Fermented Green Sauce

Vegan baked cauloiflower (1)

  Fermented Green Sauce

 I love the way Traditional Chinese Nutrition understands food and how it can nourish or deplete our body and mind.  Fresh coriander is considered warm, pungent, and enters the lung and spleen meridian. It can induce sweating and promote digestion, and help with stomach aches, directing the Qi downward. Some recent studies have indicated strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity and even helping to reduce blood sugar. Use it daily when in season and nourish yourself.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

2 cups finely chopped fresh coriander (use the whole herb)

½ cup toasted hulled sunflower seeds or sesame (any nut will do too!)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2-4 cloves garlic, peeled, pressed and chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

Zest and juice of 1 lime or lemon (1-2 Tablespoons)

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt or 2-3 teaspoons Shiro sweet white or Kome rice miso to taste

½ package extra-firm silken tofu (170 grams ) blanched and drained

1 teaspoon brine juice from sauerkraut (optional)

water as needed to adjust the texture

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Method

1. Press garlic on a paper bag, chop and let sit for 5 minutes.

2.  Process the sunflower seeds till finely chopped. Then add the coriander, cumin, garlic, lemon or lime zest and juice, salt, brine or miso, and tofu and blend until smooth and creamy. Add water as desired.

3. Serve under, over, or with any vegetable, noodle, or grain dish.

4. Will last 1-2 weeks in a glass container refrigerated.

  • Pressing garlic on a paper bag can help remove some of the strong oils that upset sensitive stomachs

Here I served the Green Sauce with my Cauliflower supreme, Udon noodles, and Bokchoy for lunch.

Can be used as a vegetable sauce, pasta or noodle sauce, or even as a spread on bread or as a dip with crackers.

Vegan Cauliflower & Greens

 

Fermented Radish, Cauliflower, and Coriander Brine Vegetables

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Ingredients

  • Sliced cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, beets or radishes cut into 1cm chunks (just enough to fit in a litre jar)
  • Capsicums, onions, or garlic to season
  • A few sprigs of parsley, cilantro, dill, oregano, or any other herb you have
  • A couple of grape leaves or black tea (to keep them crunchy)
  • 1 litre of warm filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons sea or Himalayan salt

Brine veg.

Method

1. Combine water and sea salt, stir well and set aside.

2. Add a few pinches of herbs and the vegetables of your choice along with the onion, garlic and fresh herbs like coriander or parsley, oregano, thyme to the bottom of a jar.

fer. ingred brine

3.Fill the jar halfway up with chunks of vegetables. Add a bit more herbs and seasonings and fill the jar with more slices up to 2.5cm below the rim.

4. Pour salt-water brine over the vegetables. At this point, you want to weigh the vegetables down in order for it to remain below the level of the brine to ferment evenly. (I like to use a narrow glass weight, long strips of carrots, a sterlised rock, or a smaller glass jar filled with water that fits into my wide-mouth litre jar.  Just press it down until enough brine covers everything in the jar. 

5. Cover tightly with the lid. (if using a glass jar you can use cheesecloth or a towel to cover.  Allow to sit at room temperature, ideally between 15-26 degrees. Check your jars and burp or open them every few days by loosening the lid and allowing some gas to escape. You will also see bubbles rise as the fermentation takes place which is perfectly normal.

6. Allow the vegetables to ferment 5 – 7days, depending on the temperature. Smell and taste and when you think they are ready, transfer the jar to the refrigerator.

NTP Califlower pickle

 

Fermented Indian Sauerkraut

This is by far my favourite sauerkraut in the cooler weather. As a child, we only ate sauerkraut with caraway seeds in the winter and kosher dill pickles with garlic and dill in the summer and autumn time. I must say I prefer the sour taste with a bit of a kick, and the spices do the job.

