Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic

I usually do my lacto fermented veggies using whey off my kefir or plain yogurt but while I was stumbling around the world wide web I found this website called “The Crunchy Moose” that had a recipe for fermenting using Milk Kefir Grains, I saw a recipe for fermented garlic and thought what a brilliant idea, adding the health benefits of beneficial bacteria to a super food. WIN WIN…This is the website link to that recipe. http://thecrunchymoose.com/ferment-garlic-using-kefir-grains/. THANK YOU “The Crunchy Moose”

 

Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic

Milk Kefir Grains Fermented Garlic

Ingredients:

Enough peeled garlic cloves to nearly fill a pint jar

non-chlorinated water

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon Milk Kefir Grains (rinsed)

 

Preparation:

AS WITH ANY FERMENTATION PROCESS, CLEANLINESS CAN’T BE EMPHASIZED ENOUGH. KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU ARE CULTURING BACTERIA AND YEAST AND IT IS JUST AS EASY TO GROW HARMFUL BACTERIA AND YEAST AS IT IS GOOD.

Add the salt, milk kefir grains a some of the water to the jar and mix with a non-metal spoon. Add the peeled garlic cloves and top with water until 1 ½ inches above garlic. Weight garlic cloves down to keep submerged below brine. I use a plastic cottage cheese lid cut in a circle to the circumference of the inside of the jar. Put on a loose fitting non-metal lid (gas will form so it needs to escape). I prefer to retrofit plastic mason jar lids with holes and rubber grommets so that I can use a fermentation air-lock. Leave in a cool place out of direct sunlight until it reached the desired fermentation. Put in the refrigerator to stall the fermentation process when it is as fermented as you desire.  This is my first batch and I will be trying to reuse my grains in another batch of garlic. I never really have a shortage of grains as they multiply in my milk kefir pretty quickly. I’ll post the results in updates to this blog post.

Grains Fermented Garlic
Fermented Garlic

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

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JUN the Champaign of Kombucha

Aged Bottled JUN
Aged Bottled JUN

JUN the Champaign of Kombucha

This wonderfully light, crisp, effervescent beverage has many health benefits, delicious and easy to make. I was recently on a long and strong course of chemotherapy and it did a lot of damage to my immune system and many other areas while it was eradicating any remaining trace cancer cells and I suspended my use of this powerfully beneficial beverage. Now that my treatment has ended I’ve resumed drinking JUN and feel much healthier and more energetic. I suppose it’s because it’s a simple drink made from simple ingredients that’s simply wonderful! Here’s how you can make your own.

Note: Unpasteurized JUN or Kombucha will continue to develop a new baby SCOBY so if you are squeamish about them floating in your brew just pour thru a nylon or high quality stainless steel tea strainer into your glass and put what it catches into your compost.

You can get a JUN SCOBY here or you can get a daughter from a fellow brewer. I use a 1 gallon glass jar as my fermenting vessel and a coffee filter to cover the top securing it with a rubber band or breathable cap.

 

JUN TEA

Ingredients:

3 ½ Quarts of non-chlorinated water

8 organic Green Tea Bags

¾ Cup Raw Honey (I use clover due to tree allergies)

1 JUN SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast)

2 Cups of previously brewed JUN that your SCOBY was stored in

(this is known as a SCOBY Hotel)

Jun Ingredients
Jun Ingredients

Directions:

In a large pan bring to a boil 3 ½ quarts of non-chlorinated water. Add 8 organic green tea bags and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and cool to 117 degrees. Remove tea bags and add ¾ cup of raw honey and stir until completely dissolved. Continue to cool until it’s room temperature then pour it into your fermenting vessel. Add 2 cups of previously fermented JUN from your SCOBY hotel and your SCOBY. Cover with the coffee filter and secure with a rubber band or breathable cap. Leave in a cool place out of direct sunlight for 6 – 8 days. It will grow a daughter SCOBY on top. (This can be used to brew your next batch of JUN). Remove the mother and daughter SCOBY and 2 cups of brewed JUN and put them back in your SCOBY hotel and refrigerate until your next brew date. You can strain and bottle at this point or add flavorings like fruit or ginger root if you prefer. If you add flavorings put them in with the JUN and cover with coffee filter for a couple of extra days then strain and bottle. If you store the bottles in the fridge right away it will not become effervescent. I leave my bottled brew on the counter for 2 – 3 days before I refrigerate so that it has some carbonation.

