Posts Tagged With: sauerkraut

Kombucha Time! Fermented foods in the Beach House Kitchen

Jane toasting you all with tonights Kombucha! Strawberry and Rose Spritz (with a tickled of mint and a twist lime)

It’s wild today in the Beach House, we sit at the top of a hill, overlooking the Irish Sea, we get some tasty weather!! We were in the garden last night, basically it’s a big chunk of mountain, taming it and wrestling with brambles mainly. Seeing how the newts and frogs were getting on in the pond. We also got a nice pile of windfall apples (bonus!) We got a thirst going…..kombucha time.

We’re taking the Vibrant Vegan! Challenge, no alcohol for a few weeks now. We’re feeling groovy! Kombucha is the perfect treat drink. It has that fermented quality, and sometimes even tastes a little alcoholic.

Jane loves making Kombucha and we’re trying out new flavour combos for our Vibrant Vegan! Snowdonia – Plant-based Cooking & Yoga Holiday using mainly strawberry, raspberry and blackberry as bases. This is Jane toasting you all with last nights winner!!
We are truly blessed to have the magnificent Janice, aka Nourished by Nature, joining us for the holiday and hosting a fermentation masterclass. All of your Kombucha questions answered and much, much more!  Lots of tastings, pro-biotic chocolate anyone!!  How’s about some coffee Kombucha?

Sometimes I can’t believe we live here!! So beautiful. This is the view from the stone circle behind the BHK. 

Living right beside Snowdonia national park, it’s basically behind our back garden, means our local walks are pretty special!  You can nearly see Mount Snowdon in the photo above, tucked behing Mynydd Mawr (The Elephant Mountain, my local stomp).  We even have a little stone circle in our garden, which for many years we thought was all ancient and druidic etc, until we met the former owners and they said it was built in the late ’90’s.  Hari hum.  Still a great place to sit and watch sunset over Anglesey.

Several different sauerkrauts on the go…

I take charge of the sourdough and sauerkraut’s.  We both love making feremented foods, I always enjoy an edible hobby.  Here we have a few different types of ‘kraut, notice the German made Sauerkraut barrel, Jane get’s me the best Xmas pressies.  We experiment with all kinds of flavours and use many different veggies, herbs, spices etc.  Once you have the basic technique, the world of veg is your fermentable friend.  I’m keeping these a little secret, because they are especially for Vibrant Vegan!  Apologies.  One of them is Nepalese, the other, proudly German. One is with fennel, dill and lemon.  I love that combo.

You can’t make a sauerkraut, without covering your kitchen with cabbage. Them’s the rules!

Sauerkraut and fermented foods in general are a real gift, for good health and incredible flavours.  Most of our favourite foods are fermented; cheeses, coffee, wine and beer, yoghurt…the list goes on.  Fermenting foods is an ancient little trick that all cultures in the world have practiced.  It means your food is preserved, but unlike pickling for example, fermented foods come to life!  Their flavours are enhanced and their nutritional properties go through the roof.  They are also easier to digest.  Fermenting foods is also fun, and like I said, it’s and addictive hobby.  Our scobies (alien like creatures that live in jars and make kombucha) or our sourdough starter (named ‘funk face’ due to it’s fruity odour) are members of the BHK family.

Yesterdays sunset sourdough was Seeded Wholegrain

We have a new heating system in the Beach House, it’s uber energy efficient and we’re chuffed and cosy.  One thing it’s made so much better is our sourdough.  It’s actually warm enough for it to do it’s thing!  Before we tried heat pads and leaving near the fire, anything we could think of, but a consistent ambient temperature is working wonders for our little Funk Face.

Our windfall apples, let the wind do the work!

We’re not long back to the Beach House, after walking around Portugal for a while this summer and working in Spain.  The garden is now only semi-forested and we can now get down to the fun bits, like picking apples.  I feel another Kombucha flavour coming on!

What’s your favourite Kombucha flavour and what are your scobies called?  Do you love sourdough and yes, what is your sourdough called?  They have to have names, that’s more than half the fun of it…..

Breakfast Superfood Ice Cream – Vegan, Gluten and Sugar free

We also make our own yoghurt.  Just using the cultures that are already in the shop bought yoghurts.  Just add milk and leave….  It adds a pro-biotic punch to our morning bowls.  We’re loving superfood ice creams at the minute.  Lots of colours, textures and big flavours, just what I need to get me going in the mornings.

Fermentation is simple, with a little experience, anyone can do it and you don’t need any special equipment or fancy ingredients (although, like I said, a scobie is technically an alien lifeform living in your house.  You can buy them online!)

Please share your fermented food tales below in the comments and show some fermented love!!

There is loads more BHK chat, recipes and vegan cooking over on our Facebook page, click here.  

 


Here’s a recipe from a few years ago, KIMCHI, one of our favourties.  

Also, a Beetroot, Apple and Caraway Sauerkraut from the Beach House recipe library……


 

Our fermentation gurus are Janice from Nourished By Nature.  A ray of sunshine, wealth of knowledge and fermentista extraordinaire.

Plus Sandor Katz, his book ‘Wild Fermentation’ changed the way we look at food, packed with recipes and a huge amount of tips and knowledge.

