Living Foods: Fermented Salsa

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

Cutting up the ingredients for this recipe invited anticipation.  It smelled refreshing especially

Fermented Salsa

with the cilantro.  It called for letting this salsa sit to ferment for two or three days.  With our current heat wave I lasted two days before opening!  I tried it with a piece of cod.  This was a nice combination and they paired well together.

I would however let the salsa sit for an extra day in my future batches.  It had a mild flavour and I am imagining with some extra time it would develop a stronger flavour.

The other interesting consideration is that the recipes are American and call for one gallon mason jars.  Not a big commodity in Canada.  This means adjusting the recipes to fit our jars.  The one I used to test this recipe out was a 750 ml which would need 5 jars to make up the gallon.  I adjusted the amounts to fit the 750 ml size jar I was using.  (1 gallon equals 3785.41 ml)

The great thing about playing with this recipe is that I was able to add more ingredients to the leftovers to make a black bean salad.

This recipe for Fermented Salsa will become a familiar one in our kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 large Tomato
    • I used my favourite which is Roma.  They didn’t have much flavour so I will go with a local brand that is riper in future.
  • 1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper chopped
  • 1/2 medium Green Pepper chopped
  • Lime & Lemon juice to taste
  • Large Clove of Garlic Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Option:  1/4 teaspoon Whey

Process:

  1. Chop all ingredients and mix together with salt, whey, lemon and lime juices in a mixing bowl.  The salt will mix together with the juices from the veggies to create its own brine.
  2. Let sit in bowl covered for up to 20 minutes to let juices create brine.
  3. Add to jar ensuring that the *juice is higher than the veggies.
  • If you are using a regular mason jar and lid remember that you will have to release the air each day which is essentially burping the jar.
  • Glass Weights can be used to make sure veggies stay lower than the juice inside the jar.

 

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Here are the lids I purchased to make fermentation easier.  It came with a pump to burp the jars that makes it easy and  efficient.

Living Foods: Sprouts are refreshing in “hot” summer experience

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

Sprouts

I discovered Urad beans and picked them up along with Mung beans when visiting #yyjs  B & V Market on Quadra Street.  The intention was to try sprouting them along side the Mung beans for a new taste and colour.  What I wasn’t expecting was how these types of sprouts can change the experience of both the summers heat and sugar cravings.

Each of these sprouts are soaked in water overnight and placed on the sprouting rack in the morning.  Rinsed twice a day afterwards and sometimes more during the hottest of days.  Within a day small sprouts emerge and these beans can be used immediately in salads, soups, rice or grain dishes.  They add colour, texture, taste and nutrition.

As the sprouts get longer I tend to enjoy them as a snack that somehow satisfies any food cravings and eliminates food compulsions that arise from emotional experiences.

As this batch sprouts I will explore with planting a few of them in soil.  I have not grown these types of beans outside and it would be fun to get to know what their living appearance looks like!

*I do not put my mung beans in the dark so their appearance is not as white or a watery as what is sold in the grocers.  They have a substantial quality and colour.

More on the beans:

Urad Bean

Also known as:  Vigna mungo, black gram, minapa pappu, mungo or black matpe bean

Origin:  India and introduced to the Caribbean, Fiji, Mauritius, and Africa

Protein:  (25g/100g)

Vitamins:

  • Folates (216 μg/100 g)
  • Niacin (1.447 mg /100 g)
  • Pantothenic acid (0.906 mg /100 g)
  • Pyridoxine (0.281 mg/100 g)
  • Riboflavin ( 0.254 mg /100 g)
  • Thiamin (0.273 mg /100 g)
  • Vitamin-A (23 IU/100 g)

Electrolytes:

  • Sodium (38 mg/100 g)
  • Potassium (983 mg/100g)

Minerals:

  • Potassium (983 mg/100g)
  • Calcium (138 mg/100g)
  • Iron (7.57 mg/100g)
  • Niacin (1.447 mg/100g)
  • Thiamine (0.273 mg/100g)
  • Riboflavin (0.254 mg/100g)

Mung Bean

Also known as:  green gram, maash, or moong bean

Origin:  India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Korea, South Asia and Southeast Asia

Protein:  (3.2 g/104 g)

Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A (21.8IU/104g)
  • Vitamin C (13.7mg/104g)
  • Vitamin E (0.1mg/104g)
  • Vitamin K (34.3mcg/104g)
  • Thiamin (0.1mg/104g)
  • Riboflavin (0.1mg/104g)
  • Niacin (0.8mg/104g)
  • Vitamin B (60.1mg/104g)
  • Folate (63.4mcg/104g)
  • Vitamin B12 (0.0mcg/104g)
  • Pantothenic Acid (0.4mg/104g)
  • Choline (15.0mg/104g)

Electrolytes:

  • Potassium (155 mg/104 g)
  • Sodium (6.2mg/104 g)

Minerals:

  • Calcium   (13.5 mg/104 g)
  • Iron (0.9 mg/104 g)
  • Magnesium (21.8 mg/104 g)
  • Phosphorus  (56.2 mg/104 g)
  • Zinc (0.4mg/104 g)
  • Copper (0.2mg/104 g)
  • Manganese (0.2mg/104 g)

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Coffee: unexpected exfoliant & skin hydrating

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

I noticed my hands feeling much softer and hydrated after creating substrate for growing mushrooms with coffee recently.

Dark Roast Coffee

I had forgotten to put on gloves and found my fingers and fingernails covered in used coffee grounds.  As I was rubbing my hands under water to rinse them I could not believe the wonderful feeling in my hands. I made  a mental note to try this out in the shower to explore it as a skin exfoliant scrub.

