Tag Archives: fermented

Fermented Beet and Cultured Goat Cheese Spread

~ Fermented Beet and Goat Cheese ~

beet kvass
Shockingly pink beet colour, this spread makes a wonderful appetizer or addition to a cheese plate. Roasting the beets in their skins retains their intense color.  This recipe uses two cultures of beets and cheese.  Use this spread on toasted bread/flat bread, crackers, or as part of a cheese plate.

Ingredients Needed…

Fermented beet kvass, about 2 beets worth, skin on or off
– 2 teaspoons olive oil
– Pinch of salt
– Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
– 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
– Juice of ½ orange, fresh
– 4 ounces soft goat cheese (chèvre)

Directions…

making beet spread
1.  Use beets from the fresh made beet kvass.
2.  Cut into small pieces and purée in food processor with olive oil.
3.  Add balsamic vinegar and orange juice and mix until smooth.
4.  Add goat cheese and mix for another minute or two.
5.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Keep refrigerated.
Live, Grow, and Share Cultured Foods…Happy Culturing!
See our online store for all your culturing needs – store.organic-cultures.com

Lemongina / Limegina Drink

~ Fermented – Vegan ~

 Lemongina
This is an excellent fermented sports drink containing electrolytes, vitamins, and some protein.   Easy top make with some common ingredients.  Very refreshing when a pick-me-up drink is needed!

Ingredients Needed…

  • 1 Quart (1 L) filtered water
  • 1⁄2 Cup (100 g) granulated sugar or use 3/4 cup honey
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Juice of 4 lemons, limes, or a combination
  • 1⁄2 Cup (125 ml) live Dairy whey, water kefir starter, or wild yeast fermentation
  • 1⁄4 Cup (65 g) frozen raspberries or strawberries (optional)

Lemongina

Directions…

  • Warm 1 pint (500 ml) of water in a pot over low heat. Stir in the sugar and salt until dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the remaining 1 pint (500 ml) of water, and let it cool down below body temperature. Add the lemon juice, whey, and raspberries (if using).
  • Pour the Lemongina into a glass or ceramic jar and close the lid and shake.  Write the brewing date on a piece of masking tape and stick it to the outside of the jar.
  • Let it sit at room temperature for 3 to 7 days, depending on the temperature.  Agitate at least once a day to prevent mold from forming.  Begin tasting at the first sign of bubbles. It is done when it is fizzy and sour and tangy.  Refrigerate once it reaches desired taste.  The raspberries may be removed or left in.

Yields: 4 Servings (8 oz/250 ml, Each)

strawberry Lemongina
Fresh Strawberry Lemongina

Try this refreshing beverage for those hot summer days when a nice cool drink is desired.  Said to be a great mixer for a ‘gin and tonic’. Don’t forget to check out Tepache recipe, in the files section, for a fruitier beverage also from Mexico!

For culturing starters, like kefir, koji spores, or Kombucha and fermentation supplies visit our Organic-Cultures online store.

Live, Grow, and Share Cultured Foods…Happy Culturing!

~ Fermentationed Tonics for Winter Time & Immunity Building ~

RAW – Fermented – Vegan

Fermented Garlic in Honey – Ninniku Hachimitsu-zuke

garlic in raw honey

This is a great cultured ferment for the winter season!
Easy to make and loaded with cold and flu fighting properties.
We recommend using RAW honey for the best taste and beneficial remedies.  The honey is ready in as little as 2 to 3 days.  Wait around a month or more to eat the garlic cloves and to allow full fermentation.  The garlic will start to break down if left to sit to long, best to make smaller batches to use within a month
or two after fermenting.
The honey gives a nice sweet and strong garlic flavor
for many dishes.
Or if your a garlic fan you can eat the cloves, like candy.
The garlic infused honey, when thinned down with water, makes a great hot or cold drink to enjoy or as a cold remedy!
One can find many benefits to using this recipe for
health and well being.

