Lunch routine: 1. Put baby to bed. 2. Go outside, feed the chickens, collect eggs. 3. Grab some salad leaves and radish. 4. Fry the eggs, slice the radish, rinse the salad leaves, toast some homemade bread, make tea. 5. Eat mindfully, enjoy the fact that everything in this sandwich comes from our garden or made by us. I could live like this forever …
I grew up with a mum who often pickled vegetables and fruit to store over the winter, but wild fermentation is something completely new to me… I came across a very interesting book, read it and got hooked: Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2003. It’s so easy to ferment and you can really do it with almost anything! Lots of the things we have in our cupbords and pantries are actually fermented: yogurt, beer, wine, soya sauce and miso paste (it actually take about one year to ferment the soya beans into miso paste!)
This is my present fermenting project: I’m fermenting carrots! I wonder what they will taste like once they are finished. At the moment they are just very salty, but in time the salt will turn the sweet tasting carrots sour. Here is my very quick tutorial, remember to keep everything including hands very clean:
– a wide jar made of plastic, glass or clay and a cover (it needs to breath, but not let bugs or bacteria in)
– some kind of weight: a plate small enough to fit into the jar, but big enough to cover the vegetables, covered by a heavy (sterilised/ boiled) rock or a cup of water.
– vegetables (carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions …. anything will do really)
– sea salt
What to do:
– Clean and cut your vegetables into strips, slices, grind them or whatever you prefer.
– put them in the bowl and add some sea salt. For my test run I used about a table spoon of sea salt to three big carrots.
– add your weight and leave overnight.
– in the morning the salt will have let the liquids out of the vegetables enough to cover them (this is called “the brine”), if not, add cooled, boiled water until the water covers the vegetables.
– put the cover on and store the jar somewhere in reach. Check it every now and again and in a week or two taste them. You decide when they are ready. The longer you wait, the more sour they become.
Update 2015: Look at my new fermentation jar that my mother and father in law gave me for Christmas!!!!!! So much better. Can’t wait to use it 🙂
What to do with those dried lentils in your pantry… Sprout them! Add then them to salads, eat them as a snack, add them to smoothies or use them as micro greens in the winter (if you can’t grow your own salad due lack of light). They have a mild and slightly nutty flavour. Delicious! And so healthy… Try doing it with the kids: they will love seeing it grow so fast!
I’m cautious to what goes into my body nowadays, especially since I became a vegetarian two years ago. I like to eat “real food”, by that I mean that I avoid processed food, even for vegetarians and vegans. I want to make all the food I eat by myself. I buy organic produce, or grow as much as I can in my garden, I buy local and seasonal. I never thought it was difficult to quit the meat though, as there are so much delicious stuff to replace it with. And replacing the meat really helps our health and also the environment. What’s also interesting is that blood tests I’ve done lately shows that my iron and protein levels are so much better now since before, when I still ate meat.
Anyway, my new favourite source of protein nowadays are lentils and beans. I make salads with boiled lentils together with chopped red onions and add a really tasty sesame dressing (2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp Japanese soya sauce, 4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds and 4 tbsp tahini sauce). Or you can make this quick salad dish above from sprouted lentils: a chopped up apple from the garden, sprouted lentils, cherry tomatoes and some basil leaves. And again, the sesame dressing. Yummie!
– a big glass jar
– a rubberband
– a loosely woven piece of cloth (like cheese cloth, but any cover that lets out water will do, a small sieve for example).
– lentils: black, red, green… any kind will do.
How to do it:
– rinse and put the lentils in your jar.
– add water almost to the top, grab the cheese cloth and attach it on the top with the rubber band. Keep it close by so that you don’t forget about them. I keep my jars in the kitchen, by the window, as that’s where I am several times per day.
– in the morning, add water through the fabric, and shake them lightly, then remove the water again. They need to constantly stay moist, but not wet.
– keep adding water, shake and remove for a few days. Morning and night will do. It will take about 2-3 days until your sprouts are ready to eat, but you can leave them to grow as big as you want them.
I had a major craving for carrot cake the other day, but I didn’t have the time to bake it, so I made a carrot cake flavoured smoothie instead. So much healthier! Just throw all the below ingredients into a blender and enjoy. And don’t forget to super charge it with some hemp powder, chia seeds or acai powder for example.
Healthy carrot cake smoothie (for two) :
3-4 dl vanilla flavoured soya milk
1 tbsp chia seeds or finely shredded oats
1 tbsp peanut butter or finely shredded pecan nuts
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 small finely shredded carrot
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp hemp raw powder or Acai powder