 

Best to contact us via email, send a letter or leave a comment below, no phone signal up here in the hills;)

 

Categories: Baking, Cooking Holidays, Fermentation, fermented foods, healthy, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan, Wales | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

Beetroot, Apple and Caraway Sauerkraut

Great jar, inaccurate label.  It should read 'Beetroot, Apple and Caraway' Sauerkraut

Great jar, inaccurate label. It should read ‘Beetroot, Apple and Caraway’ Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a well disguised super hero. Cloaked in cabbage and a fermented glow, Sauerkraut is a dish that is not only delicious, but is very easy to make and gives us some very pleasant nutritional boosts.

China, with its amazingly rich and ancient food tradition seems the source of picklin’. It is said that traders brought many of their tasty pickles and fermented fare from the Far East to Europe. ‘Sauerkraut’ is the German name for fermented cabbage, the French call it ‘Choucroute’ and British people just call it “Fermented YUM”.

The fermentation of Sauerkraut involves a number microbial species; one creates an acid environment for another to thrive and the process continues until the ph is acid and we are left with the perfect conditions for pickling a cabbage. You just need to form a decent brine, cover the vegetable with it and leave it until you like the texture and flavour. Any kitchnen will have the equipment necessary to produce a decent ‘kraut and you can play around with the veggies, mixing and matching different combos.

This time of year, early Autumn in North Wales, is the perfect time for Sauerkraut making. All the ingredients we use here are bang on seasonal and we’re stocking up our larder for another long winter time, when vividly coloured sauerkraut is a pleasant surprise to unearth (not that we’ll be here, we’ll be in Turkey!!!!!!!). A ray of purple light in the chilly grey gloom. We like the addition of apples here, it gives a hint of sweetness. Beetroots are also doing well up here and a little caraway is always welcome to the party, giving things an unmistakeable, East Europe feel (where this kind of preserving behavior is very popular). Red cabbage makes an appearance to add even more colour and a backbone.  Proper cabbage-ness.

The process may seem a little long winded, but I’ve tried to simplify it down and make it accessible to the ‘kraut curious.

Buster (always interested in the smell of sauerkraut)

Buster (always interested in the smell of sauerkraut)

This recipe is lifted, with a few BHK modifications, from the brilliant book ‘Wild Fermentation‘ book by Sandor Ellix Katz. We are really getting our teeth into all things fermented at the minute, coming soon, the easiest Apple Juice Hooch imaginable (you almost have to do nothing to make home crafted booze!) and a really simple Kimchee recipe.

If you are avoiding salt, there are many salt-free sauerkraut recipes out there. We are yet to try them, but they will definitely be interesting!

You can add virtually anything to sauerkraut and it tastes good (this is not a challenge!); different herbs, spices etc.  We’re just sampling an Indian spice stylee version (you will not be surprised to hear!!!!) Can’t wait for the pokey results.

Fermenting and conserving vegetables using brine is something that once picked up, will be a constant source of inspiration in the kitchen. Making things like the glorious Kimchee or pickled onions/ gherkins is a not to dissimilar technique and of course, homemade stuff tastes leagues better than our shop bought friends. Once you start picklin’ and preservin’, its hard to stop (strange as that may sound).

Get your ‘kraut on!

The Bits – Makes roughly 1 kg of ‘kraut

1 medium-sized red cabbage
2 beetroots
1 red onion
(roughly grate these)
1 apple (cored and sliced)
2 teas caraway seeds
2 tbs sea salt

Grated and ready for action

Grated and ready for action

Do It

In a deep bowl or pan (preferably with straight sides), add the grated bits, caraway and sprinkle over the salt. Mix in well with your hands, pack down as well as you can.

Pick a lid/ plate that fits snugly over the sauerkraut and place a weight on top. Use kitchen weights, bottles of wine, whatever is handy and weighty. This weight will force the liquid from the veggies and fruit, the salt takes care of the rest via osmosis. The brine will begin to form. As the liquid gradually rises, keep pressing the lid down regularly until the brine covers the sauerkraut (this may take 24 hours). This is what we want. You can now cover this with a kitchen cloth and leave for 2-3 days and let the microbials do their work.

Some cabbages contain less water than others, if after 24 hours the brine is not covering the veggies, add salted water (1 tbs salt per 250ml water). Check the ‘kraut every day or two and skim off any ‘bloom’ that may form. This is technically mould, but is rare and does not affect your sauerkraut as it is protected by the brine.

The sauerkraut is normally ready after 3 days, depending on the heat of the room (the hotter the less time it takes to mature, the cooler the longer it can be left). It should be tangy and crisp.

You may like to scoop some out and keep it in the fridge when it is young and leave it for a few more days to mature, noting the flavour difference and what is your preference. We like ours funky and leave it for 5 days-ish. If the sauerkraut is getting soft, its probably passing its best and should be eaten pronto.

Serve

We’ve been having ours all over the place.  Great for picnics and packed lunches, on toast and a nice little surprise package on a plate of salad.

Foodie Fact

Fermented cabbage and other Brassicaceaes (Bok choi, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mustard, kale, spring greens and many more) have been shown to help against cancer. When the cabbage breaks down, it goes through a chemical shift and the resulting isothiocyanates have been shown to fight the big C.

Sauerkraut juice is also a magical tonic, regarded as a digestive aid second to none.

Hell's Mouth Beach, Llyn Peninsula - Ideal picnic spot for sauerkraut scoffing

Hell’s Mouth Beach, Llyn Peninsula – Ideal picnic spot for sauerkraut scoffing

Categories: Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Side Dish | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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