KimChi – more than pepped-up Sauerkraut!

Here is another stunning fermented vegetable recipe. I am pleased to announce it is purely plant-based, so no fish sauce or other ingredients of dubious origin have been used 🙂

KimChiAt first I was concerned that all the spicy ingredients, which are natural anti-biotics would stunt the fermentation process. And yes, it slows the fermentation down a wee bit but not too much – if you leave it out at room temperature like sauerkraut. The batch in the picture above and to the left was made like  sauerkraut and worked out perfectly.

You have the option though to make the KimChi without adding the spicy chili paste to it initially. Let the vegetable mix ferment in peace first and store the chili paste in a thick-walled glass jar (it might burn holes in any fragile vessel *Twinkle*) Once the fermentation has stopped – after 3-4 days, add the chili paste to taste.
The chili paste can be kept indefinitely in the fridge.

Here comes the recipe. It is the shortened form of a very thorough description I found years ago on this website: www.treelight.com/health/nutrition/UltimateKimchi.html

KimChi
Makes 3-4l of KimChi

Vegetables

  • 1 head cabbage, shredded finely
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 2 cucumbers or zucchini, shredded
  • 3 heads broccoli, shredded
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 small oranges, juiced
  • 2 t sea salt (more if needed)
  • 1T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ c Sesame seeds
Chili Paste

  • 3.5 red onions
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 small hand ginger
  • 4 soft flesh pieces of preserved lemons, optional
  • 2T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • fresh or frozen chilies, amount according to desired heat
  • ½ t natural sea salt
  • 1T toasted sesame oil, to cover the finished product when storing in a glass jar
  1. Prepare the vegetables by massaging with sea salt like Sauerkraut. Add diced apple, orange juice, sesame seeds and Apple Cider Vinegar and mix well.
  2. Prepare chili paste in a blender and balance flavours. Keep the toasted sesame oil aside for later!
  3. Now mix some of the chili paste with the vegetable mixture and massage with your hands. Test flavour and add more if desired. Keep left over chili paste in a glass jar. Cover top with a layer of toasted sesame oil to prevent oxidization and store in fridge.
  4. This Kimchi can be eaten immediately. Stored in the fridge in a sealed glass jar it will develop a stronger flavour over time and even ferment. Alternatively weigh the top down as when making Sauerkraut (cover top with plastic bag to keep the bugs out!) and leave it sitting in a bowl to catch any bubbling liquids that might escape the jar (see picture below!) on your kitchen counter or in your hot water closet for a week or so. Then take the weight and cover off. Seal the jar with a lid and transfer to fridge.

KimChi bowlAlternatively ferment Kimchi vegetables first, like in the Sauerkraut recipe. After 3-4 days you can add the chili paste and transfer the jar into your fridge.

What else can I say but:
‘Best of Success!’

René
🙂

Fermented Foods – nourishing traditions re-discovered

[Please be aware that this is an old post from 2012 in preparation for one of my still very popular ‘Traditional Cultured Foods’ workshops!]

Have you ever pondered the miracle of digestion?

How is it that we can eat certain foods and in a matter of, literally, seconds we feel a surge of energy? While at other times we eat things for comfort yet we feel horrible shortly after.

How come?

You have probably heard the term ‘gut flora’ before. Did you know that our intestinal tract, where most of the digestion and assimilation of food happens, contains Trillions of micro-organisms? These little critters outnumber our human body cells by a factor of 10! Means 90% of the cells and the genetic material we contain in our body is our gut flora!!!

In an ideal world our bodies live in perfect symbiosis with these friendly micro-organisms. They even take charge of the health of our gut lining and the cells it consists of. While we in return are supposed to provide a healthy nourishing living environment for them.

So where shall we look first to improve our state of health and wellbeing?