Brewing Tea
Brewing Tea
SCOBY Hotel
SCOBY Hotel

 

Fermenting the JUN
Fermenting the JUN

 

Flavoring the JUN with Ginger Root
Flavoring the JUN with Ginger Root
Aged Bottled JUN
Aged Bottled JUN

 

Enjoy! Here is one of my favorite quotes to start your day!!

 

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

 

 

Nature’s Nectar – Cherry Wine

After learning about making yeast from readynutrition.com Survival Food Series: 3 Ways To Naturally Make Yeast I decided to try it out and see if I could make wine without purchasing wine yeast. I’ve made wine and beer for many years but have always purchased the little packets of yeast. When I let nature take care of this process for me the fermentation process took longer to start (11 days verses 1 day) but the overall flavor was more true to the fruit that I used and it was crisp and clear.

Cherry Wine
Cherry Wine

Nature’s Nectar Cherry Wine

 

Ingredients

3 Quarts Unprocessed Sour Cherry Juice (room temperature)

(mine was drained from frozen cherries that my daughter-in-law picked and I added enough other fruit juice to make it equal 3 quarts)

2 Quarts non-chlorinated water

2 Pounds raw organic sugar

cherry wine fermenting
cherry wine fermenting

In large sauce pan dissolve sugar in 1 quart of water. Let cool to room temperature. Combine all ingredients in a 1 gallon sterile glass carboy and put airlock in place. Fermentation will start in 1 to 2 weeks. Leave ferment in a cool place out of direct sunlight until bubbling stops. Siphon off the cleared wine into sterile dark wine bottles and insert cork stoppers.

POUR, ENJOY!!

 

Enjoy!  Here is one of my favorite quote to start your day!!

“Peace is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God”

Where’s The Sours?

Fermenting Banana Peppers
Fermenting Banana Peppers

Long ago people used to have fermented food with every meal to aid in digestion. I remember having some of my much older relatives over for dinner and forgetting to serve some fermented food as one of the courses and inevitably one of them would pipe up and ask “Where’s the sours”? meaning the probiotic rich fermented food or condiment that would help their digestion and of course that “other” later part of digestion! Probiotics are not a new discovery, they’ve been a part of healthy eating since the beginning of time. We are now rediscovering what a huge benefit they are. I’m fortunate that I had family to teach me how to culture this type of food and how really easy it is. I like a little heat and zing so here is my recipe for Fermented Hot Banana Peppers but you can do the same with regular banana peppers or jalapenos or whatever your preference is. Fresh organic produce, cleanliness and patience are the 3 keys factors in successful fermentation. Produce that has been treated to have a “stay fresh” appearance in the produce section of the supermarkets do not ferment as well. This is the same reasoning behind using non-chlorinated water and unbleached flour. Chlorine kills the process because it kills yeasts, molds and bacteria, good and bad!

Fermented Banana Peppers - Finishe Product
Fermented Banana Peppers – Finished Product

Fermented Hungarian Hot Wax (Banana ) Peppers

 

4-5 large ripe Hungarian Hot Was Banana Peppers (about a pound) sliced into desired size.

½ small onion peeled and sliced thin

2 cloves garlic peeled and halved

1 small jalapeno sliced (optional)

1 Tablespoon sea salt

1 Tablespoon of whey from kefir or plain yogurt or sour cream

(This is the clear liquid that separated from the milk product. Pour it off into a small jar and save it in your fridge. This will be your “good bacteria” boost)

Non-Chlorinated water

Fermenting Accessories
Fermenting Accessories

You will need something to cover the top of the peppers to submerge them under the brine. I use Grape Leaves since I have grape vines and they are accessible. They also help keep pickles and peppers crisp. But you could also use carrots slices cut lengthwise the width of your jar and a weight to keep the peppers under the brine.

Make sure all your hands, produce, utensils and jars and surfaces are clean.