What is Needed:
– 10 oz (300g) Fresh garlic
– 7 to 9 oz (200-250g) Raw Honey

Directions:
1.  Start by separating the cloves of garlic, trim off the roots and outer skin.  Make sure to remove the thin membrane under the outer skin.
2.  Wash and pat the garlic dry, being careful not the break or damage the cloves.  However, some will slightly break open the cloves to activate the allicin.  The results seem to be the same, but whole cloves seem to have a longer shelf life.
3.  Prepare a small packing jar by boiling in water to sterilize, also called a water bath.
4.  Pack the garlic cloves into the sterilized container.  Pour over the honey.  Allow the honey to set for a minute and top off, making sure to cover all the cloves.
5.  Cover with lid and allow to sit in a cool dark place.  Fermentation times very, after a couple of days one should see bubbles forming in the honey mixture or even a foam on top.
6.  For those who worry about botulism, you can also add a tsp of organic raw apple cider vinegar.  This only needs to be done if the pH is to high.  The mixture should read at 4.6 pH or lower, this should happen naturally.

After a months time, place in cold storage for better long term preservation.  Enjoy!

 

~ Elderberries in Raw Honey ~

elderberry honey

  Black elderberries have a rich history in herbal medicine and elderberry syrup is a must-have in any natural cold and flu medicine chest.  Elderberry syrup gained significant attention in the natural health community shortly after the H1N1 flu outbreak when a study was released demonstrating its ability to effectively inhibit this widespread strain of the flu (Roschek, et.al., 2009).  It be bought already prepared, however, it is very easy to make at home.

What’s the Proper Way to Make Elderberry Syrup?

It’s crucial that the elderberries are from a reputable source, that all excess twigs or unripe berries are removed, and that the berries are cooked sufficiently to eliminate the toxin that is found in the seeds.  Even when elderberries are dried before cooking and the syrup is strained, it is possible for this toxin to produce complications if the syrup is not cooked sufficiently.  Remember, the purpose of an extract is to extract the active constituents from the herbs; this includes toxins.

Ingredients Needed…
To make a proper batch of safe and effective elderberry syrup, you will need:
– 100 g dried elderberries
– 1 to 2 quarts cold distilled water
– 1 1/2 cup RAW honey
– Add other items such as fresh ginger root and/or cinnamon sticks

elder berry syrup

Directions…
–  Combine the berries and water in a large (cold) sauce pan. If time permits, allow the berries to soak until they are soft, about 30 – 60 minutes.
–  Place over medium heat and gradually bring to a boil. Once a rolling boil has been reached, reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 30-45 minutes, stirring frequently.  You may have to add additional water to prevent burning the berries.
–  Do not cover the pot during this phase.  This process cannot be shortened as it is crucial for eliminating the cyanide-like toxin in the seeds.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
–  Strain the concentrated extract and measure the liquid. It should be approximately 2 cups (If you have less than 2 cups, water can be added to reach 2 cups.  If you have more than two cups, continue boiling the mixture down.  It is crucial to have a 2-cup measurement at this state to ensure accurate dosing.  Combine with the cup and a half of honey.  Allow to cool slightly and pour into prepared bottles (which have been placed in a water bath.)
Allow to ferment a few days at room temperature, then store in the refrigerator.

Note: This can be a very active ferment.  Make sure to use an airlock or vent a couple times per day.  Even under refrigeration it will burp, due to the active wild yeast and RAW honey.

How Much Elderberry Syrup Can I Take?

The average dose used in studies to treat viral infections is 15ml of a syrup with 38% elderberry, 4x a day for adults and the same amount at a 19% concentration for children.  Commercial doses are often much less potent than those used in clinical studies.  For the equivalent of a single dose of a commercially prepared product, the formula provided above produces 35 total doses. (To determine dosing, measure the total amount of product you have and divide by 35.)

Note:  Keep in mind that the half-life of the active components in elderberry treatments is only a couple of hours total, so frequent dosing is required.  As a result, one dose per day will not be effective at either prevention or treatment.


~ Fire Cider Tonic ~

fire cider

  While most recipes for fire cider use a heavy hand with the garlic because of its potent medicinal properties, you should feel free to tweak and embrace the flexible nature of this recipe.  Fresh turmeric is a lovely substitute for dried – use about 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped or grated.  Also, one can use fresh chilies instead of dried hot chilies, use sliced fresh jalapeño or habanero, or even smoke-dried ones.  One benefit of using fresh is to impart more
wild yeast into the fermentation process.

Consider adding other citrus, such as grapefruit or blood oranges, in place of or in addition to the lemon.  Note: This tonic recipe needs to sit at room temperature and ferment for 1 month before enjoying.

fire cider tonic

Ingredients Needed…
This recipe makes around 2 cups of finished product. Fire cider tonic can be made 3 months ahead; store chilled in a (preferably glass) resealable container.

