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my favourite ferments. What's yours?  RSS feed

 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I go through phases of fermenting a lot of things, then kind of forgetting to for a while.
I went to a Sandor Katz talk last week and I got all inspired
Kimchi, sauerkraut, chilli sauce, whole chillies and green beans so far.
My garlic crop was pathetic, so no fermented garlic this year.
If you ever have more garlic than you know what to do with, it is absolutely awesome lacto fermented-
stays crunchy, but loses that 'raw' heat.
I do mine with Asian flavours like ginger root and star anise. Fantastic on rice with kimchi.

Got any favourite ferments? I'm on a roll!
I'm especially curious about fruit...

I'm going to make Myron's Mexican pickled vegetables next.
 
Renate Howard
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Salsa!!! Fermented salsa lasts for months and is so delicious!

I've also been playing with buttermilk culture - it works at room temperature, and makes whole milk as thick as yogurt, and half and half or heavy cream becomes sour cream. Great in fruit salad, cucumber salad, etc.

And yogurt. We found out adding 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 tsp vanilla per quart before culturing it makes it come out just like the grocery store vanilla yogurt, which my son is really addicted to!
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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My very favorite ferment has been tempeh. I made it twice a week for years but haven't been able to find the starter in the states for the last two years. I miss it.
Every summer I make lacto ferments (using goat cheese whey) from cucumbers and green tomatoes (fermented separately, usually with combinations of garlic and cayenne) both really good. My favorite ferment though is the same as Renate, salsa...really delicious. I use sally fallon's book for guidance. Our library had Sandor Katzs book but someone didn't return it...i like his views on fermentation, also.
I've never tried any fruit ferments unless we count tomatoes And for some reason, I can't bring myself to try the black bean ferment that sally fallon gives a recipe for...even with assurances from folks here who have tried it. Too many beans gone bad in my past, I guess.
 
Galadriel Freden
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Renate Haeckler wrote:Salsa!!! Fermented salsa lasts for months and is so delicious!



I'm intrigued; can you share your salsa recipe/process?
 
joseph wittenberg
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Location: aguanga, california
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Is love to see some info on the fermented salsa too!
I make a lot of mead and cider. I do a lot of yogurt and sauerkraut but the ciders are my favorite. I've been doing a lot of experimenting with adding ginger, mint, or whatever seems to be growing.
 
Mike Magin
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Location: SFBay area, California (USDA zone 10a)
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I really like the Sandor Katz book, though I've only done a couple of recipes from it. Even before I got it I started making sauerkraut -- provided you have some reasonably fresh cabbage, and you prevent mold contamination, it seems to be nearly fool-proof. I've used the sour pickle brine recipe, both to ferment cucumbers (I used the "Parisian Pickling Cucumber" variety) and some purple cauliflower. The pickled cauliflower was delicious. With the surface area of cauliflower, it fermented really fast.

One thing that I learned was that I like sauerkraut raw much more than cooked -- which is funny since most of the other times I've eaten it (at home growing up, or at restaurants), it was cooked.
 
Renate Howard
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Other than raw, my favorite use of sauerkraut is to slow-cook a pork roast smothered in it until the sauerkraut is brown and see-through then serve it over mashed potatoes with the meat on the side. It is *very* good that way.

RE: the salsa, I read a bunch of recipes then wound up just doing my favorite salsa recipe (fresh recipe) and adding more salt than usual. I think it came out to about a teaspoon of salt per pint of salsa. You only let it ferment a few days, until it gets fizzy, then stir it so the bubbles come out and refrigerate it.
 
Julie Anderson
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Location: Zone 9B Santa Rosa, CA
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My favorite ferment is cucumber slices brined with dill heads, garlic, jalapenos, peppercorns and red pepper flakes. Since I started putting a grape leaf in with each batch, they stay crispy for months (in the refrigerator). I just finished off the last batch from the 2013 crop and have had to move into the pickles I canned. Those are pretty good, but I am hovering over my cucumber starts lusting for fermented dill pickles.

Julie
 
Johnny Niamert
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Location: Colo
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I have two really simple favorites.