Dissolve the salt in some of the water

Layer in your jar, sliced onion, sliced jalapeno (if used), halved garlic cloves. Fill Jar to the “shoulder” with sliced banana peppers (allow room at the top so that there can be at least a ½ inch of brine over the peppers).

Add Whey and water with dissolved salt. Fill with water to I inch from top of jar. Insert whatever you are using to submerge your peppers (these Fermenta Dunk Extenders are really nice and no fuss for keeping you stuff submerged below the brine). I put my grape leaves on top and add a Fermenta Dunk Weight. Then close your jar and and set it in a cool place away from drafts and direct sunlight until it reaches the desired tartness. I leave mine ferment for a few weeks. If you aren’t using a jar with an airlock, like the Fermenta Fido Airlock Jar 1 QT Jar, you will need to occasionally burb the jar to relieve pressure from the gases that will build up. Once you are happy with the flavor pop it into the fridge or other cool place.

Fermanted Banana Peppers Before and After
Fermanted Banana Peppers Before and After

 

Fragrant, Effervescent and Refreshing Ginger Ale

Refreshing Healthy Ginger Ale
Refreshing Healthy Ginger Ale

Summer is now in full swing and the temperatures have been in the mid to high 80’s (up here that is a heat-wave my friends). And there is just nothing better than an icy cold delicious glass of homemade Ginger Ale to beat the heat. It really is simple to make homemade soda and truly homemade soda is chocked full of great health benefits, like wonderful probiotics. The best part is that YOU control how much sugar goes into the soda and the artificial colors and preservatives and other bad stuff is non-existent. It’s so easy you won’t believe you are really doing it! Once you taste it you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along.

Ginger Bug Starter
Ginger Bug Starter
Bubbly Ginger Bug
Bubbly Ginger Bug

September of 2014 I published a post called Ginger Ale, Ginger Ale, Where for Art Thou Ginger Ale! on how to make a ginger bug. Ginger bugs are easy to care for. If you leave it on your counter top just feed it a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of minced ginger root once a day. If you keep it in the fridge just feed it a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of minced ginger once a week, let it bubble back up and then put it back in the fridge for another little nap. Always replace the liquid you use with non- chlorinated water, and if it gets too full of ginger root scoop some out and discard it into your compost. Once you have a ginger bug established you can make all sorts of soda, but Ginger Ale is my personal Favorite, to date.

Ginger Ale

Ingredients

1 to 2 knobs or knuckles or Tablespoons of minced unpeeled ginger root

2 quarts non-chlorinated water

½ to ¾ Cup raw sugar or granulated sugar plus ½ Tablespoon molasses

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ Cup lemon juice

½ Cup Strained Ginger Bug (Don’t forget to add non-chlorinated water back to your ginger bug jar)

In a large pan add the water, sugar, (molasses if used) and ginger root and sea salt, bring it to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and leave cool to room temperature. This is referred to as wort. Once your wort is cooled completely, strain it into a pitcher and add the lemon juice and ginger bug. Mix and pour into bottles with tight fitting caps. I prefer Grolsch-style bottles. Leave the bottles on the counter for 48 to 72 hours then refrigerate and enjoy! Take care not to forget to refrigerate the bottles after 72 hours as they can continue to carbonate until they explode. (VERY MESSY INDEED)

Oh Kefir … How Do I Love Thee … Let Me Count The Ways

Recently my Daughter-in-Law Nancy introduced me to kefir (a cultured milk product). Being an avid buttermilk and Greek yogurt user, the wheels immediately began to turn. She gave me a portion of her starter grains and a couple of simple (I’m sensing a theme forming here) rules.  Feed it, don’t use metal utensils with it and mostly enjoy it. That was a month ago and I have made Kefir almost daily since.  I keep my kefir grains in a glass canning jar. Each night I pour milk over them and cover it with a paper coffee filter to keep out contaminants, let them stand at room temperature for about 24 hours.  The next night I strain the grains with a nylon strainer into another jar, put the grains in a clean jar and fill with milk and put it back on the counter.  I either use the kefir right away or put a plastic cap on it and store it in the fridge. I’ve used Kefir in place of buttermilk and even regular milk in my recipes with outstanding results. If I need to take a break from making Kefir I just pour fresh milk over the grains and store it with a plastic lid on it in the fridge. It will last for a couple of weeks but if you are like me you won’t be able to go that long without making more!

