Cultured Daikon Radish (vegan, paleo, keto, probiotic)

I first read about daikon radish as a condiment in Nourishing Traditions. It commonly eaten in Japan so I like to think of it as an easier, less stinky, don’t have to gas bomb my whole house version of sauerkraut. It has much of the favorable flavor of the German favorite without the wait. Whether you take it alongside sausage and hot mustard or a field roast dog, it’s a win.

Originally I did this in a 68oz jar but as I only have a quart left this recipe will be for 1 quart.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8″ daikon radish
  • 1 Tbsp kosher or pink salt
  • Non-chlorinated water

Method:

  1. Sanitize jars and fermenting weights in the oven at 180°F for 3-4 minutes
  2. Grate or shred your daikon radish in a food processor until you have about 4 cups.  Leave about 1-2″ room at the top.
  3. Pack into sanitized jar, add salt and fill with non-chlorinated water.
  4. Set fermenting weight on top and pour a little avocado oil around the edge to seal out bacteria.  You’ll want an inch of room to spare.  Seal the jar and leave for 4-7 days before opening, or longer.  I left mine for two weeks.
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Black Pepper Nightshade-Free Kimchi (vegan, paleo, keto)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Napa Cabbage, quartered and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, quartered
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 2-3″ piece of ginger
  • 3 Tbsp Himalayan Pink Salt, divided
  • 3-4 purple carrots, peeled and rinsed
  • 1 3-4″ portion daikon radish (about 1 cup sliced)
  • 1 large green apple, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1/4 cup water (to puree apple, ginger & onion)
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp sichuan/sechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp turmeric (optional: looks gross until the purple carrots bleed into the rest of the jar)
  • Gallon jar with or without airlock or a 2 quart jar (I use a giant pickle jar for this)
  • fermenting weight(s)
A couple days into fermentation. Not so hot looking thanks to that turmeric… but just wait.

Method:

  1. Sanitize a large 68oz jar or two roughly 2 liter jars and fermenting weights in the oven at 180ºF for 5 minutes.
  2. Wash and quarter cabbage lengthwise, then chop to desired length.  Thicker is more authentic (about 1 inch), but I chopped mine to about a half inch.  Place in a large bowl, toss with 2 Tablespoons kosher salt and set aside for at least 30 minutes to an hour for it to begin to ferment.
  3. Slice the radish in sticks and set aside.
  4. Peel and slice the carrots in rounds or sticks and set aside.
  5. Halve the onion and quarter it, reserving for the blender.
  6. Chop the tops off the green onions/scallions and cut off the whites. Reserve the whites for the paste and chop the greens in one inch sections.
  7. Quarter or dice the apple so the blender can handle it.
  8. Chop the Ginger a bit and combine with the apple, onion scallion whites, sichuan peppercorns, black peppercorns, 1 Tbsp pink salt and optional turmeric in the blender with the water and coconut aminos.  Blend until smooth.  
  9. Rinse the cabbage, drain and then add all the ingredients to the large bowl and toss together.
  10. Carefully scoop the mixture into the sanitized jars and beat down with a wooden spoon or french rolling pin until you have at least 2″ space at the top.  There is an actual tool for this but as I try my best to be minimalist I use what I have.  Now don’t freak out!  You don’t need brine for this one as it ferments better in its own juices and the salt.  Really.  Set the fermenting weights or a ziplock full of water (sealed) and close the lid.  
  11. Leave for a week or so to culture fully. 
Post cultured: still a little weird but those purple carrots did their job!
Final Ferment. That big jar actually made 4 of these. 🙂

Fermented Jicama with Lime & Pepper (vegan, paleo, keto)

This is one of those typical situations for me when I really need to do something with that vegetable I bought that has been sitting on the counter for too long. I usually make jicama fries and have even tried my hand at jicama & spelt bread, jicama chips and jicama tortillas. I had been dreaming about all the ways I could ferment it and decided to go with simple. I save everything so I pulled some lime rinds out of the freezer and stuffed them in with some ground pepper over the jicama.

