Cultured Swedish Turnips with Cloves (vegan, paleo, keto)

Fermented Swedish Turnips (Rutabaga)

I did this recipe in a 68oz pickle jar but you can adjust proportions if you like.

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. I like to pour a bit of avocado or extra virgin olive oil around the top to keep bacteria from getting in. 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°F 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 2 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.
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Cultured Fir Tip Hummus (Vegan, Paleo Hacked, keto cycling)

If you saw my post on collecting fir tips back in May you might have wondered what I do with it other than just put them in goats brie grilled cheese… and this is the big one! I’ve been doing keto for a while now to help keep my inflammation down but I’m in a new stage that is called by a few names: “carb cycling”, “keto cycling”, “carb up”, etc. Call it what you like… but because even Dr. Berg approves of real home made hummus (and he doesn’t even ferment his!) I am so very happy to have my beloved chickpeas back in my diet guilt free. Lately I’ve been following Leanne Vogel and I love her take on women’s hormonal cycle and keto. This doesn’t mean going out of ketosis, but it means I can stretch it a bit further on these days and stay in ketosis. I am fully embracing having a higher carb day in a week, and certainly having a higher carb time of the month! By the way those are the 10th – 15th days of your cycle; the ones leading up to ovulation. Here come the raspberries, sweet potatoes and you guessed it! Home cultured hummus!

Ingredients:

Method

I like to use dried chickpeas, so I measure them out and soak them overnight.  Pour into a bowl or container, fill with water and cover.  In the morning, strain and rinse the chickpeas.  Bring a pot of water to boil, pour in the chickpeas and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Strain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse.

While your chickpeas are cooking, wash, trim and your parsley and sage.

Add the chickpeas and all other ingredients to your food processor (hold out the olive oil) and process until smooth.

If serving immediately, spoon into a bowl and stir in 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, then drizzle a bit more on the top. Serve with crudite platter or chips.

If fermenting, hold out the olive oil until the very end. Transfer hummus to a 2 litre clip top jar, cover with the olive oil and clamp closed.  Slowly rotate the jar until the olive oil seals the entire empty surface.  Leave to ferment for 2 days.  Once finished, stir the olive oil in and store in a 1 liter glass jar or BPA free container in the fridge.

Pro Tip: Make sure your jar is a third larger or double the capacity of your hummus so you don’t wake up to wasted work all over the counter.


Cultured Baba Ganoush (paleo, keto, vegan)

Cultured Baba Ganoush: post-fermentation method

This is my second post on the popular aubergine hummus otherwise known as baba ganoush. Most Americans will know it as an eggplant, but I first had it in France and found the rest of the world also calls it by its french name: aubergine. Frankly it sounds much more appetizing than eggplant so I’ll stick with it. I love how it roasts and grills to smoky excellence and comes alive with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. I have been making smokey baba ganoush for years and it is one of my favorites with crudités or a mezze platter. I have been known to eat it straight with a spoon as well. The last time I posted this was with the pre-fermentation or “classical” method. You can read that post here. Personally I find this method easier as it is exactly like making any other fermented hummus.

Consuming fermented foods aids your microbiome (the life in your gut) and helps your neurotransmitters send positive signals to your brain. This can help manage things like anxiety and inflammation and also helps your body process other vitamins more effectively.

Now, I have had a bit of a nightshade issue but the fermentation does deal with that issue to some extent. But that being said, I have had this post in my drafts for some time and am getting it out there while at the same time possibly saying goodbye to my beloved baba for who knows how long. We shall see! This is a much easer method than the pre-fermentation method and also allows you to remove the skins and seeds if needs be in order to lessen the source of nightshade related inflammation. So please enjoy. This is made with love. 🙂

Ingredients:

*If you want more authentic baba ganoush, put these optional ingredients in. If you want the more Romanian version, leave them out. For this recipe I put in the cilantro but left out the lemon. It made for a lovely smooth and smoky hummus.

Method:

  1. When picking your aubergines consider that the insides will shrink when roasting. The longer you roast, the less final product you will have. so when eyeballing them imagine the total product for each one to be about 1/2 – 2/3 the size.
  2. Roast your aubergines in a preheated oven at  350ºF/175°C until just blackened, turning over in between. This should take about an hour but keep an eye on them as it can vary according to size.
  3. When ready you should be able to poke the tops and feel a small pocket of air. Remove and let cool.
  4. While the aubergine is cooling, sanitize your jars and lids at 175 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven for 5 minutes.
  5. When they are cool enough to pick up, pull the tops off and scrape the insides into a colander to let any juices drain out. Often they are dry enough that I can skip this step. Set aside the juices.
  6. Place the strained aubergine in your food processor with roasted & diced or fermented onion (if using diced you will need to add a 1/2 cup culturing juice) or whey) and all other ingredients except for the olive oil. If you need more liquid, add in some of the strained juices. Process until smooth.
  7. Scoop the contents carefully into your jar. I used a 1.5 liter swing top kilner jar for this.
  8. Pour the olive oil over the top, close the lid and carefully turn the jar until the gap of air is coated in olive oil up to the rim of the lid. This will keep any bad bacteria out and allow the air bubbles to escape as the hungry wild yeasts do their magic. You always want a jar that has at least 1/3-1/2 empty after your ferment is inside when it comes to hummus, mash, sauces etc as they can get a little over excited… believe me. I have come downstairs to the hummus blob and olive oil all over my kitchen counter. No fun.
  9. Leave to ferment for 1-3 days depending on taste.  Once finished, stir the olive oil in and store in a 1 liter glass container in the fridge.