Right! Our GUT FLORA 🙂

Unfortunately most of us have a less than optimal cultural mix in our digestive tract. Many environmental factors, the contraceptive pill, anti-biotics, alcohol, stress, etc. can devastate the healthy and beneficial bacteria in our gut. This opportunity is used by toxic and foreign bacteria to populate our gut. That means the percentage of beneficial bacteria can drop dramatically with severe health implications. For a more complete explanation please inform yourself on Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s website, her books on  GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) and many youtube videos.

Fermented foods variety

One key factor in one’s nutrition on the way to restored wellbeing is Fermented Foods. Our ancestor’s diet consisted of a variety of fermented foods and beverages. Through the commercialisation of the world’s ‘food’ supply many of these traditional fermented foods are not any longer part of everybody’s diet. Fermenting food was a prime way of preserving food and simultaneously increased its digestibility and nutritional profile. That’s how our symbiotic relationship with our beneficial gut flora evolved. We are meant to consume fermented foods on a regular basis!

A glass of Kombucha

Kombucha with Curry Cashews

The Weston A. Price Foundation is doing excellent work in educating the public about this important factor in our nutrition. And so am I 🙂

We have secured the beautiful Mahurangi West Hall as our regular venue for one-day workshops and raw food chef trainings. It is a historical building, in the most scenic setting, newly renovated with all the creature comforts (including our dear, yet superfluous dishwasher).

Mahurangi West Hall

So what’s on the menu? Shortened as of today, 18.8.2012!

  • Sauerkraut, of course!
  • Coconut yoghurt
  • Sour Beets and other fermented vegetable

    Sour Beets

    Sour Beets

  • Kim Chi
  • Natto
  • Kombucha

    A glass of Kombucha

    Kombucha

  • Water kefir

    Water Kefir

    Water Kefir

  • Kefir (dairy) and yoghurt from organic milk
  • wild-fermented sourdough

    Sourdough

    Sourdough

  • Gundru from Nepal/Tibet

    Gundru

    Gundru

  • Cider
  • Chinese Pickles
  • Japanese Nuka Bran Pickles
  • Quinoa Chicha
  • and more… What is crossed out we’ll deal with in future workshops!

This will be a very interactive workshop, balancing demo with hands-on preparation. You will take home the absolute confidence that fermented foods are easy to make and can be a regular staple in your diet.
As always, samples of all our organic food and the full recipe booklet is included. We will have a late lunch at the end of the workshop sampling our creations.

The workshop starts at 10am. We will be finished by 3pm.
That will give you enough time in the morning to visit the Matakana Market and get your knives sharpened there by Mike. 🙂

To ensure a very private atmosphere and an optimal learning environment this class is limited to only 12 students.
We are receiving bookings already. This workshop is going to be sold out shortly.

Your investment is $300+gst for the half day, including an organic lunch and samples as well as the comprehensive recipe booklet.

For bookings please refer to our Event Calendar page.

Bookings are essential for this workshop! Your payment confirms your booking. Due to the high demand and limited space we are not able to hold spaces which are not paid for in advance.

Feel free to get in touch with questions and booking requests here.

OK, I’ll better get back to all those bubbling vessels in our kitchen and hot water cupboard 😉 This is the most Fun I have had in preparing a workshop. I’m determined to pass that Joy on to you!

See you on August 25th for a nourishing Fermented Foods workshop!

Much Love,
René
🙂

Water Kefir, Kombucha, Curry Cashews

Almond Sauerkraut Bread – a convenient way to use almond pulp

Ever wondered what to do with all these bags of frozen almond pulp from making almond milk? I have. Last week I decided to clean our freezer only to find a truck load of almond pulp waiting to be used for something at some point in the distant future. I decided that the future starts now and went ahead creating this lovely nut bread.

Almond Sauerkraut Bread

As made at our last Raw Chef Training, September 2013.

Buckle up, this stuff is amazing! It will definitely be one of the staples in our pantry (unless sold prior ;-)).

