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Four fabulous fermentation recipes

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We're going crazy for ferments after featuring them in the current Dec/Jan issue; we can't get enough of them! So here's four more fabulous recipes for you.

white-sauerkraut

White cabbage sauerkraut.

Credit: Rosa Mauvra

red-sauerkraut

Red cabbage sauerkraut.

Credit: Rosa Mauvra

kefir

Kefir grains with milk which can be used to make Almond Cheese.

Credit: Rosa Mauvra

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Rejuvelac

Rejuvelac is a bubbly fermented grain drink made traditionally from wheat berries. It is good for people with wheat and gluten allergies but you can also make it from quinoa or any grain.

Method:
• Soak one cup of whole wheat overnight in a 2 litre jar.
• Secure mesh over the mouth of the jar and drain off water in morning.
• Sprout the grain by rinsing 2-3 times a day until the 'tails' start to emerge (usually 2-3 days).
• When the tails are a bit longer than the actual grain fill the jar with fresh filtered water, cover with a cloth and put in a warm spot out of direct sun.
• When you see bubbles forming at the top and the liquid has a sour but pleasant smell, your rejuvelac is ready to harvest.
• Strain the rejuvelac into clean jar and refrigerate.

Recipe ideas for your Rejuvelac:
• Use a cup or so as a starter to inoculate sauerkraut and other veggie ferments
• Soak rolled oats or other grains in overnight before cooking.
• Add a little to sauces, smoothies and dressings
• Enjoy half a cup a couple of times a day.

Sauerkraut

You will need a large glass or ceramic container with a wide opening (cylindrical shape is best), and a plate or lid to cover the top plus something to weigh it down (glass or plastic bag filled with heavy water or rock).

Ingredients:
The mix is like coleslaw but with 80% cabbage. You will need at least one large cabbage (red or white) and then any combination of: carrot, beetroot, leek, turmeric, celery, fennel bulb, coriander seed, cumin seed, garlic and chopped up seaweed.

Method:
• Remove a few outside leaves of the cabbage and set aside.
• Put the rest of the cabbage and veggies through a food processor or chop finely.
• Add seeds or spices and mix well in a large bowl.
• Now comes the fun part. Get your hands in and squeeze, mash and pound the 'slaw until the juices are coming out. Once all shredded and mixed then begin to pack it into the crock, pounding the mixture down as you go. The juices should cover the mix, if not, you can add celery juice or water to cover at the end.
• Cover the mixture with the cabbage leaves you kept aside and push down with a plate that fits into the crock and place your weight on top. Cover the whole thing with muslin or a tea towel and a rubber band so no insects can get in.
• Leave somewhere out of direct light for 2-3 weeks, less in hot weather. Harvest by removing the top discoloured layer and decanting the rest into a glass jar and place in fridge for use.

Almond Cheese

Nut or seed 'cheeses' are a great dairy alternative. This one uses almonds but pumpkin and sunflower seeds work well too.

Method:
• Soak 1 ½ cups of almonds overnight
• Drain off water and remove almond skins. Skins should slide off easily, but if not, put nuts in a bowl with hot water and this will loosen them.
• Grind the nuts in a food processor or blender, gradually adding about 1 cup of rejuvelac or alternatively use dissolved unpasteurised miso or kefir.
• You are aiming for a hummus like consistency. Add in a squeeze of lemon juice, as well as spices or fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme or shallots.
• Place the mix in a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with a tea towel. After about 4-8 hours (depending on temperature) your cheese will be ready.
• Place in refrigerator and use within a week.

Another Delicious Cultured Veggie Recipe

Ingredients:
• 1 head green cabbage, shredded in a food processor
• 1 bunch kale, chopped very finely by hand
• 5 or 6 collard leaves chopped very finely by hand
• ½ head cauliflower, broken in tiny florets, or chopped small
• 2 to 3 carrots, shredded
• 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 1 Tbsp. celery seeds
• 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
• ½ Tbsp. dried basil

Method:
• Dissolve a little honey in ¼ cup warm water as a 'starter' and sit for 20 mins.
• Combine all veggies, seeds, and herbs in a very large bowl.
• Remove approx ½ of the above mixture and put into a blender.
• Add enough filtered water to blender to create a 'brine' the consistency of thick juice.
• Blend well then add starter culture above to this brine.
• Add brine with culture back into veggies, celery seeds and herbs from step one.
• Mix together well. Note: If your blender is small you may have to do step 3 in two batches but you only need to add the starter culture once.
• Pack mixture down into as many pint or quart sized glass jars as necessary to hold all the mixture. Use a potato masher or your fist to pack veggies very tightly. You want to force out most of the air.
• Fill container almost full, but leave about 2 inches of room at the top for veggies to expand.
• Roll up several outer cabbage leaves into a tight "log" and place them on top to fill the remaining 2-inch space. Clamp jar closed, or screw on lid very tightly.
• Let veggies sit at room temperature for at least a week. Two weeks may be even better. Refrigerate to slow down fermentation.
• Veggies will keep in the fridge for many weeks, becoming more delicious as time passes!

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To learn more about delicious and nutritious ferments, check out our feature on pages 70-71 of the current Dec/Jan issue of Green Lifestyle magazine.