Fermented Parsnips with Lemon, Ginger & Peppercorns (vegan, paleo, keto)

You can do this with 2 quart masons or a 2 Liter swing top and some fermenting lids and weights. I have taken to pouring a bit of avocado or olive oil on top of my vegetables to help keep out the bacteria.

The flavor is delicate and void of the bitterness I usually find in parsnips. I like them regardless but fermenting makes them palatable to even the worst parsnip critics. Like say, my husband and children.

For this recipe I used a 2 quart pickle jar.

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. Lay all your tools on a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat
  2. in the oven and heat to 180°F to sanitize everything.
  3. Peel, rinse and chop your carrots either into sticks or rounds to desired thickness (we did both because littles were helping)
  4. Fill your sanitized jar with washed, unpeeled and sliced parsnips (if not organic, peel and rinse them) leaving a couple inches room at the top.
  5. Dissolve 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons kosher saltsea salt or pink salt per 2 cups non-chlorinated water and pour over the top, repeating until all your veg is covered. (I added the borrowed ferment liquid to top mine off)
  6. Insert sanitized jar or fermenting weight to keep vegetables submerged. Close lid. If you do not have fermenting or swing lids, cover with a towel to keep bacteria out. 
  7. Wait 2-7 days, depending on your taste. 
  8. Save the juice for other ferments!

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Cultured Fennel, Avocado & Roasted Brussels Salad: Two Ways (paleo, keto, vegan)

A simple more summery version, sans seeds. Would have been fantastic with chevre!

I came up with this recipe in an attempt to veer from my standard potluck fare of chips and salsa. I took it to my first potluck at our new church. I got a bit of the mick taken out of me by our pastor when he caught me snapping a photo of it. “You going to post it?” he asked, with a good deal of cheek in his voice. Of course I was. Ha! Caught red handed despite it being a very green dish. It had so many complements I had to make it again with my other fennel variation… and the second time my husband had three helpings, which to me is always a win. It’s very simple once you have the cultures on hand.

Caught taking this photo… but it was so pretty…

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs brussels sprouts, washed and halved
  • 2 tsp Kirkland organic no salt seasoning OR 1/2 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp granulated onion, 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil for roasting sprouts
  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 english cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into 3/4″ slices OR roasted zucchini cut the same way
  • 1 quart/liter fermented fennel or apple, ginger & lemon fermented fennel
  • 1/4 cup soaked and dried or sprouted pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 2-3 Tbsp hulled hempseeds (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. In a large cast iron pan or a baking sheet with a silicone mat, place halved brussels sprouts cut side up
  3. Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning or with a mix of: 1/2 tsp granulated garlic, 1/2 tsp kosher or pink salt, 1/2 tsp granulated onion, 1/2 tsp black pepper.
  4. Spray or drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and roast for 30-45 minutes. If you are using zucchini instead of cucumber, roast them together with the sprouts.
  5. When the brussels have begun to blacken to your taste, remove them and toss with prepared cucumber or zucchini, seeds, 1/2-1 quart of fermented fennel of choice.
  6. Halve your avocados and divide each half into 6 parts (three cuts: 1 lengthwise and then sideways in thirds)
  7. Toss the avocado with the rest of the salad and serve. The fermentation liquid from the fennel culture will prevent the avocado from going brown too quickly.

Let me know what you think!


Apple, Ginger, Lemon & Fennel Cultured Salad (vegan, paleo, keto)

Who loves fennel?! I do (obviously) and so does my husband and a handful of other folks I’ve met but for the most part when I explain that the key vegetable that goes into one of my favorite salads is a licorice tasting bulb I sometimes get funny looks. One must taste to believe. This is a very light & summery fennel recipe and complements both fresh and roasted dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 fennel bulbs (with stalks) rinsed, bulbs quartered and cut into chunks, stalks chopped in 1/2′ – 1″ sections or sliced in a food processor
  • 2 apples, diced or finely sliced
  • 1-2″ piece of pureed or shredded ginger, according to taste
  • 1/4 cup fermented onion juice from a previous batch (optional)
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 3% salt (I ended up using 3 3/4 Tbsp kosher salt)
  • avocado oil for the top
  • Fermenting weight or small jar, sanitized
  • 68oz mason or big pickle jar

Method:

  • Wash all vegetables and sanitize jar, fermenting weight and lid in the oven at 175 degrees for 5 minutes.
  • Wash hands and prepare vegetables. With this type of ferment I like to toss them together in a large bowl before I stuff them into the jar. Weigh the empty jar if you are adding salt by percentage. Note the weight. Add non-chlorinated water or fermenting liquid if needed.
  • Calculate salt percentage by weight and add to the jar.
  • Cover with avocado oil to keep the bacteria out.
  • Set in the fermenting weight, close the lid and leave to ferment for 2 weeks or longer.

I very much enjoy these slightly odd tasting vegetables, especially after fermentation. Culturing always bends the flavors a bit and brings out a unique bite that is wondrously void of bitterness. Not that fennel is really bitter but I find that it comes out almost smoother in flavor. The finished cultured liquid is fantastic in place of vinegar in dressings as well. I hope you enjoy this one!