– 1 cup coarsely grated peeled horseradish (about 4 ounces)
– 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
– 8 large garlic cloves, smashed
– 1/2 cup peeled and coarsely grated or chopped ginger (about 3 ounces)
– 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
– 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
– 4 rosemary sprigs
– 1 whole clove
– 1 or 2 dried hot chilies or adjust to one’s liking
– 1 lemon, quartered/sliced or other acid type fruit
(This is a safety factor keeping the pH below the needed 4.6 pH)
– 2 cups (or more) unfiltered apple cider vinegar
– 2 tablespoons (or to taste) RAW honey

fire cider brew

Directions…
– Place horseradish, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, peppercorns, rosemary, and clove in quart jar.
– Crumble chilies into jar.
– Squeeze in lemon quarters; add rinds.
– Pour vinegar into jar until solids are fully submerged.
– Cover tightly, then swirl jar gently to combine.

Let stand in a dark spot 1 month.  After allotted time frame:

  1. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined colander or sieve into a large measuring cup; discard solids.  Gather up corners of cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible (wear gloves if you wish to avoid turmeric stains on your hands).  Rinse out jar and pour in liquid.  Add 2 Tbsp. honey, then shake covered jar or whisk to combine.  Add more honey to taste.
  2. You can transfer mixture to a few smaller bottles, such as swing-top bottles, as it’s easier to pour from this way.  Tightly seal and move into refrigerator for long term storage.

fire cider bottle

Ways to Use the Tonic…

Cold Preventative:
Sip by the spoonful when you feel a cold coming on. It can also diluted in water if taste is to strong.

Fire Cider Tea:
Add about 1 Tbsp. fire cider to a mug of hot water, along with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a little honey to sweeten. Finish with a bit of freshly ground black pepper.

Fire Cider Tonic:
This makes a great mocktail. Add about 1 Tbsp. fire cider and a squeeze of fresh orange juice to a glass of seltzer. Garnish with rosemary sprig.

Marinade:
Use on fish, chicken, or other dishes like tofu.
Think of fire cider as the acid in bright, assertive marinades similar to those for jerk chicken.

 

~ Golden Lemon Drop Honey Tonic ~

lemon honey

A great tonic for sore throats and the to combat on coming colds! This is an easy to make tonic that can be made in just a few days.
Stress can come from two places:
The inside (inflammation) and the outside (too much to do).
Sipping this brew can help ease both. The anti-inflammatory herbs turmeric and ginger offer a tangy, slightly sweet flavor that will hit the spot. Lemon balm has been found to have antimicrobial,
antioxidant, and anti-anxiety properties.

Ingredients Needed…

raw honey lemon

– Peel and juice of 1 lemon
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated or chopped
– 1/4 tsp ground turmeric or fresh root peeled and grated/chopped
– 1 tbsp of dried or fresh rose hips.
Hint: Picking wild rose hips after the first frost turns them soft and pre-ferments them with wild yeast.
– 2 tsp RAW honey or to taste
– 2 drops food-grade lemon-balm extract (also called Melissa) or fresh herbal leaf
– 1 sprig rosemary and/or thyme, optional

This is a small batch mix so increase the ratios if a larger batch is desired.

lemon raw honey

Directions…
– Start by fermenting the peeled ginger root, turmeric, rose hips, and RAW honey.
– Allow this to set and ferment for 3 to 4 days until bubbles are forming on top of the solution.
– Once fermented add the lemon juice/peel and lemon-balm extract. If there is not an extract available, one can be made by making a lemon-balm tea decoction.
– Once all ingredients combined cover and place into refrigerator for use during the winter months.

Use by the spoonful or add to a hot green tea for relief from colds during the winter months.

Enjoy these great wintertime  tonics to combat the cold and flu season.  See more ideas and post on our main Blog page.

For culturing starters, like kefir, koji spores, or Kombucha and fermentation supplies visit our Organic-Cultures online store.

Live, Grow, and Share Cultured Foods…Happy culturing!

Punjabi-Style Cabbage with Spices

Fermented – Vegan


punjabi style cabbage
This Punjabi-Style Cabbage is an easy cabbage recipe that infuses your meal with the flavors of Punjab, a region in India. It can be made in the slow cooker, but when sauteed on the stove top it only takes about five minutes to throw together! Most Indian food recipes require a lot of preparation, but not this one – with a few spices such as turmeric and cumin, plain cabbage is transformed into an exotic new dish. Recipes with turmeric are also beneficial for your health, as turmeric is an amazing spice that helps prevent a number of ailments.
If you’ve never tried Punjabi food, this is a great starting point!

