Fermenting Fancy

There is always room to learn and grow…  And i’ll confess, I have never fermented anything (on purpose, anyway) other than wine or mead. It just sounded gross to me.  And still kinda does. But I’ve been feeling like crap for the last 10-12 months or so.  I feel bloated and overweight, tired, weak and sluggish. Foggy in the brain.

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And I keep hearing about the benefits of fermented foods, drinks and probiotics and decided it was time to give it a go. Why…? Well, I wont go deep into the many reasons for consuming  fermented foods, but if you are the type of person reading this who I think you are, you’ve already learned something about it anyway.

Apparently, our guts are full of this amazing, abundant stuff called “Microbiome,” or “Microbiota” which is crucial to how our bodies function and our overall health.  If the microbiota are not balanced, replenished and working properly, you could be facing all sorts of nasty health problems.  This gut bacteria is responsible for regulating your immune system, metabolism, gastrointestinal tract, body weight, brain function, and also in the production of vitamins and minerals.

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And guess what!  Fermented foods are natural probiotics. It seems we’ve mostly forgotten this wisdom from “the good ‘ole days” when it was totally common to make batches of your own sauerkraut and vinegar to feed your family and keep everyone healthy. Sad, isn’t it?

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So i’m overweight (but not by much), and I feel like crap (mostly). And I’m going to give this fermenting thing a go, eat more fermented food, and see if I can improve my health a little. And here’s how I’m going to begin… I found these marvelous mason jar lids with airlocks that make doing small batches of fermenting easy.  I got them here at the GoFerment company, if you’d like to check them out (no affiliation). They appear to be a newer company and there isn’t much to the website yet, but the few recipes they have posted so far seem like a great place to start.  I made a small batch of their Dilled Baby Carrot recipe (scroll down to view) on May 8th, but I had no dill, so I omitted it.  My carrots will be ready to taste-test this coming Sunday. Next I’m going to try sauerkraut!

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The only small hiccup I’ve realized so far about this product is that the lids are only designed to fit WIDE MOUTH mason jars – so do remember this before you start your recipe and make sure you have the right size jar on hand.  And pleeeeeze…. if you have any fermenting recipes you would share, let me know in the comments?  Thanks! ~A

Dilled Baby Carrots  Mason Jar Size: 64 oz. (Wide Mouth)

Ingredients:
2 lbs baby carrots
5 garlic cloves
1 slices onion (white, yellow or sweet)
6 branches of fresh dill
Dash of red pepper flakes
4 cups spring water
2 TB sea salt (no iodine)

Process:
In the bottom of your ½ gallon mason jar pack the garlic cloves, ½ of the sliced onion, dash of red pepper flakes, and 3 branches of fresh dill.
Arrange the baby carrots to fill the jar half way. Stack them nicely like the photo below to fit more in your jar!
Add the remaining ½ of onion slices and dill then top with remaining baby carrots until you are about 2 inches below the top of the jar.

Dissolve your salt into spring water.
Now add the water to the jar until the carrots are completely submerged, but don’t fill to the very top of the jar.
Cover with your Go Ferment kit and sit on the counter for 7 days.

During the fermentation cycle the brine will become slightly cloudy, this is a good thing and a sign that the lacto-fermentation process is working.

Check your carrots periodically. You may get a white film on top. Do not worry! This is kahm yeast and usually develops. You can scrape it off or leave it alone – it’s completely harmless! Once you have your desired pickled flavor, place in your refrigerator and enjoy this healthy snack.

 

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