Tag Archives: raw sauerkraut

NEW BOOKS and SAUERKRAUT

I have been kind of busy lately.  I’ve had to put off a bunch of things I want to do, like finish up my Raw Vegan Nutritionist Centre of Excellence online course (hope they’ll give me some extra time on account of the virus or some other excuse – I really do want to finish the thing up. More about that later.)

My job went from brick-and-mortar English school to on-line virtual English school over one weekend.  We got about 5 minutes of training,  and then they handed me a computer and said, basically ‘go home and do the job’.  So I’m learning how to do that.

Meanwhile, I’m self-isolated in my building. So, what to do.  I accidentally found some raw vegan books when I answered a dumb question on Quora (have you ever done that?)… So, anyway, someone recommended this book, The Health Seekers’ Yearbook:  a Revolutionist’s Handbook for Getting Well and Staying Well Without the Medicine Men, and it’s by Victoria Bidwell, an author I had never heard of before.   This goes on my “early books shelf” – published in 1990 – how did I miss it?  Anyhow it is really seriously about food combining, nutrition, and lifestyle.  It’s kind of strict, but that’s not so bad.   There are some recipes, but not too many… it’s more about managing a very healthy lifestyle with exercise, positive thoughts, and la la la.  Once I’d found that one, I found another one which is pretty much an encyclopedia  (like 2 or 3 inches thick), again talking seriously about nutrition and raw vegan natural hygiene (food combining).

I’m looking forward to having time to sit down seriously and read through these books (I’ve just looked at the index and, yes, they are influenced by T.C. Fry’s work, among others.)

Then, too, I found Cherie Soria’s book Raw Food for Dummies.  How come I didn’t know about that?  Probably because I’ve been working my way to a minimalist approach toward raw veganism, where you don’t need an arsenal of expensive equipment to be raw vegan. (I’m back to my knife, and my cutting board. Okay, I do have a food processor and a spiralizer.  And a nut grinder.  I’ve always followed Soria, and liked her recipes.  Now I have a book full of them, plus lots of instructions for stuff I had forgotten about. This book was published in 2013.  I think that, by then, I had decided that all the great books had already been written.  Nope!  This is a fun romp, with lots of recipes I’ll be willing to make when I get some time (i.e., not everything is made using a dehydrator or a juicer costing hundreds of dollars and requiring gobs of space)

My other news is my new sauerkraut batch.  When I went in the supermarket and saw a head of cabbage for 59cents, I knew it was time.   So, the day before yesterday, I went into the kitchen, chopped up the head of cabbage, chopped like 4 jalapeno peppers, mixed it all with salt, probiotics, and water, and I am eagerly expecting some delish sauerkraut the day after tomorrow.

Oh, yes! I forgot to mention that I have been sprouting lentils like nobody’s business!  They’re so easy, so fast, so gratifying, and so tasty!  It only takes about 3 days to get a nice quart of lentil sprouts, and they’ll last in the refrigerator for 5-6 days!  Yum!  Now, I am a window farmer!

Now, off to teach another class.

WOW! WHAT’S THAT SMELL? Joys of fermentation

POST #934
I just started my two sauerkraut batches last night, but when I came home tonight, there was a funny smell … heck! I know I cleaned the kitchen last night, and I know I threw out the trash this morning…… 

When I checked the sauerkraut, I found where the smell was coming from!  Aha! That kimchi juice is working its magic!  (Will the sauerkraut made with the kimchi juice have a kimchi essence to it? I’ll know on Tuesday night, when I open it.

The happy note is that both jars are working hard – the bowls they are sitting in were almost full of expelled water!  That is always the first and best sign that things are going according to plan (I am suddenly curious as to whether this is the sauerkraut juice people speak of.. If you know, please tell me)

BACK HOME & BACK IN THE KITCHEN

POST #846
I’m home at last! The hurricane was coming in, my family valiantly worked to get me out of the Outer Banks, into Virginia Beach, onto a bus to Newport News, VA, and then I had a 10 hr. train odyssey back to New York City (Luckily, I had an arsenal of books and magazines, and…the train had electrical outlets and wi-fi, so I didn’t get a wink of sleep on the all-day train!)

After a long night’s recuperative sleep, I woke up bright and early this morning, did some work around the house, ran around the neighborhood scoring batteries and flashlights and some kale (I figure 2 lbs of kale will make enough kale chips that I can live through any power outage). Everyone’s hurricane-crazed here (insane lines with people in stores talking to total strangers (me) while standing in interminable lines that kept seeming to get longer or else not moving at all, or else both.

This evening, I opened the last jar of kohlrabi/garlic/jalapeno pickles and the last jar of cabbage/jalapeno sauerkraut.