Today I’m combining the great taste of sourdough with Kefir to make some of the best waffles Mother Nature can provide. I’ll start the process and let her take over. Simplicity is great.  It’s kind of like having a chef in the house.

Figure 1 - Sourdough Kefir Waffles

DONNA’S SOURDOUGH WAFFLES

Before you go to bed you will need to combine in a large bowl:

1 Cup of unfed sourdough starter

1 ½ Cups of unbleached organic white flour

½ Cup of stone ground whole wheat flour

1 Cup of Milk

1 Cup of Kefir

1 Tablespoons of honey

Stir well, cover and let stand overnight (about 8 hours)

In the morning combine in a small bowl:

2 Large organic eggs

¼ Cup Grape seed oil (or oil of your choice)

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

Add egg mixture to sourdough mixture and stir well. Pour by 1/3 cupful onto a greased preheated waffle iron or pancake griddle if you prefer. Cook until golden brown (when the steam dissipates).

In The Beginning There Was Sourdough

I remember the smell of fresh baked bread on cold winter afternoons.  Mmmmmmmm.  The toasty kitchen warmed you on the outside and that heavenly smell warmed you on the inside. Ooooh… the rich and tangy aroma of sourdough drifting through the house.  I recently tried my hand at making a sourdough starter.  The process is simple but it takes patience.  The ingredient list? Flour (unbleached), Water (non-chlorinated) and Mother Nature. Simple Right? Sourdough Baguette Banner Making your own sourdough starter. Pick a time you will be available to tend your starter twice a day for a week to begin the process. (this is planning) You will need a clean wide top glass or ceramic container with a lid that fits loosely. If you have a small crock that would work great. A generous ½ cup of tepid non-chlorinated water.  (Chlorine will kill the process before it starts) 1 scant cup of whole grain unbleached flour. (unbleached flour has the vital nutrients to feed the process)

Day 1: Mix the flour and water completely.  It should be very loose and tacky. Put the mixture in your container and put the lid on loosely to keep out bad bacteria. Let is set in a warm not hot (about 70 degrees) place for 24 hours. If your house is cool you can set the container near any heat generating appliance like on top the refrigerator.  Prep time 10 minutes; Wait time 24 hours.

Day 2: You will “feed” your sourdough starter.  You may not see much activity so this is where patience (and a little faith) comes in to play. The feeding process is as follows: Remove a generous ½ cup of sourdough starter from your container and put it into a glass bowl. Discard the rest and wash and dry the sourdough container. Add a generous ½ cup of tepid non-chlorinated water and a scant cup of unbleached flour to the sourdough starter.  Mix thoroughly and return to the sourdough container. Let stand in a warm place for 24 hours.   Prep time 10 minutes; Wait time 24 hours. Figure 1 - Flour Water and Sourdough StarterFigure 2 - Mix thouroughlyFigure 3 - Put into glass containerFigure 4 - Cover with loose fitting lid and let rest 24 hours Days 3, 4, 5: You will need to start feeding your sourdough starter twice a day for the next few days.  The twice a day feeding process is as follows: Remove a generous ½ cup of sourdough starter from your container and put it into a glass bowl. Discard (or you can save the unfed portion for waffles or pancakes) the rest and wash and dry the sourdough container. Add a generous ½ cup of tepid non-chlorinated water and a scant cup of unbleached flour to the sourdough starter.  Mix thoroughly and return to the sourdough container. Let stand in a warm place for 12 hours. You should see your sourdough starter growing more bubbles as it gains strength.  Prep time 10 minutes; Wait time 12 hours each feeding. Figure - 5 Active Starter Continue this process until your sourdough starter is very bubbly.  Then store it in the refrigerator. If your recipe calls for fed starter remove a ½ cup and feed it. Let it set in a warm place for as long as it takes to become very active. You’ll enjoy the tangy fruity slightly acidic fragrance as it develops and matures. If your recipe calls for unfed starter use the part you would normally discard. Enjoy!  …. D Yelle

STAY TUNED FOR UPCOMING RECIPES TO USE YOUR SOURDOUGH STARTER.