8.30.2012

Lacto Fermentation-athon

I've been on a kick over here, a lacto-fermentation kick. I've dabbled in it a few times but this week I went to the u-pick farm and loaded up. I think it helped that I bought roughly twice what my fridge would hold and needed to use it up quickly. It also helped that I didn't want to spend hours in the kitchen making vinegar based pickles when I could be doing something else. So I busted out the mandoline and the crocks and spare jars and got to work.

before mashing


after mashing


I think I should give you a quick rundown on lacto-fermentation, you're going to be seeing it a whole lot more around here. Basically you can preserve produce (and meat!) with the simple addition of whey and salt. When these ingredients are added to cleaned sliced vegetables, or even fruit, lactic acid starts to form. Lactic acid is a non putrefying preservative, it bubbles and pickles things at room temperature. It's the age old way of making pickled anything.

 So say you are making sauerkraut, after you slice some of it you sprinkle on a bit of salt and whey and give it a good mash with a wooden rod or a potato masher. This stimulates lactic acid to flow which builds and build and eventually covers the kraut completely. Left to sit on the counter it will bubble and ferment for a week or so. After a week it's ready to slow down and go in the fridge where it will keep for upwards of 4 months.

Lactic acid is super good for gut health. You need all those lovely probiotic live cultures, hard at work in your kraut or pickles, in your tummy! You know those expensive probiotic drinks? Yeah you can get the healthful bacteria with minimal work at home. The GAPS diet for healing stomach ailments recommends eating fermented foods with every meal. The beneficial bacteria can aid digestion and also boost the immune system. Sign me up.



covered and ready to bubble for a week

fermentation corner
I also like the part about not standing in from of the stove for days making pickles which may or may not be too vinegary. Lacto-fermented ANYTHING are quick and easy to make and so alive because you don't have to boiling water bath them, in fact thew are raw. I'm even making a beet and zucchini relish in the next day or two. So far I've made pickled carrots, carrot relish, a gallon of kraut that was 7 whole heads of cabbage and a jar of the wrapper leaves from the cabbages for our chickens to nibble on this winter. Yep I even think our chickens will enjoy the benefits of lacto fermentation.


Peace and Love--



 

4 comments:

  1. I've been looking at lacto-fermentation. I have a question - maybe a bit silly or embarrassing - how much gas do you get from it? Is that an issue?

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  2. Hi good question! I never get gas from sauerkraut or any lacto fermented foods for that matter--I've eaten pickles all summer that were lacto fermented and not had ANY embarrassment from it WHEW!! :)

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  3. Where do you get whey? I've been wanting to try this forever, but have no clue as to how to get started. Thanks!

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  4. This is fantastic.! I am fascinated with lacto-fermentation and fermented foods for It’s one of the coolest ways to preserve food. At home we always use fermented foods in almost every meal. You have a great blog. Keep it up!

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