One of the first times I made this dish everyone went crazy stuffing it in a roti like a taco. This is a delicious, easy recipe that will make cooking dinner fun. The dish is traditionally made on the stove top.

Ingredients Needed…

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (see Notes)
  • ½ yellow or red onion, peeled and diced (½ cup/75 g)
  • 1 (1 inch/2.5-cm) piece ginger root, peeled and grated or minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced (1 cup /150 g)
  • 1 medium head white cabbage, outer leaves removed and finely shredded (about 8 cups/560 g)
  • 1 cup (145 g) peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 green Thai, Serrano, or cayenne chili, stem removed, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt

punjabi style cabbage
Directions…

– First we will start by fermenting the cabbage.  Just like making kraut, start by preparing the cabbage and adding salt to make a 2% brine.  Allow to set at room temperature for a day to 3 days, or until bubbles start to form.  You can use already made kimchi or sauerkraut if you like.
– In a deep, heavy pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the cumin, coriander, black pepper corns, and turmeric and cook until the seeds sizzle, about 30 seconds.
– Add the onion, ginger root, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
– Add the potato. Cook for 2 minutes, until soft.
– Add the peas, chili, and red chili powder, and salt.

– Turn the heat to low and partially cover the pan.  Cook 8 to 10 minutes, some like to cook it a little longer.  Allow to cool to room temperature, then add the cabbage to maintain the fermented probiotics.

– Add the cabbage making sure all of the cabbage is mixed well with the spices and other ingredients.

Serve over rice, in a roti, or with naan bread.

Enjoy!

 

Moroccan-Style Preserved Lemons

preserved lemons
Moroccan preserved lemons

These days one can buy preserved lemons, however, making them at home brings a rich, clean taste of homemade goodness.  Preserved lemons bring a multidimensional freshness and a wonderfully distinct pungency to the lemons.  Traditional served in Morocco in salads, soups, or even cocktails as they are alongside the grilled fish.  When eating them with grilled sardines only the rind is eaten.

The following recipe only has a few ingredients and only takes a bit of time to make.  You’ll be very pleased with the results!

Ingredients…

– 6 lemons, try to use Meyer style lemons if possible.
– 2/3 cup kosher sea salt
– 1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (use  5 to 6 extra lemons)
– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– 6-cup jar with a tight-fitting lid

preserved lemon
Directions…

1.  Wash lemons, then drain.  Some boil the lemons for 5 minutes, but this will kill the natural occurring bacteria and wild yeast.
2.  Cut each lemon into 8 wedges, discarding seeds.  Or the lemons may be left whole and the tops and bottoms deeply sliced 4 times.
3.  Toss lemons with kosher salt in a bowl, then pack lemons, along with their salt, tightly into jar.
4.  Add enough lemon juice to cover lemons.  Seal jar and let lemons stand at room temperature, shaking gently once a day, for 5 days.
5. Add oil to jar and refrigerate.  The oil will help to keep unwanted bacteria from turning the lemons bad.

entree with lemonsNote:
Preserved lemons can be chilled, covered in their juices, up to 1 year.
This is really a salt brine with wanted bacteria and wild yeast.
From the sea salt and correct bacteria the lemons will have a very pleasing taste.Enjoy and Happy Culturing!

 

“Aguas Frescas” or Fruit Waters – Fermented & Cultured Summertime Drinks

  The hot summer months are one of the best times to ‘drink your cultures’!  With the warm days and abundance of fresh seasonal fruits the wild and cultured yeasts are in their element.  Many traditions throughout the world have fermented drinks some more alcoholic than others.  Most are very easy to make by the addition of fruits and sugar.
Tepache Vendor  Today the focus will be fruit waters or ‘fresh waters’, otherwise known as aguas frescas in Mexico.

For the following recipes the basics are all the same.  To produce a beverage, a starter culture strain, such as water kefir grains, will be needed or the available wild yeast may be used.

Tepache de Pina: Mexican Homemade Pineapple Brew

Fermented/Cultured – Vegan – RAW

Tepache de Pina
A classic aguas frescas commonly sold by street vendors throughout Mexico.  The drinks are prepared with a combination of sugar, grains, and cut or pulped fruits.  The flavors range from Tepache, Papaya, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Lemon, horchata (hibiscus flower), fruits like oranges, banana, mango, and even jamaica or cucumbers.