I’d been unhappy about the first jar of kohlrabi, but, after a week, the second jar turned out fine (we ate them up at the beach last week!), and I had left the third jar to see what would happen if they went 3 or 4 weeks. Opening the jar today, I was faced with some busy fizzing, and, when I tried the pickles, I was glad to know that longer works very well. These pickles are even better.

The sauerkraut was a very happy experience! The first jar did nothing for me, but this jar (at 3-4 weeks) turned out very tasty. Yumm!

Right now, I have a jar of lentil sprouts working, and jar of sunflower seed sprouts. Tomorrow morning, after I make up the kale chips and stow them in the dehydrator, I think I will make some sunflower seed crackers from a recipe in Rose Calabro’s book, Living in the Raw … haven’t had those for a while (hopefully, we won’t lose power, and I’ll be able to get them dehydrated for 12 hrs).

FERMENTED FOODS: My first fermented food book: Truly Cultured

POST #800
Truly Cultured, by Nancy Lee Bentley, was the first book I bought on fermenting foods. I made my first sauerkraut following the recipe in the book (with the exception that I chose to add 2 capsules of New Chapter Probiotic All-Flora — I added the probiotics then, and I continue to add probiotics to my ferments because, when I began making nut cheeze, probiotics were recommended, and I experienced success, and, also, because everyone I spoke to said it was difficult to make sauerkraut, and that, in all likelihood, my first batch would fail.  To date, only one batch, the one I made without the probiotics, has failed).

Truly Cultured is an excellent introduction to making fermented/pickled/cultured foods. I count it among my go-to books on fermentation.

RAW VEGAN FERMENTED VEGETABLE RECIPES: PickleMeToo blog

POST #795
I’ve been spending some time at the Pickle Me Too blog this morning. This blog has an amazing collection of fermented vegetable/pickle recipes, which I’ve found handy since I suddenly want to try something more than sauerkraut and pickled turnips (both of which I do adore, and put in everything, btw). I’m just looking for things to vary my take-to-work-for-lunch choices.

There is also a page on setting up a continuous kombucha brewing system, which makes kombucha brewing seem easy enough for me to give it another try.

While this blog is not raw vegan, the concentration of fermenting recipes make it well worth checking out.

FERMENTED TURNIPS – SUCCESS

POST #778
I opened the fermented turnip jar last night.  What a pleasant surprise.  The taste of the turnips was very interesting (and pleasant!)  I will make this recipe up again, as soon as I finish this jar-full (I think I might add some things, perhaps dill, or garlic — or both- -I actually have an idea of doing 2 or 3 different combinations that would pique my personal taste buds. At the same time, I will make a plain version.)

Personally, I don’t think that this is a “side dish” (I do like sauerkraut as a side dish).  I like the taste, but, as a side dish, I would do a “dab”.  I do think it would be a good addition into any vegetable dish.

POST #776
This is what they said, and what we got:

 GOT                                               TRADED FOR

Swiss Chard – 1 bun……………….1 hd cabbage

Red Potatoes – 3 lb bag…………….5 cucumbers

Cucumbers – 3-4 pcs

Genovese Basil – 1 bun

Green Cabbage – 1 hd

Fresh Yellow Onions – 1 bun

Sungold Cherry Tomatoes

Green Beans – 1 bag

Red Tomatoes – 3 lb

 As I mentioned in my last post, I was in a serious time-squeeze this afternoon.  I was working with a private student until 4pm – fortunately, she didn’t have any extra questions right at the end.  I flew out of the building by 4:05, made it to the subway station at @4:10, and, fortunately, a train pulled in right after I had reached my standing spot.  Made it to the community center where we pick up by 4:45.  (Play the Lone Ranger Suite).  Got my box, looked inside, went over to the trade box, saw the cabbage, grabbed it, went back to my box to get the chard, and back to the trade box to deposit it. Back to my box, baggy-ing everything as I took it out of the box (as I always do – makes it easier when I get home) Switched out the small cabbage for a larger one, and traded the potatoes for 5 cucumbers. 

All that took me about 15 minutes, and then I was on the run to my apartment, drop off the goods.  Made it to the apartment in 5, dropped the bags in the kitchen, changed clothes, and was back out on the way to the subway by 4:15.  YES!!!

Ate all of the cherry tomatoes on the train back to work.

That basil is pretty interesting looking.  The leaves are about as big as baby spinach leaves.

The cucumbers are quite large.  I’ve got about 10.  I can eat some of them, but I’m thinking of cutting up maybe half of them and trying out a raw sour pickle recipe.

With the cabbage, I’m going to make up a garlic dill jar, and then maybe a “kimchee flavor” jar (using kimchee spices with regular cabbage). 

The tomatoes?  Well, it’s summer… Mix some with cucumbers and onions for a salad, chop up some more and mix them into whatever piques my fancy (I’m still low on fancy and eating desire – got into those coral silk pants I bought 2 years ago, at last!)

