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7.23.2011

10 reasons to ferment something NOW

Bubbling lacto-fermented pickles... a lesson in patience.
My sour pickles are bubbling away in a crock in my kitchen, and I can't wait for them to be done... we ran out of last year's crop ages ago.  I will be making more this summer.  Lots more.  So in honor of my bubbling pickles I am here to encourage you to try to ferment something- there is no better time than NOW.



10 Reasons To Ferment Something NOW
  1. Produce is fresh and abundant right now, and without preservation much would go to waste.
  2. Fermentation is (I promise, really) the easiest and cheapest way to preserve.
  3. You can ferment almost anything, so there is something for you out there if you look hard enough.
  4. Probiotics.  Need I say more?  Veggie and fruit ferments are particularly helpful for those who can't have dairy or who don't care for yogurt or kefir.
  5. Fermented veggies also have higher levels of vitamin B, which ups energy.
  6. It's never too soon to start building up the immune system for winter, and by preserving now you'll have yummy fermented foods for when your body needs them most.
  7. Did I mention it's easy!  So easy.
  8. It's a good lesson in patience.  And science.
  9. Fermented foods taste good.
  10. Similar products- raw fermented foods like kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, and sour pickles, cost a LOT at the store... and that's if you can even find them.  So I buy the miso and make the rest.
The very most basic ferments:

If you like sour pickles or sauerkraut, both are simple to make.  I'll give you one sentence each.  Sauerkraut- shred cabbage, mix in one T. of salt per pound, squish it down until it gives off enough juice to cover, and weight it down.  Sour pickles- fill vessel with cukes and seasonings of choice (dill, garlic, mustard seed, celery seed, and chilies are popular), mix one T. of salt per quart of water, and pour over cukes.  Each takes about two weeks to ferment, or until they reach the desired flavor (I like my sauerkraut aged well past two weeks...).

Try it!

And check out the Barn Hop at Homestead Revival and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

6 comments:

Cait said...

Can you ferment zucchini? I have an abundance thereof. I would pickle jalepenos, but they are coming off the vine one at a time, and I think it would be silly to start a jar for one jalepeno.

Any ideas for lavender?

Brandislee said...

Leave the jalepenos on the plant until you're ready for them- they don't need to be picked, they'll just keep maturing as long as they're on the plant. And unlike other plants, leaving peppers on the plant doesn't affect production. Then you should have more japs at one time. Some may turn red, but that just deepens the flavor. And you could vinegar pickle a pint or a 1/2 pint at a time- it's easy enough to do.

As for fermenting zucchini... it's probably possible, but I don't think it would be the best thing. Zucchini gets mushy really easily. However, you could pickle it. Tomorrow there will be a post up about things to do with zucchini, with some zucchini pickle recipes. I wouldn't do any that are heat processed though (mush).

Oh, and lavender... lavender simple syrup or lavender jelly would be at the top of my list. I've never made either, but do a recipe search and you should find them.

Heidi said...

Wow. GREAT post. I am inspired by your go get em' attitude. I didn't realize that fermented pickles could be made w/o adding special things. The quick recipe sounds too easy. I am gonna try it as soon as my cukes are ripe, maybe a week or two. BTW I agree with Cait, what about zucchini? I got loads now.

Journey11 said...

All very good reasons! :) I'm just getting started with fermented foods. It seems so intimidating at first, but you are right--it's so easy.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. How can I join you on Facebook? Also, can I sign up to receive your posts through email?
Thank you,
Olga

Brandislee said...

Olga- To follow on facebook, just click on the "like" in the facebook box at the top left of this page (under the slideshow). I don't think you can get an email subscription... I'll have to look into how to set that up! Check back and I'll keep you posted!

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