If serving immediately, leave out the culturing liquid.  Spoon into a bowl and stir in 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, then drizzle a bit more on the top. I sometimes just save some out, culturing liquid and all and serve with olive oil.


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!


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.

An Aubergine Story: Cultured Smoky Eggplant Dip

This is a recipe I have been anticipating for a couple of years now. There are a couple ways to do this. I would consider this the trickier but as I have yet to try the other method we will go with it. Let’s call this the classical method.

Enter the humble aubergine. Eggplant, for the Americans. I love it, but many don’t. My favorite thing about aubergine is how well it roasts up with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. It behaves like a mushroom in this way, but the flavor, to me, is even more magical. I have been making smokey baba ganoush for years and it is one of my favorite dips for a Mediterranean spread… or just to sit over with my bowl of carrots and celery and devour all on my own. But how to culture it? It has been my mission over the past couple years to inject all my food with probiotics in the amazing old school method of fermentation. Old school preservation. No nasty stuff. No need for sugar. Just salt, water and wild yeasts.

Fermenting helps your microbiome (the life in your gut) and helps your neurotransmitters send health to your body and happy thoughts to your brain. For real.

So for this recipe I fermented aubergine and then proceeded to make baba ganoush with it, but it was missing something… That wonderful smokey flavor I loved was no longer there and the texture was off… I assume that if I were to let it culture much much longer it would be fine but as this was only cultured a week the result was a bit chunky. So I took the other half of my aubergines and quartered them, roasted them to blackened and divided them in bags: 2-3 a piece for freezing and 2-3 for this recipe, depending on size.

By the way I did this a long while ago but then promptly ate the whole thing and with all my daughter’s health issues never got around to posting it. Here it is now. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

*If you want more authentic baba ganoush, put these optional ingredients in. If you want the more Romanian version, leave them out. Personally I have loved the latter for a change. You can even go heavier on the onion if that’s your jam.

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, including the olive oil as the aubergine is pre-fermented. Yay! Process until smooth.

Put in a pretty bowl and top with olive oil and hemp seeds, if you like. Obviously, I like.

Let me know how it goes for you!


Easy Fermented Carrots (vegan, paleo, keto)

Most people know these as those pickled carrots you can sometimes get in really authentic Mexican restaurants.  And “pickled” is appropriate, or at least used to be an appropriate term for fermenting carrots.  These days pickling often refers to a method of preserving vegetables in vinegar… or even sugar (gasp!).  But before the Industrial Revolution, we called upon the wild yeasts to help us keep our food through winter.  I prefer this method as you get a punch of good gut bacteria to aid you.

A few quart masons or a 2 Liter swing top and some fermenting lids and weights are helpful but you can do this with loosely fitted plastic lids or swing top lids and a sanitized little jar small enough to insert on top of the veg. On occasion I have used a sterile ziplock filled with water and stuffed it on top of the vegetables.

For this recipe I used a 2 liter Kilner jar and aided my ferment with some cultured juice from a friend as I was having trouble with my carrots due to some lively unidentified wild yeasts.

On salt method: below I have shown a method involving making the brine and pouring over the top. Once you get the hang of fermenting though you will be able to just add the salt to the top and pour the water over. Typically, I will use 1-2 Tablespoons of salt per quart. Some people use more… and in hot weather I find it is more effective to add a little more to keep the yeast down. You may get a slight white film on your vegetables or on the top. This is normal but somewhat unappealing. It is called Kahm’s yeast. You can scrape it off and it is not harmful like mold but I don’t know anyone really who likes the stuff. If you are having trouble with it in your ferments you could have competing wild yeasts in your home, or simply not enough salt for those particular vegetables. If you’re nervous, err on the side of caution and add a little more salt. As a principle, in the winter I will add 1-1/2 Tbsp salt per quart to carrots, and in the summer I will use 1 1/2-2 Tbsp per quart.

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. Lay all your tools on a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat in the oven and heat to 180F to sanitize everything.
  2. Peel, rinse and chop your carrots either into sticks or rounds to desired thickness (we did both because littles were helping)
  3. Fill your sanitized jar with washed, unpeeled (if organic, peeled if not) and sliced carrots, leaving a couple inches room at the top.
  4. Dissolve 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons sea 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)
  5. Insert sanitized jar or weight to keep vegetables submerged. Close lid. If you do not have fermenting or swing lids, cover with a towel to keep bacteria out. 
  6. Wait 2-7 days, depending on your taste. 
  7. Save the juice for other ferments!

Fermented carrots are simple easy and our whole family loves them. Sometimes I throw in a jalapeño, garlic or something fun but I find my family prefers it simple.  

Rainbow carrots fermenting in 68oz pickle jars!