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Fermented Kale

I work a farmers market and one of the things that I almost always have left over at the end of the day is Kale.  Mid-westerners are known to not like their vitamin K and although they “know they should be eating more greens” they simply cannot make the change from yellow (corn) to green leafy stuff.

I don’t really have a set way to do kale but the last time, I chopped it up very finely in the food processor, added in a little shredded onion and carrot, garlic, lime juice, Braggs Amino Acids, and of course salt. The idea was to duplicate the flavor that goes into my kale chips….well, it didn’t turn out tasting like Kale Chips but it is still tasty and a good way to consume the nutrient dense kale.

A person’s liking for fermented food is as individual as the person themselves.  For instance, Hubby likes his Kraut shredded, he likes the texture better.  Darling Daughter likes it slaw cut ( grated).  Instead of making two batches, I try to vary it each time I make it.    Almost every week for the past 10 years I have filled jars with some concoction, with something always working in one corner of the house or other.

Something for consideration, particularly with children, is that their tastes buds can be more sensitive so too much hot peppers or spices can be overpowering.   When one starts the GAPS diet we tend to want to make things as “flavorful” as possible to entice the children….when in reality the child may do best on having foods a bit more bland and then gradually add in the herbs and spices.  And I think this goes ditto for aging palates as well.  Things that we might have liked when we were younger change too as we age.  So if you have family members that lean more to the “basic flavors”, I encourage you to stick to the basics. As fermenting is becoming all the rage, we do not have to compete with our neighbors with more hot peppers, cumin, etc.  Nor are we slaves to a particular recipe.  A good basic beans with onion can be as satisfying as the ones with all the extras.  If mild Kimchi is preferred over the dragon breathing kind then make it mild. The goal is to have your family consuming these foods at every meal.  Our fermenting should be to satisfy our family not to try and out do others.  If it is too hot, overly spicy, or the flavor just grows boring, the consumption will slack off and our family will lose the intestinal benefits they gain from eating them.  In the growing community of fermenting it is important to remember that we are all after the same thing, intestinal health and that we need to love one another and support one another in our individual preferences.

Happy Fermenting!!

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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Fermented Foods, Greens, Kale

 

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Lactose Fermented Kimchi

There is always something brewing in my kitchen.  This week it is Kimchi, pickles, grape leaves, and a catmint (not catnip) tincture.  There was also a pot of tea but I omitted it from the photo.

If you haven’t tried fermented Kimchi I am here to encourage you.  When you make it you can control the level of heat that you put into it.  I like it mildly hot but one daughter likes it best without the heat so I make it mild and then sprinkle on extra cayenne pepper when I want it.

Kimchi is made out of a nappa cabbage, a head of bok choy, a small daikon radish (but you can use regular salad radishes), 3 or 4 scallions, a 2 inch chunk of ginger root peeled and grated, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic.   Oh yes, and I add 2-3 carrots!!  You can omit any of these ingredients but for the best tasting Kimchi use them all.   And if you like hot food add in some dried hot peppers, and if you don’t like hot food skip them completely.  Kimchi is just as good without the heat.

I chop my nappa cabbage and bok choy up coarsely.  Small enough that it will pack in jars comfortably but not shredded like for sauerkraut.   After I get every thing chopped up I add 1 TBSP of sea salt (sometimes more if the heads of cabbage and bok choy were large) and 4-6 TBSP of kefir or yogurt whey.  And before I stir it all up I take my paparika shaker and give it all a generous sprinkling of paparika.  This will give the Kimchi that good red color and enhances the flavor.

After I get everything in the bowl, I toss it all together and allow the bowl to set for an hour or so.  This is not necessary but I have found allowing my kraut and kimchi to sit in the bowl for a little while helps the packing process.  The salt begins the break down process which makes for easier transfer from bowl to jars. 

I pack the Kimchi into the jars, packing the ingredients down with a wooden spoon until the juice rises above the contents.   Fill the jar giving yourself about an inch of head space.  I set the jars in the little plastic boxes that mushrooms come in to catch any overflow of brine.  The kimchi sets out for three days before I transfer it to the fridge.  

I often eat Kimchi with a splash of Braggs Amino Acids.  Out of all of the fermented foods that I make Kimchi is probably my most favorite.   So if you have only made sauerkraut, you might want to give Kimchi a try!!

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Cabbage, Fermented Foods

 

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