Finished, it went beautifully in a summer romaine salad with cucumbers, pickled carrots and pumpkin seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Jicama, peeled and sliced into “fries”
  • 4 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 lime
  • A few peppercorns or a 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Non-chlorinated water
  • avocado oil to top.
  • 4 liter glass jar (or 4 quart size jars)
  • Fermenting weight

Method:

  1. Sanitize jar, weight and lid on the oven at 180°F for 2-3 min
  2. Peel and slice the jicama into sticks
  3. Halve a lime
  4. Stuff jicama, lime and pepper into the jar
  5. Pour the salt over the top and cover with water.
  6. Pour a little avocado oil on top to seal out bacteria
  7. Set in the fermenting weight, leaving an inch or two of space.
  8. Cover and leave for at least a week.

These are fantastic tossed into a pickled veg medley salad using the brine as dressing. I did this for a potluck recently and the main ask was what the dressing was… and that’s it! Love it.


Cultured Vegan Mole Sauce. (Not authentic, but keto hacked, paleo and tasty)

I was rummaging through my pantry a couple weeks back and found an unfinished but open bag of cacao nibs. Sadly they had over-fermented and had the distinct aftertaste of sourdough starter. I do not like to throw things out unless they are actually “off” so I left them on the counter to remind me to think on it. And so I did… and eventually came to the idea of a marriage between mole sauce and my favorites: tahini and kefir. So I chucked the remaining nibs (about a cup) into a cup of slightly watered down coconut kefir I had made and let it sit out for a couple days to further culture. I blended it with an array of chilis and chili powder and left it again.

Fermenting sauces that contain added and natural sugars is a way of keto “hacking”. The sugars are consumed by the natural bacteria after a few days. It is a condiment though so I would not recommend eating it with a spoon if you want to stay under your carb count.

Authentic mole contains bread, tortilla chips (both which I cannot currently eat) as well as chicken broth, which I decided to avoid for this recipe and go the way of the French: “let the vegetables speak for themselves.” I hope you enjoy it. It’s a surprisingly versatile sauce. It goes well with eggs, cheese, in wraps and will perform as well as standard mole in the classic chicken enchiladas or even cauliflower and tempeh enchiladas for a vegetarian or vegan option. Give it a shot and tell me what you think!

Mole & kefir guacamole on a keto flax wrap. Nom nom.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cacao nibs or 100g bar of 100% baking chocolate, chopped (1/2 cup cacao powder will work here as well but you may need to add liquid)
  • 1 cup coconut kefir
  • 1 jalapeno, roasted
  • 2 roma tomatoes, roasted
  • 1 head garlic, roasted
  • 1 ample cup fermented onions with brine + 1/4 cup additional brine
  • 1 Large slice of Cultured Sourdough Keto Bread, toasted
  • 1/2 cup stirred tahini
  • 2 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • handful unsulphered raisins

Method:

You can do this one of two ways. Put all the ingredients in a jar and let them ferment for a few days and then blend, or blend together in a high powered blender and then put in a jar to ferment. I recommend the latter.

  1. Sanitize a couple of wide mouth pint jars or a 1 liter glass mason in the oven at 180 degrees for a few minutes.
  2. Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Transfer to your sanitized glass jar and leave for 1-5 days for it to ferment. You will see little bubbles when it is fermenting. It is ready to eat or you can leave it until the bubbles stop.
  4. Refrigerate after the ferment is finished.

Cultured Tomato Sauce (Probiotic Ketchup)

This is a recipe I came up with when we were living in N. Ireland for a stint. I’ve called this tomato sauce because it reminds me most of the lovely Australian Tomato sauce I’ve had on trips to my husband’s homeland.  We have one here in Oregon called “Portland Ketchup”. This has the advantage of being probiotic as well as keto once it is fermented for a few days. It is not the sickly sweet ketchup I grew up on but rather a savory, vinegary sauce. I never fully got the rhyming slang for “tomato sauce” in Australia, I am sorry to admit. The first time I heard “Pass the dead horse” it took a good 10 minutes of explanation to break that one down for me. It does for the most part rhyme in an Aussie accent… but I’m happy to stick with tomato sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 500g Organic Tomato Puree/Paste
  • 1 Small or 1/2 Medium Organic Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves or 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup brine from another ferment (onion or kimchi)
  • 1/4 cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/8 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Organic Allspice
  • 1/2 Tsp Organic Cloves
  • 1/2-1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp Ancho Chili Flakes (optional)

Method:

Place all ingredients in a food processor, blender or Vitamix (chop first if you’re using a normal blender) and puree, then transfer to a 1.5 Liter fermenting jar with air lock or a swing/clip top 1.5 Liter Jar. I used a quart mason but in all honesty it was not large enough. Leave for 2-4 days on the counter to ferment.