Kale kraut. Make just like sauerkraut, but substitute kale for cabbage.

Second favorite is simply sauerkraut with plenty of grated ginger added. I don't know why, but I prefer red cabbages for this one.

 
Leila Rich
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Judith Browning wrote:My very favorite ferment has been tempeh
Now that's a fancy ferment
The only soy product I really like is the sauce, but maybe if I could lay my hands on locally grown beans and make something myself...
I've got salsa going now too. I think I better stop or I won't have space in the fridge once they're 'done'!
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Leila Rich wrote:
Judith Browning wrote:My very favorite ferment has been tempeh
Now that's a fancy ferment
The only soy product I really like is the sauce, but maybe if I could lay my hands on locally grown beans and make something myself...
I've got salsa going now too. I think I better stop or I won't have space in the fridge once they're 'done'!


We are able to get organically grown soybeans (along with organic brown rice) straight from the fields 90 miles from us. Really good fresh beans. I don't use any other soy products except tempeh...the homemade stuff spoiled me though and I don't like the store bought. Once I got a consistent incubation temperature it was fairly fool proof...just a beautiful cake of white 'mold' when done nothing like the packaged brown squares on the market...mine was alive and a small square browned in olive oil with some lacto-fermented salsa on top was heaven.
 
Trevor Newhart
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Location: Southern California
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Judith and Leila,
While I don't have any experience making tempeh, I just wanted to point out to you that it can be made using a whole range of legumes besides soy. From my understanding you use the same basic recipe and techniques, though I would certainly check around before giving it a try. The most common soy substitutes are black beans, chickpeas and black-eyed peas. I had the idea of using siberian pea shrub as it is a coppicable perennial. I was thinking carob beans for the same reason, which I hope would impart a sweeter more chocolate like flavor. Though I am aware that the pod makes the chocolate substitute, one would think that the beans have a similar flavor.
Well yeah. Hope that is of some interest/help to y'all. If either of you, or anybody else gives these things a try, I would love to hear the results.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Trevor Newhart wrote:Judith and Leila,
While I don't have any experience making tempeh, I just wanted to point out to you that it can be made using a whole range of legumes besides soy. From my understanding you use the same basic recipe and techniques, though I would certainly check around before giving it a try. The most common soy substitutes are black beans, chickpeas and black-eyed peas. I had the idea of using siberian pea shrub as it is a coppicable perennial. I was thinking carob beans for the same reason, which I hope would impart a sweeter more chocolate like flavor. Though I am aware that the pod makes the chocolate substitute, one would think that the beans have a similar flavor.
Well yeah. Hope that is of some interest/help to y'all. If either of you, or anybody else gives these things a try, I would love to hear the results.


thanks, Trevor
We've always used soybeans, because they were the highest in protein and grown and available within 100 miles organically, but you are correct, there are lots of things you can make tempeh out of...other legumes as you mentioned and also rice. I have seen added,but never tried myself, different herbs, flax seed and slices of sweet pepper and I think carrot. I never got brave enough to try because we didn't want to wait out my 'practice' batch of something new in case it failed Until I find another reasonable source for the starter I can't experiment, unfortunately.
 
Leila Rich
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Trevor Newhart wrote: you that it can be made using a whole range of legumes besides soy

No I didn't know that, thank you!
I'm harvesting my dried beans at the moment; might be time to seek a culture
 
Trevor Newhart
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Judith,
Glad to hear that you have already considered all of this. I hope someday you can get a back-up starter and are able to do more experimentation with tempeh making. I think it is a pretty briliant craft and look forward to learning it someday.

Leila,
I am happy to have passed on that tidbit of information to you. Hopefully you can get a starter and experiment with your harvest. What variety of beans are they?
 
Robert Ray
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Salsa is what I am asked for most often. Milk kefir is what I always have going.
 
Leila Rich
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Trevor Newhart wrote:What variety of beans are they?

They're called 'Georges' beans': I got them from my mother, who got them from her friend George
They look what's called 'white lady' runner beans in the USA.
Prolific, perennial in my climate, do well in poor soil, great as a green bean or dried.
Magic beans...
Robert Ray wrote: Salsa is what I am asked for most often
it's awesome, and I can use my green tomatoes in it!
I'm always thrilled to find uses for them that aren't more chutney.
 
