Fermented Foods

Recently, fermented foods have grown in popularity because they provide many health benefits, including probiotics and enzymes for gut health. Here are a few ideas to get started.

Fermented Foods

Kombucha

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Kombucha is a fermented sweet tea that has become increasingly popular in recent years because of its probiotic qualities. To make kombucha, a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is required. Each time you ferment a batch of kombucha, it will produce a new SCOBY. However, if you don’t know someone who has a SCOBY, you can make your own from store-bought kombucha. 

Yields 1/2 gallon
Kombucha

Ingredients

1 cup granulated sugar
Filtered water
8 black, green or oolong tea bags
2 cups kombucha starter
1 kombucha SCOBY

Directions

Make the sweet tea: add the sugar and 4 cups of filtered water to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and ensure that the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Cover and allow the tea to steep. When the tea cools to room temperature, remove the tea bags and discard. Transfer the tea to a sterilized half-gallon jar. Add the reserved kombucha starter. With very clean hands, place the kombucha SCOBY in the jar and fill it to the top with filtered water. Cover with a paper towel or coffee filter, and secure with a canning ring or rubber band. Ferment for 1 to 2 weeks, or until a new SCOBY grows. The kombucha is now ready to consume. For carbonated kombucha, transfer to a flip-top bottle and ferment at room temperature for 3 to 5 more days. Fruits and sweeteners can also be added to the jar at this point to infuse the kombucha with flavor. After the secondary fermentation, open the flip-top jar daily so it doesn’t build up too much pressure and crack or explode; or store in the refrigerator. (If doing a secondary fermentation, reserve 2 cups of the non-carbonated liquid for a new batch of kombucha.) Note: Always use very clean hands, jars and utensils to prevent contamination. If the kombucha smells rotten or has mold growing on top, discard and start over. 

 

Kombucha SCOBY

Yields 1 SCOBY

1/4 cup granulated sugar
Filtered water
4 bags black tea (not decaffeinated)
1 cup raw, unflavored kombucha

Make the sweet tea: add the sugar and 4 cups of filtered water to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and ensure that the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Cover and allow the tea to steep. When the tea cools to room temperature, remove the tea bags and discard. Transfer the tea to a sterilized quart-size canning jar. Shake up the store-bought Kombucha and add 1 cup of it to the canning jar. Add enough filtered water to fill the jar. Cover the jar with a paper towel or coffee filter and place a canning ring on to secure it. Place the jar in a dark place at room-temperature and allow to ferment, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 weeks. As the tea ferments, it will form a film, which is the beginning of the SCOBY. Once it’s 1/4 inch thick, the SCOBY is ready to use to brew a batch of kombucha. Reserve 2 cups of the liquid, to be used as a fermentation starter for the kombucha. 




Pits Soda

Yields 1 Quart
Pits Soda

Ingredients

1/2 cup peach, plum or nectarine pits OR 2 mango pits
1/4 cup sugar or honey
Starter culture, such as sourdough starter, kombucha, or whey
Filtered water

Directions

 

Place the pit(s) in a quart canning jar. Add the sugar and starter culture, if using. Fill the jar with water, leaving an inch of space at the top. Place a paper towel on top of the jar and secure with a canning ring. Ferment at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Strain out the pits and transfer liquid to a sealed jar. (A flip top bottle is ideal.) Ferment for 2 to 3 more days for carbonation. Open the jar daily so it doesn’t build up too much pressure. Chill and serve.

Click here to watch step-by-step video how to make this recipe!




Kimchi

Yields 3 to 4 quarts
Kimchi

Ingredients

1 large head Napa cabbage, or 2 small heads green cabbage
2 baseball-sized turnips, peeled
6 scallions
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons sea salt
3 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes

Directions

Slice the cabbage into thin shreds. Place into a large bowl. Grate the turnips with a box grater. Add to the bowl. Cut the scallions into 1-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Add the garlic, salt, paprika and red pepper. Mix well using tongs or gloved hands. Use a potato masher or gloved hands to mash the cabbage, causing it to release its moisture. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature for an hour in order to create a brine. Transfer to clean quart jars. Pack the cabbage in tightly, leaving 1 inch of space at the top of the jar. If there is not enough liquid, create a brine by add 1 teaspoon of salt to a cup of water. Add enough water to the jar to cover the cabbage; make sure it remains submerged for the entire fermentation process. (A fermentation weight is helpful for this.) Place the lid on the jars and allow the cabbage to ferment at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for three weeks before consuming. During the first week of fermentation, loosen the jar lids daily to allow built-up gasses to escape. Once fermented, store kimchi in the refrigerator or at a temperature below 60°F. 




Sourdough Pancakes

Yields 12 to 16 small pancakes
Sourdough Pancakes

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sourdough starter (discarded starter works)
1/4 cup honey or sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
4 tablespoons melted butter or oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sourdough starter, honey and milk; mix well. Cover and allow to stand at room temperature overnight. In the morning, add the remaining ingredients. Cook on a preheated, greased griddle until golden on both sides. 




Kvass

Yields 1 quart
Kvass

Ingredients

Unpeeled vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beets
?Unpeeled fruits such as apples, citrus, melon, berries or dried fruits
Flavor boosters such as herbs or ginger
1/4 cup sugar or honey (for sweet kvass)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (for savory kvass)
Filtered water

Directions

Fill a quart canning jar a third of the way with fruits, vegetables and flavor boosters. For a sweet kvass, add sugar or honey. For a savory kvass, add salt. Fill the jar with filtered water, leaving 1 inch at the top of the jar. Cover the jar with a paper towel and secure with a canning ring. Allow to ferment at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. After the initial fermentation, pour the liquid through a mesh strainer. Bottle the kvass, leaving an inch of space at the top. (A flip-top bottle is ideal). Seal the jar. Allow to ferment at room temperature for 2 to 4 more days for carbonation. Open the jar daily so it doesn’t build up too much pressure. Chill and serve.

Click here to watch step-by-step video how to make this recipe!




Sourdough Starter

Yields one starter
Sourdough Starter

Ingredients

5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
5 cups filtered water

Directions

In a quart jar, combine 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water. Mix well. Cover the jar with a paper towel and secure with a canning ring. After 12 hours, add an additional 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water; mix well. Repeat this process, feeding the starter every 12 hours for the first three days. After three days, feed every 24 hours, discarding half of the starter with every feeding. (The discarded starter can be used in pancakes, fritters, etc. Or, give it to a friend.) After six to seven days, the sourdough starter should be bubbly and have a sour (but not rotten) smell. The starter is now ready to use for baking. Continue feeding/discarding half of the starter every 24 hours. Or, refrigerate the starter and stop feedings. Remove the starter from the refrigerator 24 hours before using and feed twice before baking with it.