Almond Sauerkraut Bread

  • 1 c golden flax seeds, coarsely ground
  • 3 c of almond pulp from milk
  • 1 c sauerkraut, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c soaked almonds, coarsely chopped
  • enough water to make dough consistency
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 t natural sea salt
  • 2 t Italian herbs
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig rosemary to garnish
  1. Process the almond pulp in a food processor with the “S” blade until finely broken down. Add olive oil, garlic, natural sea salt, and water
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, add the sauerkraut ,chopped almonds, natural sea salt and mix well.
  3. Form into round loaves about Ø3cm and slice into 1cm wide slices.
    Almond Sauerkraut Loaf, sliced
  4. Dehydrate for 2-3 hours at 145°F and then at 115°F for another 2 hours or until the desired moisture is obtained. For long term storage dehydrate until crisp at 105°F.
    Almond Sauerkraut Bread - dehydrated

Enjoy with your favourite dip or soup!

Almond Sauerkraut Bread

René 🙂

Raw Sauerkraut – my German heritage at its very best!

This recipe has become a staple in our kitchen and pantry. Once made the sauerkraut will last for months. That’s what it originally was made for – to preserve the cabbage harvest over the winter months. With a little bit of help from the Lactobacillus acidophilus that lives naturally on cabbage. It turns the fermenting cabbage into a pro-biotic feast. Your intestines will love you for the support of friendly bacteria. In fact sauerkraut and other fermented cabbage products (more posts to come) have been a major part of our own rejuvenative diet. Ask your naturopath or colon therapist for their opinion on friendly bacteria from sauerkraut!

Raw SauerkrautHere we go with the culinary fun:

Sauerkraut

makes about 3cups to 1liter

¨        1 head cabbage, shredded finely

¨        2 t natural sea salt

¨        ¼ cup minced fresh dill or 1 T dried

¨        1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

  1. Massage the cabbage with the salt until the liquid starts to release.
  2. Let the cabbage rest for 10 minutes and massage it again. Repeat as often as necessary until the cabbage is very juicy. Add the remaining ingredients.
  3. Pack the mixture firmly into a large glass jar, crock, or bowl. Press the cabbage down until the liquid rises above it approximately 0.5cm.
  4. If you are using a large jar for your kraut, place a weight on top of the cabbage, such as a jar filled with water or a plastic bag filled with filtered water (see picture). Make sure to cover the jar with another plastic bag to keep any critters out. Place the jar in a bowl to catch any overflow of sauerkraut juice. collect the juice in a jar in your fridge and back to the finished kraut.Sauerkraut covered with bag
  5. Allow the kraut to ferment in your kitchen for at least 3 days (see note). We line the jars up in the window (no direct sun though).
  6. Once the kraut is ready, store it in airtight glass jars in the refrigerator. It will keep for several months.

Note: Kraut may be fermented for up to14 days, depending upon the desired degree of sourness.

Have fun experimenting with Sauerkraut! You can make variations with red cabbage, kale, add grated carrots, parsnips, broccoli etc.. It still is a great way to preserve a temporary over supply of vegetables.

Sauerkraut jarIf you plan on adding any spicy foods like garlic or chilies to your sauerkraut wait till it is properly fermented. Garlic, chilies, ginger etc. are nature’s anti-biotics and will actually delay the fermentation process by inhibiting the lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria – for a while at least.

Other flavour options apart from dill are juniper berries and caraway (a spice I still hold some traumatic childhood memories of :-)).

Use your clean hands to massage the kraut! Go full out! Deep tissue, not Bowen 😉 The natural bacteria on your hands will be good for the fermentation process too. Just avoid those nasty alcohol-based desinfectants. ‘Dr. Bronners’ soaps will do – for a mild peppermint flavour in your Sauerkraut – just kidding.

The jar you see in the picture is a former olive or capers jar from our local deli. They hold 2 liters of anything (obviously :-)) and make great storage vessels for your pantry. We keep all of our nuts, seeds, spices, flour, crackers etc. in them.

Happy fermenting!

RenéSauerkraut fermenting on our window sill