I do want to get up to Fairway and pick up some cashews and almonds so I can make up some pates. 

 I’m thinking of making up a couple of batches of crackers, since I seem to be on a “fast food” diet tangent.  If I have crackers, I can put stuff on top of them and eat easy.

 

SAUERKRAUT SUCCESS! (but it always is)

POST #770
The batch of sauerkraut that I opened last night was stupendous.  I did go a little overboard with the jalapenos, but, since I mix my sauerkraut into soups, salads, and everything in between, it will be really good.  Oh, yumm!

I can’t wait to try the fermented turnips (I plan to open them on Thursday or Friday night)!

SAUERKRAUT & SAUERRUBEN: fermented cabbage and fermented turnips

POST #768

I’m being good this week. I said I was going to make sauerkraut and sauerruben (fermented turnips), and, indeed, I am doing it.  I think it took me about 4 hours last night to do all the work, but I did.   Part of my impetus was that my half-full jar of sauerkraut (made about 4 weeks ago) fell out of the refrigerator and shattered  — big mess, dead jar, no sauerkraut this week!

Some raw foodists are concerned about fermented foods.  I am on the side of people like Ann Wigmore (pretty much the “mother” of raw food), and others, who think that it is useful to supplement pro-biotics (yes, you could go and buy capsules or powders, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could get the same benefit through your food?)  I use New Life All-Flora probiotics to jumpstart my ferments.  Some people object to fermented foods as “rotten”, but I don’t happen to be one of them.  I understand that, when you ferment raw vegetables, nuts, and seeds, you create a food product that is rich in probiotics and good for you.

I had 2 small-ish heads of cabbage in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.  When I dug them out and cut them in half, I found, interestingly, that the center of each was going bad, while the outside (about 3 inches worth all around the center) was perfectly fine.   I cut away and discarded the centers, and shredded the rest.

STEP BY STEP SAUERKRAUT (no video, just do it)

  • I shredded the cabbage in my wonderful Cuisinart Food Processor.
  • I put all the shredded cabbage in a large bowl, mixed in 1 tablespoon sea salt, and then mooshed/squeezed it all around with my hands, until the cabbage gave up its juice and was reduced in volume by about 1/2.
  • Then I put all of the shredded cabbage and juice into a quart mason jar (I used the wide-mouth funnel of my Champion juicer to get it in neatly), and smooshed it down until there was about 1/2 inch of space above the juice on top of the cabbage.  (The idea is that you want to pack the cabbage very firmly into the jar.  I do it with my fingers — my fist is a little too large to fit inside a quart jar.  The juice rises above the cabbage.  I do this in the sink, because some of the juice -and a little of the cabbage– might seep out.)
  • After I had the cabbage packed into the jar, I emptied 2 capsules of New Chapter All Flora Probiotic Capsules
    into @1 tablespoon of water and mixed well.  Then I poured the probiotic/water mix into the jar, and used a chopstick to make holes down into the cabbage so the probiotics would go down into the cabbage (I don’t know if this is necessary, but it seems logical, so I do it).
  • Then I put the jar in a bowl and set it in a cool corner of my kitchen (cool? ha ha! It is summer in New York City, and we don’t have air-conditioning. Suffice it to say that I put it in the corner of the stove top — we don’t use the stove, anyway.  That is probably the coolest place in the kitchen).  That was about 7  pm last night.

SAUERRUBEN (fermented turnips)

While I was gearing up to make the sauerkraut, I decided to read through Sandor Katz’s book, Wild Fermentation again.  This time, since I had a slew of turnips in the refrigerator, I noticed the “sauerruben” recipe for fermented turnips.  I held back from my irresistible desire to add stuff to a recipe since I’ve never tried to ferment turnips, and since Sandor says that plain fermented turnips are delicious, and I made the straight recipe with just one addition – I added probiotics, which I always add to fermented foods because, when I do,  my product never ever fails.

STEP BY STEP FERMENTED TURNIPS (SAUERRUBEN)  (no video, just do it)

I honestly can’t tell you how many turnips I used.  They were the “Japanese salad turnips” (smallish, all white).  These were medium-sized turnips – large enough to make it worthwhile to peel them.