Ingredients Needed…
Tepache ingredients

  • 1 Pineapple – Ripe or canned, diced or pulped.
    Hint: Save some of the pineapple for a garnish when serving
  • 1 cup or large cone of Piloncillo, cut in pieces, or use an organic sugar/molasses combination, or dark brown sugar.
  • 2 quarts of filtered water
    Optional:
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 3 cloves

Directions…

Easy for wild fermentation.   Combine all ingredients into a large pitcher or ceramic pot.   Cover with plastic wrap or several layers of cheese cloth.   Allow to set for 12 to 24 hours.   Remove any white foam that may have formed.   Cover again and allow the Tepache to set for 12 to 20 more hours, or until taste is correct.   Adjust the sugar level if needed.   Dilute the finished beverage with water, if the taste is to strong/sweet.   Strain and Chill.
Serve by the glass garnished with a slice of pineapple.

If using water kefir to culture the beverage, combine the water, fruit, and sugar allowing it to set for 12 to 20 hrs.  Remove the kefir grains from the mix and add in the optional ingredients if desired.  Allow beverage to set another 12 to 20 hours, until taste is to one’s liking.  Finish as above.

Notes:  DO NOT let it ferment longer unless you need pineapple vinegar which is used to flavor other condiments pickled chipotle peppers.

Mexican Strawberry Water (Aguas de Frescas)

Fermented/Cultured – Vegan – RAW

Tepache strawberry
Tepache Strawberry – Aguas Frescas

Another simple Tepache, this one made with strawberries, mint leaves, and lime.  A very refreshing summertime beverage, this frescas brings the cooling properties of mint and the tartness of lime.

Ingredients Needed…

  • 4 cups strawberries, quartered
  • 1 cup cane sugar or any sugar
  • 8 cup cold water or cultured water kefir
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges (optional)
  • Mint leaves, fresh (optional)

Directions…

Mix strawberries, sugar, and 2 cups water in a bowl.   Cover and allow it to set for 4 hours.   This will help to remove the juice from the berries.
Tepache beverage
Take the strawberry mixture and pour into a blender.   Add some of the fresh mint and lime, if desired.   Blend on high until smooth.   Pour the blended berry mixture through a wire mesh strainer set over a large mixing bowl; discard the pulp and seeds if desired.

Add the remaining 7 cups cold water to the pureed strawberries and mix well. Place the Aqua de Frescas in the refrigerator to chill for several hours or pour over ice and serve immediately.
Garnish with lime slices and/or mint leaves.

If using water kefir in this recipe the strawberries may be added when making the kefir.  Then the whole amount is blended after removal of the water kefir grains.  Fresh berries may be added when blending if the sugar content has dropped to low.

  Tepache is an easy homemade beverage that can vary in taste and what fruits are local and in season.  Try making different combinations of fruits like watermelon or blackberries, a batch with wild yeast fermentation, or with a stable culture strain like water kefir.
Water Kefir Grains  If water kefir grains are needed we have 5 different strains at our store –
store.organic-cultures.com

Enjoy.  Happy Culturing!

Traditional Lactose-Fermented Beverages…

Looking for something different to drink this summer…try our some traditional fermented beverages…Enjoy!

Traditional Lactose-Fermented Beverages…

Bouza (Egypt): An opaque drink made of wheat, water, and sourdough yeast starter..
Gv-No-He-Nv (Cherokee, Native American): A thick, milky drink with the sweet flavors of corn accented by a mild sourness.
T’ej (Ethiopian): A simple honey type wine/mead.
Braga (Middle Europe): A fermented gruel or sour porridge.
Chicha (South America): A clear, bubbly beverage made with corn. Balls of cooked corn mush are chewed and inoculated with saliva, then added to water and allowed to ferment. The taste is similar to kombucha.
Kiesel (Russia and Poland): An important grain-based lacto-fermented drink.
Kvass (Russia and Ukraine): A lacto-fermented drink usually made from stale rye bread. Another version is made with beets.
Mead (Europe): Made from honey, water, and wild yeast. Some methods produced a lacto-fermented drink, very low in alcohol or bottled and aged for more alcohol content.
Munkoyo (Africa): A low alcohol lacto-fermented brew made from millet or sorghum. Also called sorghum beer, consumed in large quantities by field workers and at celebrations. Given to babies to protect them against infection and diarrhea. The missionaries to Africa discouraged its use because it contains alcohol in very small amounts.
Tesguino (Mexico): A low-alcohol beer made with sprouted corn.
Chicha (Andean, Peru): Chewed corn beer having a light, delicious corn flavor.
Pulque (Mexico): A lacto-fermented drink made from the juice of the agavé cactus. With time, it goes alcoholic.
Palm Wine (Africa): The lacto-fermented sap of the palm tree, consumed in tropical areas of Africa and Asia.
Rice Beers (Asia and India): These were traditionally very low in alcohol, and mostly lactose-fermented. In Japan, koji rice mold is used for making sake, amasaké, and simple grog’s.