Fermented Fir Tips (Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Fun)

Though I know I first heard about eating for tips from James Wong, the BBC botany darling, in my favorite gardening book “Grow for Flavour” I frankly did not remember. Sorry James.

My dear friend Kirsten of @theeightacrefarm and I went picking at her lovely farm for a bit of a mom date. (10 minutes away from children= mom date). She showed me the fir tips that she had picked and dried for winter vitamin C tea. I can’t remember whose idea it was for sure but to be fair it was probably her! “I wonder if we could ferment these?” Yes. Yeah Momma, more like. So we picked and I came home and stuffed them in jars with salt and water. You follow the same proportions for really any herb you want to preserve this way and they seemed pretty “herby” to me.

The taste was something of a revelation. Raw they are nice but sharp with a bit of aftertaste of pine cleaner. Not that I’ve ever consumed pine cleaner but things often taste as they smell. Fermented they lose all that astringent cleaner taste and what you are left with is like Christmas in your mouth. reminiscent of a light herbal balsamic with hints of lemon, rosemary and mint. It’s hard to describe but the flavor is downright addictive. I ate half a jar on a wedge of Trader Joe’s Wild Mushroom Brie and some keto crackers I had made from Dr Berg’s Amazing Keto Bread recipe, edited. Enough talk. Here’s how it’s done.

You’ll want to get the smallest softest ones possible and pick them above the encasing bud or they’ll fall apart in your hands. We had little helpers so had a few tough bunches in the batch.

Ingredients:

  • 4-8 cups freshly picked Douglas or Noble Fir tips. The smaller and softer the better.
  • 1-2 cup sizes mason jars, sanitized (you can do larger but smaller sizes are handy) I used 3 wide mouth Pint masons.
  • 1 tsp kosher, sea or pink salt per cup of fir tips
  • Fermenting weight, small jar (sanitized) or some people use a cabbage leaf.
  • Avocado or olive oil for the top to seal out bacteria.
  • Non-corrosive lids. I have taken to using the ball leak proof lids in grey.

Method:

  1. Sanitize jars in the oven at 180°F for 2-3 minutes.
  2. With washed hands, rinse the fir tips and strain them in a colander.
  1. Pack the greens into the jars and pay attention to how many cups are in each jar.
  2. Add 1 tsp salt per cups. For my jars I added 2 tsp pink salt per jar.
  3. Cover with a bit of olive oil and then place your fermenting weight on the top, leaving 1″ headroom and seal the jar.
  4. Leave for 7 days or longer to produce some amazingly bright northwest flavor!
Post Fermentation.

Cultured Turnips (vegan, paleo, keto)

Fermented Turnips

I did this recipe in a 1 Liter Kilner swing top canning jar but you can adjust proportions to your liking.

Fermenting lids and weights are helpful but you can do this with stainless steel, plastic lids or a swing top like this one as it allows air out but not in. In place of a weight you will need a sanitized jar small enough to insert on top of the turnips. Another trick is to fill a clean ziplock back with water and stuff it in. You’ll want to set it on a plate as it will leak fluids in this case.

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Make sure all your tools are clean and washed with hot soapy water and rinsed.
  2. You can sanitize your jars in the dishwasher but I tend to put mine in the oven.  I set it to 180 degrees Fahrenheit (the lowest temp) and place my jars and weights on a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat to prevent slipping.  I leave them in at that temperature for 2-5 minutes while I’m prepping the veg.
  3. Remove leaves and “tail” with a clean knife.
  4. You can use a mandolin or a sharp chef’s knife and slice the turnips thinly and evenly or dice them into cubes.  I used a spiralizer for this batch.
  5. Fill your sanitized jar with washed, unpeeled and prepped turnips.
  6. Leave 2″ room at the top for placing the fermenting weight… and you’ll still want 1″ room to prevent overflow, but the clip top will prevent explosions.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon pink salt or sea salt to the top and fill with warm non-chlorinated water. Insert sanitized jar or weight to keep vegetables submerged. Close lid.
  8. If you do not have fermenting or swing lids, set the lid loosely and cover with a towel to keep bacteria out. Wait 3-7 days, depending on your taste.