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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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.


Probiotic Granola. Really.

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For this day of remembrance and rest I am using one of my many recipes I haven’t gotten around to posting.  It is appropriate… a bit if mixing in the morning and leave it out all day and dry it overnight.  Tasty.  Nutritious.  It feels odd to say Happy Memorial Day for a day to remember all those who died.  But it is cause for celebration because those who died certainly deserve to be celebrated.  So today is a day to be present with family.  To remember our own who have served and died.  Thank you.

For the recipe: lately I have taken to soaking and drying nuts, fermenting seeds and generally working on making everything in my pantry a little less inflammatory. I was reading Nourishing Traditions and was captured again by the idea of fermenting small seeds before eating them. Hempseed, Flax and Chia especially are a difficult one because they’re too small to soak and dry. My husband loves granola so I decided to veer a little from her 5 grain porridge recipe and try some more palatable grains (to hubs and kidlets), seeds and pseudo grains.

This one is a basic recipe for using Oats and Quinoa as the base. I regularly do a grain free version but I’ll save it for another post.  Much of the sugars are consumed by the live cultures during the fermenting stage.  I always feel a bit skeptical about this but I do notice that I don’t have quite the inflammatory reaction as I do when consuming say, maple syrup straight up.  Science supports that it is eaten up as well so I guess it involves a bit of faith to believe it!

Ingredients:

For Pre-Ferment:
  • 1 cup jumbo whole or steel cut oats (I like To use Bob’s Red Mill Golden Spurtle)
  • 1 cup quinoa, lightly toasted
  • 1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it and if you are using it as cereal or cutting it into bars.
  • 1-2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses (optional)
  • 1 cup culturing liquid (I have used ginger beer, milk kefir and coconut kefir with varying but equally nice results.) Water kefir, kombucha and whey will work as well.
  • 1-2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pink or kosher salt
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup any seeds or nuts you like (optional)
  • Dried fruit like unsulphered goji berries, raisins, blueberries or cranberries
  • For Post Ferment:
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted) or avocado oil
  • 5-10 Stevia or monk fruit drops to taste (optional)
  • Diced fruit: apple, pear etc (optional)

Method:

  1. Toast quinoa in a baking sheet at 250°F for 10 minutes
  2. Combine oats, quinoa, seeds and fruit in a large bowl
  3. Add fermenting liquid, maple syrup, blackstrap, salt and cinnamon or other spices.
  4. Stir several times in the first 1-2 hours to keep it from clumping.
  5. Leave covered for 12 hours or overnight. If you are using chia seeds you may need to add more fermenting liquid or water.
  6. In the morning, add three coconut oil and any back sweetener you like. I use monk and stevia. Much of the sugars will have been consumed by the culture but it will still be sweet. Raw honey is also a good choice here.
  7. Lay out on a large parchment in a perforated baking sheet (you can use a normal baking sheet but it will take mug longer to dry). I use the fryer basket for my Breville Air Oven.
  8. If you want it for bars you will need to pre-cut it now. Or a few hours into drying or it will get too crispy and crumble.
  9. Dehydrate at 150°F for 8-12 hours. If it doesn’t breathe as in a standard baking sheet it can take up to 24 hours and you’ll need to break it up and flip or “toss” it.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. I like to use a dehydrator to keep the probiotics alive. But if you don’t care about that you can just bake it in the oven at low temperature of 170°F for about 8 hours.


Simple Kimchi (keto, paleo, vegan)

Recently I was up in Washington visiting one of my oldest friends. No, she’s not old. Well she’s my age so that’s debatable I guess. We were best friends in High School and have this eerily coincidental relationship. No mind reading but we used to show up to school in the same outfit without planning and we were on swim team and lacrosse team together. When we were apart for years at a time there was always a thread of similarity in our life circumstances. We didn’t get into trouble in school really but if we had she would have been the brains and I the crazy. Not that I don’t have brains. But I would say I definitely favored showing the crazy. She would quietly suggest “wouldn’t it be weird/funny/____” you know… and I would be off like a shot climbing walls or leaping people like a nut job. Because it was fun and I enjoyed the shock most of our antics gave people. Frankly, I enjoyed (and still do) small and well placed bouts of social awkwardness. I was the girl who would slowly start using your utensils at dinner to see what you’d do. It was a little insensitive. But the part I really enjoyed was seeing what people were like when they were caught with their guard down. Because in that moment you saw someone’s heart. Or their gut. However you wish to look at it. You see a person when they let down their guard. I guess I still do this but in a more redeemed fashion. I believe in just being myself and people can take it or leave it. I have found really good friends really quickly that way. Which is good, because I have moved around a lot. I think if you just show yourself you may get rejected by people who care a lot about what others think, but you find some real gems. It’s possible this is how I have accumulated so many INTJ friends in a world where they are one of the rarest types. I think it’s great and it sparks joy so I’ll keep it, thank you.

Anyway back to food! And kimchi. Gaaaaaah 🤤

My friend handed me a bag of gochugaru, which is a Korean spice I haven’t been willing to drive out to an Asian store (I like grocery shopping mind you, just not with three little kids and a jam packed schedule). My shopping is done in 20 minute speed trips between one appointment and school pickups thank you very much… because my kids (or I should say my girls) so take after their mother that they think any store with a long aisle is an opportunity to race. 🤦🏻‍♀️

So “M” (yes that’s intentional for you Bond fans) handed me some gochugaru because I have been making my kimchi with everything from jalapeños to cayenne to Hungarian and smoked paprika.

