into mixing bowl, add sea salt, then with squeeze your cabbage with clean hands. Squeeze the crap out of that cabbbage for 5-10 minutes. The salt and squeezing will begin extracting the liquid from the cabbage. This salty cabbage juice is your "brine".
4. Let cabbage sit for 10 minutes, then squeeze for another 2 minutes.
5. Pour cabbage into your clean mason jar, adding the extra brine over the top. Using a fork, push the cabbage down so it is completely submerged in the brine. This is very important.
6. There are a few ways to keep your cabbage submerged while it ferments:
-push down the pieces that float to the surface a few times a day
-save an outer leaf of your cabbage and put over the top of your mixture so it keeps the thinly cut pieces of cabbage from reaching the surgace
-put a clean plastic over the top of your cabbage mixture. Pour water into the plastic bag until the mason jar is full. Seal the plastic bag so you don't leak any water into your fermenting cabbage. (This is the method I chose)
7. Cover the top of your mason jar with a piece of paper towel or cheesecloth to prevent unwanted bacteria from making it's way into your 'kraut.
Check on your sauerkraut every few days to make sure it is still submerged fully in the brine. When there aren't any bubbles at the top (usually after two to three days), you can try your sauerkraut. Let it ferment for as long as you like, but two weeks is the minimum I suggest. Some people let it sit up to 16 weeks.
Once the taste is to your liking, put your sauerkraut in the refrigerator.
I've been a regular kombucha drinker since I discovered it five years ago, but I only recently started brewing my own.
What is kombucha, you say? Kombucha is a fermented tea made by combining tea, sugar, and a SCOBY (an acronym for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). The SCOBY basically eats the sugar and creates this fermented tea that has acetic acid, probiotics, and a small amount of alcohol.
Kombucha has tons of health benefits including aiding digestion, promoting healthy immune function, and helping the body absorb nutrients. There are also claims that drinking kombucha will reduce one's risk of contracting heart disease and type II diabetes.
What you need:
12 cups water
3-4 tablespoons loose leaf black (or green) tea (or 5 teabags)
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 kombucha SCOBY + 1/2 cup liquid from previous batch
1 large glass container (with wide mouth opening at top)
1 breathable cover
1 rubber band
3 16oz glass bottles
1. Boil 4 cups of water. Steep tea in water for 5 to 10 minutes (depending on how strong you want your tea).
2. Using a strainer, separate out loose tea leaves. Add sugar and let tea cool for 5 minutes.
3. Pour tea into clean large glass container, then add additional 8 cups of water into container. Make sure your mixture is room temperature (heat will kill the SCOBY), then add your SCOBY.
4. Put breathable cover on top (I use a single paper towel) and secure with rubber band. Put your kombucha in a warm (but not hot), dark, well-ventilated place.
Brewing time is up to you! Let it ferment for 7 days then stick a straw in about 6 inches deep (beneath the SCOBY) and try your kombucha. If the taste is too vinegary for you, stop brewing and bottle immediately. If it is too sweet, you can let it ferment up to 6 weeks. Taste test every few days until you get the flavor you like.
You can also pH test your kombucha. Kombucha with a pH of 3 is supposedly the most beneficial.
When you are ready to bottle your kombucha, remove the SCOBY. You can start a new batch or store your SCOBY until you're ready to brew again.
If you want to add flavoring or prefer your kombucha more carbonated, you can do a secondary fermentation:
1. Strain kombucha and pour into your smaller glass bottles.
2. Add whatever flavoring you like. You can add lemon juice, fresh fruit, juice, ginger, herbs, etc.
3. Let kombucha ferment another 5 to 14 days. Refrigerate when you have desired taste.
Tips for brewing kombucha:
-You can order a SCOBY online, or if you know anyone who also brews their own kombucha they will likely have baby SCOBYs that they're looking to give away. When you receive your SCOBY it should be in at least 1/2 cup kombucha from a previous batch.
-Any caffeinated tea can be used, but black tea works best. Herbal teas do not have the nutrients to support the SCOBY. You can use a mix of black tea and herbal tea (use at least 1/4 black tea).
-Don't panic if your SCOBY sinks-- the fermentation process will still work!
-The SCOBY essentially "eats" the tea and sugar as your kombucha ferments. The shorter you ferment, the sweeter your kombucha will taste. The longer you let it sit, the more vinegary your tea will taste and it will have a lower sugar content.
-If your SCOBY has green, black, or pink spots on it, it has molded and you should toss the batch of kombucha and the SCOBY.
Feel free to comment with kombucha brewing questions, or any fermenting tips you've learned!
I had time to kill at work on Wednesday, so I harvested an absurd amount of tomatoes. I also made out with swiss chard, green apples, pomegranate, squash, figs, and goat milk. I love my job.
It wasn't until I got home that I realized 20 pounds of tomatoes may have been overkill. I made salsa and barely made a dent in my stock, so this afternoon I'll be making sauce and anything else I can think of that freezes well. Maybe just more of this salsa because it's so dang good.
I used a lot of pear tomatoes because that's mostly what I harvested. I also threw in heirloom, zebra, cherry, snow, and striped roman tomatoes. I've yet to find a tomato I don't like. Really you can use any variety of tomato and your salsa will still be delicious.
Pumpkin is my favorite food. When fall comes and pumpkin puree is back on the shelves at Trader Joe's, I load up my cart with an absurd amount of cans. The cashiers always ask me if I am making pie, and I usually just say yes because for some reason people think it's weird that I eat pumpkin puree straight out of the can like baby food. Occasionally, I can control myself and not inhale all the pumpkin immediately after opening and actually make something.
Anyway, here is the first of probably many pumpkin recipes to come. Enjoy!
1 can pumpkin puree (14 oz)
1 can light coconut milk (14 fl oz)
2 cups chicken bone broth (or chicken broth from box)
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
2 tablespoons nutmeg
1 tablespoon ghee (or butter)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Melt ghee over medium heat in large saucepan.
2. In a large bowl, combine coconut milk, pumpkin puree, and bone broth. Whisk until mixed thoroughly.
3. Pour pumpkin mixture into saucepan. Add cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Stir and bring to boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
5. Let cool, pour into your most festive fall bowl, and sprinkle more nutmeg on top to dress it up.
makes 2-3 servings
This recipe also tastes great with diced carrots, yams, and onion. When adding vegetables, cook in ghee in the saucepan until tender before adding pumpkin mixture.