John Saltveit
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Vegetable sauerkraut-I have many experiments going. Healthy stuff added, which normally tastes pretty bad, but now is good tasting, like amla/indian gooseberry, bitter melon, okra, beets, garlic, nopales cactus pads and eggplant. I also put cruciferous vegetables, also red cabbage as it is full of antioxidants.

sourdough bread

soaked oatmeal ala nourishing traditions

seitan-my wife the vegetarian makes killer seitan.

beans- I soak, cook, add kefir/old fermented beans.

I also buy natto, kim chi, buttermilk, kefir, yogurt, soy sauce, etc.
John S
PDX OR
 
Dave Dahlsrud
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We always have some sort of fermented veges in a cabbage base (kraut with carrots, or beets, onions, garlic, whatever is in abundance at the time). BTW I really like whole pepper corns in those ferments, nice little zing and texture(they soften up quite a bit). Salsa is always good. We usually have some kombucha going, milk and water kefir (infused water kefir with fresh or frozen fruit is awesome), yogurt, and recently raw milk cheese(still aging haven't tasted it yet)
 
Landon Sunrich
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Lots of Ideas here - awesome! I have very little experience with most ferments - when I was doing serious vegetable production I was always too tired to muck around with it and was always able to trade cabbage and carrots away to people who really knew what they where doing for a few pints of preserves.

But,

I do have some experience making alcohol ferments. Of these on of my favorites is the seasonally appropriate nettle beer! I am sworn to secrecy on the exact recipe proportions but it is simply barley malt, nettles, and yeast. When young it is very light and sweet but as it ages it becomes a high gravity lambic type sour beer which many people have compared favorable to wine. I use lots of nettles. As many as I can fit into the pot - and I have a 12 gallon pot! Its also a great spring tonic what with all the vitamins and minerals so lacking over winter.

Come to think of it I think its probably about that time again! I need to go find someone who will be willing to trade me 5 gallons of propane for 5 gallons of beer.
 
Leila Rich
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A question for the salsa people: my salsa, which was mildly tangy when it went into the fridge,
now has the 'composty' taste of regular salsa when it's a bit old.
It's still crunchy and definitely not soft and 'off', like my kraut has gone a couple of times.
It's still edible, but if it gets much mankier it's going out.
I've got pretty...broad...tastes, and I don't think it's a matter of being a wuss...
On a more positive note, I made my best kraut ever, and the cucumber pickles rock.
I've gone mad with grape leaves: "keep pickles crunchy eh. Let's see how they work on kraut, kimchi, Mexican veges and salsa then"
They are all crunchy, but I have no control jars
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Leila, the recipe I follow is in 'nourishing traditions' . sally fallon calls for, per quart, 4 tablespoons whey, 1 tablespoon sea salt and 1/4 cup filtered water in addition to tomatoes and stuff for her tomato pepper relish, which is what I make and call it salsa...tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, green onions,cilantro, garlic.
I follow her method of tightly closing the mix, with a one inch head space, into a wide mouth quart for two days...I write the date and time on the lid because a few hours too long can make it over fermented. She says you need to use whey in all fruit ferments for consistent success...I've never tried without whey so I don't know. This did well every time...Her vegetable ferment recipes call for either four tablespoons of sea salt OR one tablespoon sea salt and four tablespoons whey, per quart. I had access to a cheese makers whey but I have heard that the whey from good yogurt will work...haven't tried that though.
I am looking at my six inch tomato starts in my living room and wishing for harvest and you are right in the thick of it!
 
Leila Rich
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Judith Browning wrote: She says you need to use whey in all fruit ferments for consistent success

I haven't read Nourishing Traditons; I'd always got the idea that whey was a 'jumpstarter' which guarantees the good bacteria win, not a requirement.
Maybe that's it then, as my non-fruit ferments are fine.
Well, the fermented tomato sauce is downright explosive, but it's not 'off'.
Maybe it's that whey/fruit thing again...
 
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