It did turn out to be great on my skin, yet messy in the shower.  Maybe better in the bath!  It was an easy clean up though.  Would I recommend it?  Yes!  However, I drink a dark blend of coffee which I probably would not recommend as it darkened my skin temporarily.  It may be best to use a medium roast.

. . .

 

I will make the most of using coffee grounds as an exfoliant as long as the coffee grounds I use holds out.  I was frustrated when the manufacturer (#Starbucks) decided to drop this blend some time back.  Since then I have made the decision to stop drinking coffee when I couldn’t get this blend of French Roast anymore.  A Starbucks Coffee blend.

I have a room-mate that works for Starbucks and have been told that his store  received 30 or more complaints a day from people specifically about the French Roast not being available.  Over the years my daughter and other students staying with me have worked at Starbucks and we have tested other coffee blends.  For me they do not compare to the French Roast.

I recognize I have stopped going down the coffee aisle and that my walking pattern has changed in the grocer now!


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Healthy & Hydrating Living Drink – Beet Kvass

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

A local #yyj grocer recently had a sale on Kombucha products that included one  with natural beet flavouring.  The beets created a strong earthy taste.  This sale coincided with the hottest summer weather in our area and this beet flavoured Kombucha turned out to be a refreshing  drink during the hottest heat of the day.

Beet Kvass

A recipe for Beet Kvass came up when searching for a recipe to ferment beets.  Reading it I learned one of its benefits is that it is more hydrating than water.  Beets are high in betacyanin that can  increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood.  I read that Beet Kvass can balance out electrolytes like any sports drink without the preservatives and sugars.  Curiosity led to exploring this and now there is Beet Kvass fermenting on the kitchen counter!

Unfortunately the recipe I followed did not mention to leave the skins on the beets.  This delicate bacteria is necessary to improve the fermenting process.

 

 

 

The ingredients are simple.

  • Beets (unpeeled) – 3 or 4
  • Salt – 1 to 2 tablespoons
  • Water

The fermentation process is simple:

  1. Wash and cut beets into 1/2 inch chunks unpeeled.
  2. Add to gallon jug
  3. Add water leaving 1/2 inch at top
  4. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  5. Seal the jar and set aside

The recipe I am trying suggests to let it ferment for 2 to 3 days however this is with special fermenting lids.  Other recipes using traditional mason jar lids are suggesting 1 and 1/2 weeks.  I will begin with the 2 to 3 days and adjust future batches depending upon the outcome (remembering to leave the skins intact).

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Here are the lids I purchased to make fermentation easier.  It came with a pump to burp the jars that makes it easy and  efficient.

Living Foods: Fermenting Kimchi made easy

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

 

The batch of Kimchi was ready to test out today!  It has a fabulous flavour that may be milder than most.  I imagine fermenting it longer would increase the tang of it.  However I was too excited to try it.  It fermented for two weeks.

Previously I didn’t embraced Kimchi recipes due to the  intimidating process described in the recipes passed on to me.  I came across this simple recipe when looking for simple sauerkraut recipes that seem like it was worth trying out.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Napa cabbage shredded
  • 3/4 cups of shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup minced onion combined with chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 large minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (I have been using pink Himalayan Sea Salt)
  • 2 tablespoons of juice from fresh lemon

I had these ingredients handy yet found I didn’t stick to the recipe due to volume.  The recipe called for four cups of shredded cabbage however that was too much for the container I intended to use.  I adjusted the recipe which seems to have not mattered with the end product.

Add ingredients into bowl and mix well with salt.  Let ingredients sit and rest in salt for up to 30 minutes to let juice form that will become the brine for the Kimchi.  Use potato masher and press ingredients to release more brine before pushing down into a mason jar.  I used a wide mouth 750 ml mason jar.  With kitchen tools on hand these ingredients where added to the jar was pressed  down until the brine covered it.   Some add weights to the jar to keep the ingredients under the brine however I didn’t find it necessary for this batch.

I did use special lids for the mason jars that have made this simple.

Here are the lids I purchased.  It came with a pump to burp the jars that makes it easy and  efficient.


 

Unconventional Compost Tea

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Brewing compost tea took a new turn while visiting Borden’s Mercantile in #yyjs Central Saanich. Our compost tea usually consists of garden greens such as;  Comfrey, Yarrow and Butterbur.  It is added to a garbage can of water and left to stew for a several days to add some extra nutrients to the soil over the summer.  When used, more water and plant material is added.

This year reading more about worm castings during a visit to Borden’s we decided to add them to the tea.  However the question became,  “What to use as a porous material to add them to the mix?”  This invited a visit to our local dollar store and we found a perfect solution.  Two  bra nets for the washing machine for two garbage cans of composting tea.

Warning it is a stinky process yet keeping it covered helps.  To keep the critters from using the water to multiply one can add a pump to oxygenate the tea.  Critters like standing water not moving water.

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Simply Sauerkraut

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Home made sauerkraut

 

After only 12 days of fermenting green cabbage here is this wonderful tasting mild sauerkraut with a nice taste and colour.

I am familiar with a stronger tasting sauerkraut yet now recognize that a milder flavour has more appeal.  If I had left it to ferment longer I imagine the taste would be stronger.

Now I am excited to try fermenting another batch experimenting with another favourite flavour.  Today I intend to add some fresh ginger together with the cabbage to explore the two flavours together.

Until that’s ready though I am enjoying adding this sauerkraut to foods that wouldn’t be the same without it now.  Not a regular connoisseur of smokies I now find them irresistible with the combination.

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Here are the lids I purchased.  It came with a pump to burp the jars that makes it easy and  efficient.