Cultured Kefir Guacamole (keto with vegan and paleo options)

Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend! Guacamole is about the only way my husband and children like their avocados. Conveniently, it is also an easy way for me to sneak live cultures into their food and at the same time preserve the green of the avocados. Which is great when you have a pile of slightly overripe ones. This is a very easy recipe and varies according to what I have around and my mood. Historically guacamole is not my best dish but the addition of the milk kefir and cultured onions make it lively and addictive. Though to make it vegan and dairy free you can leave the milk kefir out. This is quite a large batch, so feel free to cut the ingredients in half.

Ingredients:

4-6 medium to large avocados

1 cup cultured milk kefir (optional)

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 cup fermented onions with liquid

2-3 cloves garlic

1/4-1/3 cup lime juice

1 heaping teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

You can leave this to culture for up to a day or enjoy it immediately. The ferment will slow down the browning of the avocados but won’t stop it completely so it should be eaten within a week.


Cultured Cilantro Lime Tahini Dressing (keto, paleo, vegan)

Happy Cinco De Mayo Folks! This is a wicked addictive dressing (or dip, if you make it thicker) and perfectly quick and tasty to whip up today for your celebrations. Give it a go… you won’t regret it.

Ingredients:

Method:

Combine all ingredients for the dressing in high powered blender and pulse until smooth or mix with an immersion blender. I like to use these Oxo Chef Squeeze Bottles for all my homemade condiments. But in all reality you might stand there with a spatula scraping every last drop out of the blender and it may never make it into the bottle. So enjoy. I did.


Fermented Roasted Tomato Salsa (vegan, paleo, keto)

I love fresh salsa… and all the more when it is both smoky and fermented. This is achieved by first blackening the tomatoes with the onions, jalapenos and garlic and then blending it together with the rest of the ingredients. It’s relatively quick to make and disappears just as fast. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 14-15 Roma tomatoes halved
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2-4 jalapeños
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 large handful cilantro
  • Juice of 1-2 limes according to taste (I used 6 key limes)
  • 1/4 cup fermented onion juice from a previous batch (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes or chipotle flakes
  • 2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • avocado oil for the top
  • 68oz mason or big pickle jar

Method:

  • Wash all vegetables and sanitize jar, fermenting weight and lid in the oven at 175 degrees for 5 minutes.
  • Wash hands and prepare vegetables.
  • Lay tomatoes cut side up in cast iron pan along with onions, garlic and jalapeños
  • ROAST @ 350 for 45m – 1 hr or BROIL on High for 30 minutes until tops are blackened
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to roughly “chop”
  • Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking and then pour into sanitized jar
  • Cover with avocado oil to keep the bacteria out.
  • Leave to ferment for 2-3 days.

Get this prepared a few days ahead and refrigerate for Cinco de Mayo!


Pickled Spicy Carrots for Cinco De Mayo (Vegan, Paleo, Keto)

Cinco De Mayo is nearly upon us and what better to prepare than to ferment a batch of cultured spicy carrots! These are a great side to any Mexican meal… or any meal in my opinion! I’ll be quick with this one as it really only takes a few minutes to prepare anyway!

Fermenting carrots & jalapeños is crazy easy and crazy quick. They are commonly known as pickled spicy carrots and are common in authentic Mexican cuisine.

For this recipe I used a sanitized 68 oz pickle jar and a fermenting weight but you can use quart masons as well. I tend to do very large batches because I’m a busy mom and well… they keep really well so why not?

Ingredients:

  • Enough carrots to fill a 2 liter sanitized jar or whatever jar you are using. I used about half of a 5 lb bag. Scrubbed and sliced to thickness.
  • 1/2 – 1 white onion, sliced
  • 2-5 jalapeños, sliced
  • 3-6 garlic cloves according to taste
  • peppercorns (optional)
  • 3 1/2 – 4 Tbsp course kosher saltsea salt or pink salt (about 2 Tablespoons per quart/liter)
  • Glass jar, sanitized
  • Fermenting weight or small jar, sanitized
  • non-chlorinated water
  • avocado oil for sealing out bacteria (optional)

Method:

  1. Place jar of choice, fermenting weight & lid on a  cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat in the oven at 175 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 – 5 minutes to sanitize them.
  2. Slice jalapeños to desired thickness.  (Some people use gloves.  I don’t.  I just don’t touch my eyes)
  3. Fill sanitized jar with prepared vegetables, leaving 2″ room at the top
  4. Put the salt directly on top of the veg and then fill with the water.
  5. Pour a little avocado oil over the top to seal out bacteria. This is totally optional, but I will do it when I am in a hurry to cover any mistakes I might have made.
  6. Set your sanitized fermenting weight on top and press down until the liquid almost reaches the top of the weight.  Place the lid and set aside for 4 – 14 days. 
  7. Refrigerate after it is finished to slow fermentation.

I’ll be doing a couple more posts this week in preparation for the 5th of May but as this one takes at least a few days I thought I should get it out there! Enjoy!