 

 

Fermented & Pickled Condiments in the Korean Style


This is a standard plate served at meals in our house, in Korea they do the same.  Called banchan, they are set in the middle of the table to be shared.  At the center of the table is the secondary main course, such as galbi or bulgogi, and a shared pot of jjigae.  Bowls of cooked rice and guk (soup) are set individually.  Banchan are served in small portions, meant to be finished at each meal and are replenished during the meal if not enough.
 
This method of eating allows each person to customize their dish to with flavor, heat, and spice.
Who can guess the condiments in the photo?
I start you off with B.R. – gochujang – hot fermented chili paste
B.L. – fresh Japanese wasabi paste
Good luck!
Fermented & pickled condiments in the Korean Style


 

Three Wild-crafted Fermented & Pickled Foods

~ Dandelion Leek Miso ~

dandelion leeks
Ran across this and thought I would share…
This recipe idea is great for areas with wild leeks and other wild crafted plants

What is Needed…

– Tub of unpasteurized Red miso or Mugi miso, organic or make your own, which can take 6 months to a year in most cases.
Hint: You can do a mix a sweet miso & hearty miso, too!  The amount of miso used will determine the amount of the other ingredients.
– Fresh Spring Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum, some know them as Ramps).  The leeks can have a strong taste if harvested at the right time, so adjust accordingly.  About a 1/8th of the volume of miso, you want the flavor, but, not to overpower the miso.
– Dandelion Greens.  Young leaves are best as they are not as bitter as older leaf.  Harvest before flowering.  Same amount/ratio as the leeks.  Some stores sell the greens, too
– Fresh or Dried Stinging Nettles (Uritica dioica).  Here in Michigan you should be able to harvest at the same time as the leeks.  I have a spot that has both growing together!
– Optional Sea Veggies.  Like kombu or wakamé seaweed.

Directions…

Since wild ingredients can very in taste and flavour during the season, I suggest mixing up a small tester batch and adjust ingredients as needed and to your liking.

Since the miso is already made, click here on how to make your own misos , we will start with the other ingredients.

Once you have collected or purchased all the items needed you ready to go!
– Start by cleaning the Leeks: Removing the leaves and roots, leaving the clean bulbs
– Dandelion greens: Remove the centre steam keeping the green part of the leaf,
– Nettle leaf:  Cut off any steams.   Hint: you can remove the ‘stinging’ aspect by blanching or steaming the leaf for a few seconds
– Soak the sea vegetables if dried.

Now cut all ingredients into small pieces and mix together.
Add greens and sea veggies to the miso paste.
Taste and adjust.  Add salt if needed, however, the miso will have a lot of salt already.
The miso blend will ferment the other items and flavour will improve over time.  Suggest allowing the miso mix to set in the refrigerator for 3 to 6 months, if you can wait that long.

~ Fermented Garlic Scapes ~

garlic scape
Here is another quick recipe for use of all the garlic scapes, if you grow garlic you will know what I mean!
Use fermented garlic scapes in any recipe to add a delicious mild garlic flavour!  Fermented garlic scapes enhance your recipes without overpowering other more delicate flavours.

What is Needed…

– Fresh organic garlic scapes, cleaned and diced into small pieces or use a food processor.  Do not overwork and turn scapes into a paste.  Leave it a bit chunky.
– Organic sunflower oil, cold pressed.  1 to 2 tbsp per 8oz of diced scapes.
– Lactic starter or use wild yeast fermentation
– Salt to taste

Directions…

Mix the diced garlic scapes with the oil and salt.
Add the lactic starter (This can come from other ferments liquids, like kraut or just use wild yeast fermentation.)
– Once fermentation is to your liking, about 5 to 10 days or more.   If you like the taste, finish with 1 to 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar or to taste.

