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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fermented What?


I have a lot of fun culturing food; I prefer "culture" to "ferment". Ferment conjures bad smells and bubbles. One of my new summer books that I mentioned in an earlier blog "Real Food Fermentation" is a slick glossy lots of photos how to on culturing all sorts of food. Today I'm interested in beverages. Cultured beverages. They are by far the most important drinks in the world. And, what's not to like with all those bacteria and yeasty beasties working so hard to turn drinks into a nutritional healthy soul satisfying beverages. You may drink fermented liquid without even being aware: wine & beer (ok so you knew those), coffee, black tea, cider, mead, hard liquor, kombucha, various fruit drinks. It is so dang triple-digit hot outside that I am drinking all sorts of liquid trying to quench a full body thirst; iced herbal infusions and teas, fruit & ice drinks, home made electrolytes, water. Here are a few recipes--go for it! From Real Food Fermentation: Ginger Ale 4 inches ginger root 1 gallon NON CHLORINATED water 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 to 1 cup yogurt whey Peel and grate ginger ( a spoon does this beautifully) Put ginger & water in pot bring to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add sugar, stir til dissolved. Cool. Add whey. A canning jar is ideal to store the ginger ale. Let it sit for a day or two. From "Nourishing Traditions" here's a little different recipe: 3/4 cup ginger root, 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/4-1/2 cup Rapadura (sweetner) 2 teas sea salt, 1/4 cup whey, 2 quarts filtered water. Place all ingredients in jar, stir, well, cover tightly and leave at room temp for 2-3 days, transfer to frig. As you can see, there are differences in these recipes which tells me: DO IT THE WAY YOU WANT and it will turn out ok! Ginger Ale is wonderful on hot days and is best when sipped. It's a great pick me up after being in the sun.
Here's one made with oranges ("Nourishing Traditions") Juice of 12 oranges, 2 teas sea salt, 1/4 cup whey, 1/2 teas orange extract, 1 1/4 quarts filtered water. Leave at room temp 2 days, refrigerate. Stir before pouring. Here's a most interesting one; I haven't tried this yet as I don't have raspberries growing. In essence crush some raspberry leaves so they are nice and juicy; stick them in the oven overnight at 50 degrees C (which my FarmBoy Chef Gary says is about 122 degrees F!) They will be brown--just like tea leaves! So, use them just like tea leaves for making tea. This recipe is from Henriette at http://www.henriettesherbal.com/blog/fermented-raspberry-leaf.html Gotta go...have to divide my Kombucha baby.... have a monumental day. Oh, and it's the New Moon...perfect time to start projects! :) e PS I haven't figured out how to make paragraphs with this new format, please bear with me. And, why can't they just leave it alone!!!
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