Turmeric, garlic, mustard seeds, ginger- all into the jar they go and each time the flavour is a bit different but that’s what I love about making your own ferment. Sometimes I let it ferment for 2, 3 or even 4 weeks, and each time the flavour is different. Left in the fridge for months, it keeps on fermenting and the bacteria gets more and more diversified and better for your immune system. What a fantastic transformation to observe and devour.

ferment T. kraut brine

Indian Turmeric Kraut

Ingredients

  • 850-900 grams cabbage finely sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup sliced red radish or daikon (white radish)
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 grated apple
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (black or yellow, I use a mixture of both)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 tablespoon wakame or dulse sea vegetable
  • salt (2% of the weight of all the vegetables)

 Method

  1. Weigh all of the vegetables and then weigh the salt. Slice the cabbage and grate the carrots and apple. Chop the spring onions, radish and crush the garlic. Keep all the vegetables separate.

Fer. Cut cab.

2. Mix all the spice ingredients together (except the salt) in a large bowl.

3. Combine the cabbage, apple, radish and carrots into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the salt and knead to release the juices. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Fer. Grate

4. Press into a 1 litre jar. Be sure that the mixture is at least 2.5 cm/one inch below the top of the jar. The brine should cover the vegetables when you press it down. Cover with an outside cabbage leaf and place a heavy-weight on top such as a sterilized rock, a smaller jar with water that fits into the larger jar, or glass weight.

Fer. squeeze

5. Cover tightly, set aside out of direct sunlight for at least 4-5 days If using a jar inside of a jar, cover with cheesecloth. Have a look every few days to see if the brine has risen. If there are any bubbles, remove them.

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6. If using a sealed jar, check your jar and burp it by releasing the lid and screw it back on quickly. Taste and if not sour enough, continue to ferment. Put it in the fridge when ready.

* In the winter it will take at least 2-3 weeks. Release the lid every few days as needed. After it has achieved the desired taste transfer the Indian Kraut to the fridge.

If you see any foam or beige on the top of the kraut just remove it. It is not harmful.

 

Fermented Chickpea Wraps

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I have a love affair with Chickpeas and especially chickpea flour. It’s so versatile I use it for sauces, to thicken a soup, fritters, and even in savoury muffins. It’s actually used in Europe as a traditional flatbread as it picks up the taste from the fillings and toppings that you use.

I try to ferment almost anything–most vegetables, fruits, grain and bean products whatever will create healthy flora for our gut biome and make it easier to absorb is a bonus to help digest the food that I eat. 

Play around with seasonal toppings and fillings. For summertime, try avocado, rocket, hummus & fresh greens. For wintery warming, load it up with lightly sauteed greens, chopped roasted vegetables, refried beans, herbs and spices.  Virtually anything that you have in the fridge that you want to re-use just warm up with some different herbs and spices and create a whole new taste sensation.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (besan, chana)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • oil for frying

Method

1. Mix the chickpea flour and water thoroughly in a bowl. Stir through the spices then cover with a tea-towel, clean cloth or wrap.

2. Leave for 24-48 hours. I usually add 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour every day to feed it but you don’t have to do that. In warm weather, you’ll find it ferments fairly quickly, sending a few bubbles to the surface.

3. When the batter is ready, mix through the salt, and decide how you want to cook it:

4. For little bites, heat the oven to 175C and oil the muffins cups well,  pour about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each hole. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The batter will start to pull away from the edges and may go a little golden.

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5. For bigger pancakes heat a large skillet, (cast iron is best )add a little oil and rub it into the cast-iron skillet, (if using stainless steel don’t rub it in)  Then pour in enough batter to thinly cover the base of your pan. Cook over a medium heat, pile some toppings on top while the batter is still wet and let it cook through.

 

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Fermented Spicy Fruit

Fruit Ferment 1

Ingredients

  • 2 – 3 cups peeled, pitted chopped seasonal fruit
  • 1/4 cup nuts
  • ⅓ cup sultanas or other dried fruit
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or another sweetener
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 5 mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 – 3 unpeeled lemon wedges, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger juice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt to taste
  • 1 – 1.5 cups filtered or boiled water as needed
  • Orange slices

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit 15-20 minutes.
  2. Scoop it into a litre jar pressing with a spoon to compact it and bring up the juices so that it covers the fruit. Add more water here if necessary.
  3. Cover the mixture with slices of ginger or orange to hold down any floating fruit. Place a glass weight on top if you have one.
  4. Cover with a lid, tightly and place on a plate to catch any juices that might escape from the jar.
  5. Ferment on a counter away from drafts or direct sunlight for 2-3 days. Unscrew the lid to let the CO2 escape. Taste and if you think it is fermented enough, move it to the fridge if not put the lid back on and ferment a few days longer.
  6. It will last 1-2 weeks before turning into a more alcoholic brew.