Once the fermentation process is finished, pack into jars and store in the refrigerator.  Hint: Smaller jars will keep the FGS fresher.
Use as a spread or garnish for your favorite snacks, with fresh bread, or even on pizza.
Enjoy!

~ Pickled Wild Leek Relish ~

wild leek relish
One of my favorite ways to use and preserve leeks for use all season long!  The relish condiment works as a topping, great with fresh bread, or added during plating a dish.
Quick and easy, and so good!

What is Needed…

As the leeks are very strong in taste and flavor, you will use more white onions vs. leeks.  If you were to use only wild leeks, it will be much too strong.  I found this out on the first try with only leeks and vinegar…to much!

– White onions, organic, peeled and diced into very small pieces or use a food processor (do not overwork)
– Smaller amount of fresh leek bulbs, wild crafted, depending on flavour.
– A red bell pepper, organic
– White vinegar or rice wine vinegar, organic
– Salt to taste

Directions…

– Peel and dice white onions into very small pieces.
– Clean and peel wild leeks.  Remove tops and roots, leaving nice
clean white bulbs
– Depending on the size; use about a ¼ of the red bell pepper,
diced  finely.
The bell pepper is more to give a bit of colour over flavor.
– Mix the three together in a ratio of 80% white onion, 15% wild
leeks, & 4% bell pepper.

Taste the mixture and adjust the amount of leeks to onions until you have a flavor you like.  Add salt and vinegar (About 1% of mixture) to taste.  As with any pickled foods, the product should have a vinegar bite, but not to much to over power the other flavors.  The acid content should read at pH 4.5 or a little lower.  The correct range test strip can be purchased here.  Allow to set at room temperature for a few days, taste again and adjust ingredients to your liking.
Once complete pack into jars, cap, and place in refrigerator.

Enjoy! and Happy Fermenting… Live, Grow, Share Cultured Foods

 


 

 

Japanese Koji-Kin Rice Recipes

Now that you have made a fresh batch or purchased your koji rice, the next step is what to do with it. Many people use koji-kin rice to make saké, amasaké, or miso. However, what other ways are there to turn koji rice into something extraordinary?
Here are a few recipes to get you started…
koji rice

~ Basic Amasaké Ferment ~

Used in Japan as a sweetener, beverage, or a simple alcoholic drink.  Amasake is one of the best known cultured and fermented items from Japan.   There are several recipes for amasake that have been used for hundreds of years. By a popular recipe, kōji is added to cooled whole grain rice causing enzymes to break down the carbohydrates into simpler unrefined sugars.  As the mixture incubates, sweetness develops naturally.
By another popular recipe, sake kasu is simply mixed with water, but usually sugar is added.  In this recipe, amasake becomes low-alcohol beverage if given time.

Amasake can be used as a dessert, snack, natural sweetening agent, baby food, added in salad dressing or smoothies. The traditional drink (prepared by combining amasake and water, heated to a simmer, and often topped with a pinch of finely grated ginger) was popular with street vendors, and it is still served at inns, tea houses, and at festivals.  Many Shinto shrines in Japan provide
or sell it during the New Year!

amazake drink
Ready to Drink Amasake

What is needed…

3- cups cooked brown rice
1- cup light koji rice
If koji rice is needed…order here

Yield: 4 cups of fermented rice to use as a sweetener or 3 quarts Amasaké drink

Incubation Temperature: 120-140 F (50-60C)

Start by cooking the brown rice and allowing it to cool to at least 140 F (60C).  Once cooled, stir in the koji rice and mix well.  Place mixture into a glass or stainless steel container that will allow an inch of “headroom” to allow for expansion during the fermentation process.  Cover container and incubate, stirring every couple of hours to prevent heat build up.  The finished product can take as little as 6 hours with quality, fresh (not dried) koji-kin at optimum temperatures, after 6 hours start tasting the ferment to see if the cycle is complete.

making koji amasakeWhen finished the ferment should thicken like porridge with a mild sweet taste.  The sweetness will increase up to a point after which it will change and start to become sour.  Once the taste is to your liking, place into a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 to 5 min., stirring frequently.  Boiling will stop the fermentation process keeping the amasaké sweet.  For a smother amasaké consistency purée the mixture in a blender until smooth.  Refrigerate any ferment not used right away.  If not, the amasaké will become very sour.