  • I peeled then chopped the turnips.
  • I shredded the turnips in my food processor
    (with the S blade) (normally when I do turnips, I grind them to a fine texture somewhat similar to applesauce, but this time, I shredded them a little less, to a chunkier texture — but not by much — I hate to chew)
  • I placed the shredded turnips in a large bowl and added 1 tablespoon of sea salt.  I mixed it all around, then squished/mooshed/squeezed all of the turnip/salt mixture, until it yielded a lot of juice and reduced in volume by about half.
  • Then, I placed the turnips in a 1 pint jar.  At first it seemed the turnips would not all fit in, but, after a lot of mooshing/pressing (which I did in the sink, in case of overflow, of which there was some), I got all of the turnips into the 1-pt jar, with a little space at the top.
  • I emptied 2 capsules of New Chapter All-Flora Probiotic
    into @1 tablespoon of water and mixed well.  Then I poured the probiotic/water mix into the jar, and used a chopstick to make holes down into the turnip mix,  so the probiotics would go down into the turnips.
  • Then I put the the 2-part lid  onto the mason jar (I’ve used recycled jars with plain lids, but the two-part lids of the mason jars are traditional, and you do get some feedback if you use them — as the vegetables ferment, some juice seeps out, which lets you know that your product is successful), and I put the jar in a bowl in the coolest corner of the kitchen, beside the sauerkraut jar.

This afternoon, when I came home about 4 pm, I checked the jars, and I was happy to see in that a little less than 24 hours, they had bubbled out about half a bowl-ful of liquid each.  That is a good sign. Actually, I have never seen so much liquid bubble out in one day before — it could be because I used 2 caps of probiotics instead of just one — whatever the cause, I am happy, and I am excited.

I know that my sauerkraut will be ready in 3 days (although I can leave it for longer — I’ve left it for up to 2 weeks.  I suppose I could leave it for longer, but I like the 3-day flavor).

Since this is my first time with fermented turnips, I will go with Sandor’s suggestion of one week of fermentation (although he ferments without probiotics).  I’m sure it will be fine.  (After my first batch, I will understand what I want to do, i.e., what I might like to add, and how long I will need to ferment it.)

After I finish the turnips, I am going to ferment the beets I have in my refrigerator.  I am sure they will work like the turnips, so I will already have something to go on at that time  (I am imagining that I will add garlic and/or something else to beets)  I’m imagining that the beets will turn out to be really delicious.  I can’t wait.

WHAT WE GOT & WHAT I AM DOING WITH IT

Here’s the breakdown from Thursday’s share

Kohlrabi – 1 pc    actually we got several pieces
Fennel – 1 pce       I traded for a big kohlrabi
Carrots – 1 bun     the carrots were kind of small. I put them through the juicer
Cilantro – 1 bun    a big bunch
Escarole – 1 hd      this was a large head
Scallions – 1 bun    traded for more cilantro
Arugula – 1 bag       we got choggia beets
Green Romaine Lettuce – 1 hd    traded for more beets
Green Boston Lettuce – 1 hd

I put the carrots through the juicer and got a small juice glass of carrot juice. I froze the pulp for use in something later.

I’ve made a couple of different versions of raw ravioli, using the large kohlrabi.  I cut it in half and sliced it with my thin slicer (looks like a vegetable peeler, but it’s very wide).  I put my cashew-kale pate and cilantro in the raviolis, and I also made the “chicken pate” recipe from Ani Phyo’s first book and put it in the wraps with some cilantro.

I used the escarole in some wraps with the cashew-kale pate, onion, tomato, cilantro, and lentil sprouts.   I also made a soup with lentil sprouts by dehydrating chopped up  escarole leaves to tender, then adding garlic, olive oil, a little sea salt (!) and black pepper, cilantro, and some red pepper flakes, and dehydrating for a few hours until it was warm.

Well, the lettuce has gone into salads, duh. I also threw some of it, along with some escarole, and an apple, into the blender for a smoothie.  Yuck.  I drank it anyway.  It’s good for me, right?

The beets, you ask?  My beet salad (beets into the food processor along with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, onions, and garlic – with some cilantro!).  I also made a “slaw” with some kohlrabi, beets, apple cider vinegar, onions, extra virgin olive oil, garlic,  and – yes! cilantro! — I put the kohlrabi in the food processor first, and ground it to almost apple sauce consistency, removed it, then put the beets and everything else in, then tossed all in a bowl — the idea was to have white color, but the beets in colored the kohlrabi anyway

My room-mate and I are tentatively back on a two-day meal share plan, so I am planning some fancy kohlrabi raviolo (not sure what will go in them yet), with a sauce of some sort – likely sun-dried tomatoes with something;  a lettuce, escarole, seaweed salad with lentil or sunflower sprouts and a vinaigrette of some sort. I might make the escarole soup again, as well – I liked it, and I will have enough time on Wednesday to do all of the dehydrating.

I’m glad to be back to a one day a week meal share because it gives me a chance to use up stuff I won’t eat all of by myself (I mean, I have been eating all of my share because I have no money to buy other food, but it sure would be nice to have a helping hand, and my room-mate loves salads.)

Of course, we do expect the appearance of sauerkraut somewhere in all of this.  I still have 1/2 qt jalapeno sauerkraut.  I’ll be making more sauerkraut by week end.