The grocery store had daikon radish in as well so I decided to make up a batch of pretty standard kimchi, minus the fish sauce. I love fermenting… but this is not a particular ferment I like to take part in if I can help it. Thank you Michael Pollan for your wonderful book. It ruined this Asian staple for me forever. Lol.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Napa Cabbage, quartered and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, quartered
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 3-6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2-3″ piece of ginger
  • 3 Tbsp Kosher Salt, divided
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and rinsed
  • 1 daikon radish (about 1 cup sliced)
  • 1 red pepper, quartered and sliced (red retains its color better)
  • 1 large green apple, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1/4 cup water (to puree apple, ginger & onion)
  • 2 Tbsp gochugaru
  • Gallon jar with or without airlock or a 2 quart jar (I use a giant pickle jar for this)
  • fermenting weight(s)

Method:

  1. Sanitize a large 68oz jar or two roughly 2 liter jars and fermenting weights in the oven at 170º for 5 minutes.
  2. Wash and quarter your 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 peppers in quarters and then quarter inch slices, set aside.
  4. Slice the garlic and set aside.
  5. Slice the radish in sticks and set aside.
  6. Peel and slice the carrots in rounds or sticks and set aside.
  7. Half the onion and quarter it, reserving for the blender.
  8. 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.
  9. Roughly chop the apple so the blender can handle it.
  10. Chop the Ginger a bit and combine with the apple, onion scallion whites, gochugaru and 1 Tbsp kosher salt in the blender with the water and coconut aminos. Blend until smooth.
  11. Rinse the cabbage, drain and then add all the ingredients to the large bowl and toss together.
  12. 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 it’s own juices and the salt. Really. Set the fermenting weights or a ziplock full of water (sealed) and close the lid.
  13. Leave for a week or so to culture fully.

Tahini, Kale & Cranberry Winter Omega Superfood Salad (Vegan & Paleo)

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It’s cranberry season!  I cannot begin to express my love for cranberries.  They are super tart, mildly sweet little fruits that bring bite to savory dishes, chocolate treats and magic to Thanksgiving dinner. These little beauties are chock full of antioxidants, beating out most other fruits and veg in this area.  They are one of my favorite superfoods; containing a large amount of vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin K1, Manganese, Vitamin E and Copper. They help boost immune system, ward off UTI’s and are also known for decreasing both blood pressure and bloating because of their anti-inflammatory properties.  The latter is very helpful for yours truly at the moment as I’ve been doing WAY too much recipe experimenting with keto and paleo treats and not filling up on much needed nutrients.   You can read more about the benefits of cranberries here.

If you saw my last post for massaged kale salad you’ll have the base for this one.  To it I have added spinach, cultured red onion, avocado, pumpkin seed, hempseed, and roasted cranberries drizzled with my favorite garlic tahini dressing (again).  This salad is a veritable super-salad of Omega fatty acids, manganese, probiotics, minerals and vitamins.  It takes only a few minutes to throw together (if you already have the cultured onions).  I removed the kale leaves from their stems last night and massaged them with olive oil and a spritz of lemon and left them to further macerate overnight.  Because frankly, I am an impatient person and don’t love standing there with my hands in greens for minutes on end when I’m hungry.

I would encourage you to read up on the ingredients as each of them is a superfood in their own right but for now I’ll run you through why I benefit from them, which in all honesty only covers a fraction of their benefits.  As I covered the benefits to kale and pine nuts in my last post I’ll simply cover the other ingredients in this one.

Hemp hearts! Most people know that they are high in protein but did you know they also help speed your metabolism, regulate your hormone balance and decrease inflammation?  Yes.  I know.  Food is amazing.

Avocados as we know are high in proteins and healthy fatty acids but they are also rich in antioxidant phytochemicals, which aid in with eye health, and phytonutrients that help with inflammation and more importantly, help reduce the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders throughout the body.  Think of it as a yummy grease in your kogs.

Pumpkin seeds are chockers with nutrients, antioxidants and magnesium, which helps you sleep!  They help lower your blood sugar and are super heart healthy and as an added perk they help keep a healthy prostate.  They are also loaded with phosphorus and zinc and thereby help with sperm quality and E.D.  Yes, I said it.  If you like babies… pumpkin seeds are sexy as.

Spinach is full of iron and high in vitamin K, manganese, magnesium and acts as  yet another anti-inflammatory.

It’s no wonder I feel so vibrant when I’m eating gorgeous loaded salads all sunny summer long.  I need to remember that these super foods are all the more necessary when the sun is scarce and it’s cold outside.  I certainly feel the difference when I do.  And if you can make a big batch of kale salad as a base it’s fairly easy to throw whatever toppings you like in and go… busy mom style.

Ingredients:

Method:

If you can prepare your kale ahead of time and take the slow route in roasting the cranberries, I would recommend it (350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes)  I was hungry and impatient, so I put them in the oven on a pan sprayed with coconut oil and set them to broil on high for five minutes until the skins burst.

Wash and dry the kale, dabbing it with a tea towel.  Strip the leaves off the stems and break them into small pieces and lay them in a bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and a squirt of lemon and “massage” the leaves for at least two minutes until the leaves soften and relax.  Some kale is more stubborn than others and it could take up to ten minutes.  After two I tend to get bored and pull out my french rolling pin or a wooden spoon to smash it to bits.  When it is soft, drizzle with the tahini dressing and set aside.

Slice your avocado in half and if you plan to eat the whole thing, remove the pit.  If you don’t, rinse the pit half in water and wrap it in clingfilm to prevent oxidization (browning).  Carefully slice the other half in the skin and then scoop the whole thing out with a spoon.

In a bowl, combine the dressed kale and spinach and top with pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, pine nuts and fermented onion.  Pull your hot cranberries out of the oven and scoop them into the salad.  Drizzle with more tahini dressing and you are good to go.  This is incredibly comforting for a salad in winter, and is hearty due to the greens, seeds and tahini.  The hot cranberries add a warmth that is akin to cuddling a cup of hot soup.

Enjoy immensely.