Ways to Use Amasake Rice…

amasake sweetnerAmasaké Sweetener: Use ¼-cup ferment for each tbsp of sweetener called for in your favorite recipes and reducing the cooking liquid by 3 Tbsp.  Baked goods will be rich and moist with a more subtle sweetness.

amasake drinkAmasaké Drink: For HOT amasaké, heat one part ferment and two parts very hot water.  Add a dash of shoyu and a grating of fresh ginger root.  Serve blended mix in heated mugs.  For a cold drink, blend 1 part amasaké ferment and 2 part fruit, fruit juices, soy milk water and/or flavoring of your choice.

doburoku amasakeDoburoku: For simple “grog”, leave the amasaké ferment in the incubator for several days, stirring and tasting occasionally, until it develops a heady, alcoholic aroma.  Blend as above, traditionally served in Japan as a thick and creamy drink or dilute to taste.


~ Mellow Pickled Cabbage ~

In Japan, pickled vegetables come with many meals, as a condiment or side dish.  In Japan it is called ‘Kyabetsu no asazuke’.  Unlike normal pickles this recipe is a fermented pickled delight.  Like German style sauerkraut, pickled veggies are uncomplicated to make into a fermented snack or condiment!
Japanese pickled cabbage
What is needed…

1 – pound organic cabbage of your choice or a mix of green and reds. Use American style or Napa/Chinese styles
2 – Tbsp non-iodized salt (Kosher or sea salt)
¼-cup koji rice  If koji malted rice is needed…order here
¼-cup warm water
½ tsp honey or other sweetener
A Japanese tsukemono pickle press

Start by removing the center core and shred the cabbage coarsely.  Mix well with the salt and pack into a glass bowl.   Put a small enough plate to fit inside the bowl and weight it down with water filled glass jar or non-metal container.
Refrigerate for 3 days.

After 3 days, draw off the liquid from the cabbage but do not rinse. 
TIP:
Save the liquid brine for other uses.  Dissolve the honey/sweetener in the warm water and add the koji rice.   Set aside until the koji has dissolved the liquid and softened.

Next, mix the soaked koji and cabbage, mixing well.  Pack contents into a straight-sided container,  Add a plate and weight to keep everything under the liquid. Submerging the cabbage keeps the mixture from contamination with unwanted bacteria. Allow 4 to 5 days for the flavor to develop then refrigerate.  Use within a week or two.

For those who do not wish to mess with jar and weights, a Japanese pickle fermenter is a great investment.  Visit our shop to purchase the Japanese tsukemono pickle press.  See photos for recommended styles.
japanese pickle press
pickle press japan pickle press fermenter

 


~ Koji Pickled Sea & Root Vegetable Condiment ~

  Here is another great recipe for using your fresh made koji-kin rice.  It is a mix of seaweed and root vegetables with a lot of
umami flavor and health.
Fermented veggies

What is needed…

– ¼ cup of fresh light koji-kin rice  Order koji malted rice here
– ½ oz dry kombu, wakamé, or sea palm. Should yield about ½ cup     after soaking
– 1 to 1 ½ cups daikon, baby burdock root, or carrot.  We enjoy a combination of all three.  Try using any type of herbal roots, too.
– ¼ cup naturally fermented soy sauce, shoyu, or tamari
– ¼ cup mild vinegar, plain or flavored
– ¼ cup mirin or saké.  Mirin imparts a sweet component to the mix and saké a dry alternative, extremely recommended!

kombu seaweed

Start by soaking the Kombu and/or other sea vegetable for 10 to 20 min. in just enough water to cover, soak until softened.   Reserve ¼ cup of the soaking water and cut the sea vegetables into slivers or short ribbons.   Next, scrub the root vegetables to remove any soil and cut them into thin slivers.   Place the root vegetables, sea vegetables, and reserved soaking liquid into a saucepan and bring to a low boil.   Add soy sauce and vinegar and return to a low boil.   Cover and remove from heat.   This step kills of any unwanted bacteria or wild yeast.

When the mixture has cooled to 110F (45C) (warm, but not too hot to touch) transfer to a glass bowl and stir in the koji-kin, mirin, and saké.  Let the mixture mature for 4 hours at a cool to moderate room temperature, covered, stirring occasionally from time to time.

The pickled vegetables are ready to consume now or pack into quart mason jars and refrigerate the unused portion, which will continue to mellow and enhance the flavors even more over time. But first enjoy a bowl with your favorite grains!

To purchase koji spores or fresh made koji-kin please visit our web store: 
Buy Japanese Koji Spores
Buy Malted Koji Rice Here

 

As Always…Happy Culturing