Recipes

Traditional Sauerkraut

Makes 1 Quart (increase, but keep the ratios the same)

• 1 medium cabbage cored and cut up. I do this by hand so the pieces are different sizes.

• 1 tablespoon caraway seeds

• 1 tablespoon sea salt

• 4 tablespoons whey (or 1 cap of probiotic)

In a bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds, sea salt and whey. Pound this with your Stone Pounder to release the juices. Once you see the bottom of your bowl has liquid covering it, place ¾ cup of your mixture into a wide-mouth Mason jar. Press down firmly with your Veggie Press. Add layer after layer pressing down firmly until you reach the top of the jar.

Take your food grade plastic lid, cut down to size. Make one cut into the center and slide it together and fit it into the jar. It should come back into a full circle and sit just under the “shoulder” of the jar keeping the veggies below and the 1” of juice above. Remove any big floater that may introduce airborne bacteria into the mixture.

If you don’t have enough juice, continue pressing firmly ,but gently with your Veggie Press over the next hour or so. As the salt pulls more of the juice out, you will get more liquid.

When needed, I have used a small shot glass as a weight on the plastic lid to hold down the contents to keep them covered with juice.

Cover with a plastic Mason jar lid and keep at room temperature for at least 4 days or longer according to your taste and the temperature of the room. Place your jar on a tray or bowl to catch any juice that might expand out. Each day, press down the kraut using your clean Veggie Press, to release the air which displaces the juices.  Any time from day 4 on, take a little taste and when it tastes good to you, transfer it to cold storage. The sauerkraut can be eaten right away, but greatly improves with age of 2 to 3 weeks, but in several months it is even better.

Cortido by Victoria Schneider

Makes 2 quarts

• 1 cabbage, shredded

• 1 cup carrots, grated or finely chopped or thinly sliced

• 2 med onions, sliced finely (white if you can find them

• 1 Tbs. dried oregano (Mexican oregano if you can find it)

• 1/4- 1/2 tsp chili flakes (depending on how hot you like it)

• 1 Tbs. coriander

• 1 Tbs. cumin

• 1 Tbs. sea salt

• 1/2 cup of any kind of seaweed. Soak first and cut finely

• 4 tablespoons whey or 2 caps of good full spectrum probiotic or both

Preparation: pound all the ingredients together until lots of juice is present. Pack tightly layer after layer into your jar using your Veggie Press. Close the jar with a lid and place in a tray and leave out at room temp 3 to 5 days before moving to cold storage. Kraut or Cortido will last for many months in the fridge if properly stored by keeping the veggies under the juices.

Beet Kvass by Sally Fallon Morell 

Makes 2 quarts

This is a traditional Russian drink made from fermenting beets. It provides healthy bacteria, bio-available minerals and electrolytes. Beet kvass is an invaluable lacto-fermented tonic that is very easy to make. Folk medicine values it to assist the sick and elderly and for its liver cleansing properties. It promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood and is said to be good for kidney stones.

Ingredients:

• 3 medium or two large beets coarsely chopped (with tops still on and organic is best)

• 1 tablespoon salt to 2 quarts of water

• ¼ cup whey (or 2 probiotic caps)

• Good water

Preparation:

If you use a dishwasher, double rinse your jar to remove any detergent residue from the soap as this may inhibit the bacteria growth (this is true of all fermented foods). Cut up your beets with the skins left on into medium chunks, not too small. Put them into the jar, add the salt and whey (or probiotics) and fill up the 2 quart jar with clean water.

Cover tightly and let it ferment.

Taste in a few days to see if you like the flavor. If you like it strong let it sit out longer. When you are happy with the taste, then put it into the fridge and drink chilled. Label and date the jar.

Hint: Fresh beets are best because of the lactic acid present on the skins. This promotes fermentation of good bacteria. Once you are about ¾ through your kvass, refill it with water, a little whey and a little salt and leave it out for a day and you can make another batch. If a white film develops, just skim it off. According to experts, this is not mold. You can also save some of the kvass to use for your next batch as your inoculants instead of the whey.

Apple & Pear Chutney by Sally Fallon Morell

Makes 1 quart

• 3 cups fresh apples and pears (any fresh fruit can be used)

• 1/2 cup filtered water

• Grated rind of 2 lemons or 4 limes

• Juice of 2 lemons or the juice of 4 limes

• 2 teaspoons sea salt

• 1/4 cup whey

• 1/2 cup previously soaked overnight pecans or other nuts, lightly chopped

• 1/2 cup raisins, cherries, cranberries or other dried fruit

• 1 teaspoon ground cumin

• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

• 1/2 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed

• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

• 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

• 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

Use any fruit in season. I like firm fruit best. It holds texture better. Mix water, lemon or lime juice, lemon or lime rind, salt and whey. Peel fruit and cut up into lemon juice mixture. Mix with nuts, dried fruit, herbs and spices and place in a quart 1 quart, wide mouth Mason jar.

Press down lightly with your Veggie Press, adding more water if necessary to cover the fruit. The mixture should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 1 day before transferring to the refrigerator. This should be eaten within 1 month, and best within a 10 days to two weeks.

Tzatziki – Cucumber Yogurt Dip

Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp. olive oil

• 2 cloves garlic, minced finely

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. white pepper

• 2 cups yogurt, hung in Wheybag until thick, 2 to 6 hours

• 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced. Drain excess juice in Wheybag or squeeze.

• 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill or fresh mint, not both

Preparation:

Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Using a whisk, blend the yogurt with the olive oil and herbs and mix well. Finally, add the cucumber and chopped fresh dill. Chill for at least two hours before serving.

How To Make Whey

Buy (or make) any whole unflavored yogurt except Greek style, which has been creamed and does not separate. Find a place in your home where you can hang your Wheybag first. I usually use a cabinet knob I won’t need to open for several hours.

Soak your Wheybag in clean water and wring it out to remove excess water. Your bag will absorb less whey when wet. Your Wheybag has been designed to hold one quart, so go ahead and put all of it in. Pull the strings and hang up to drain for 3 to 8 hours with a big enough bowl to collect your whey.

The longer it hangs, the more whey you will get and the thicker yogurt cheese will be. I usually make the yogurt cheese into Tazaziki, especially mid-summer when all the ingredients are available fresh.

Closing Remarks

Be fearless! Remember this is a very forgiving science. If what you make turns out badly, there is nothing in the world that would make you want to eat it. Bad bacteria cannot grow as long as you follow the simple rules I have explained. If a little mold grows on a forgotten jar, just remove it until you feel comfortable taking a taste.

Unless it is near the bottom of the jar, the mold does not travel down and can easily be removed and the rest of the kraut is fine. Your best teacher now is YOU and your own experience will guide you on what you like. Only by making cultured foods into what you like will you incorporate them into your daily diet, which is ultimately my goal for each and every one of you!

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