Fruit ferment 2

Pickled Eggs, Beetroot, and Onions

Fer. Eggs Finished

 

 There is nothing quite like a group of women gathered around the kitchen bench for a day of fermenting vegetables mixed with lots of laughter and stories. Last year we did this in one of my cooking workshops; it was a cool winter day and we preceded to wash, cook, chop, slice, press, mash and stuff jars with all sorts of edibles.

These quick pickled eggs with onion and beetroot were pickled in apple cider vinegar which is high in acetic acid. Like other acids, acetic acid can increase your body’s absorption of important minerals from the foods you eat. 

Foods like these that are pickled have been preserved in an acidic medium. In the case of various types of pickles you find on the shelves of shops, the pickling comes from vinegar. These vegetables, however, are not fermented (even though vinegar itself is the product of fermentation) and hence do not offer the probiotic and enzymatic value of homemade wild fermented vegetables.

 We also used beet juice, so that the eggs whites turn a beautiful fuchsia pink. You can see for yourself they really are a show stopper.  The longer you keep the eggs in the pickling liquid, the deeper it penetrates into the eggs.   

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2-1 cup water (use more if the water level doesn’t cover the other ingredients)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/4 tablespoon whole allspice or cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 medium beets, untrimmed and unpeeled
  • 1 medium onion sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4-5 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled

Fer. Eggs Hard boiled.JPG

Method

  1. Wash the beets and trim the stems, leaving about 1 inch of stem. Place in a pot, cover with water and boil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the beets are just tender. Drain, cool, and peel them. Reserve the beetroot juice.
  2. Combine the sugar, vinegar, beet juice or water, sea salt, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and cool.
  4. Place the onions, beets and hard-boiled eggs in a large jar.
  5. Pour the vinegar mixture over the eggs in the jar, covering the eggs completely. Cover tightly with a lid and allow it to cool.
  6. Store in the refrigerator 2-4 weeks.   
  7. The pickled eggs will be ready to eat after a few days. The longer the eggs sit in the pickling juice, the more the pickling juice will penetrate the eggs. 

Ferm. Eggs 1

Fermented Dosa

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Dosa is a GF thin fermented pancake similar to a crepe. The fermentation process increases vitamin B and vitamin C and is a popular south Indian snack, breakfast or meal that can be eaten with various fillings such as coconut chutney and dahl.

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 cup long-grain rice (basmati can be used)
  • ¼ cup brown rice – 1/4 cup (47.5 gm)
  • ½ cup split black lentil or mung beans
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  •  Himalayan salt – As needed

Preparing the Batter

  • Rinse the rice and soak it in a large bowl overnight.
  • Rinse the urad dal (black gram) or other lentils. Soak it along with fenugreek seeds overnight in a separate bowl.
  • Drain out the soaking liquid from the dal and the rice and keep it for further use.
  • Grind the rice, dal, fenugreek seeds, salt altogether or separately for a smoother batter using the soaking liquid preserved earlier to make it a smooth paste.
  • Let this batter kept for another 6-8 hours in a warm place covered with a tight lid. You can leave it overnight. (longer in the cooler weather)
  • The next day or when the batter almost doubles in volume it is now ready to cook. You can store the batter in the fridge for a few days. Just stir it a few times a week.  It will keep fermenting.

    Making the Dosa:

  • Heat a dosa pan or very flat heavy skillet pan and sprinkle a few drops of water on it. If the water drops evaporate within 2 seconds, then the pan is hot enough and ready.
  • Spread a very thin layer of oil over the pan
  • Pour the batter onto the hot pan with oil and spread out the batter in a circular shape.
  • If needed, you can drip a few drops of oil or ghee onto batter dosa or around it.
  • Cook in a medium flame till the bottom side becomes light brown.
  • For a more crispy dosa, you can flip the other side and cook it for another few minutes. Serve with coconut chutney or other fillings.