Metabolic Healing

This is a candid account of my experience learning how to support my body in reversing insulin resistance, adrenal fatigue, and perimenopause

Garden inspiring new wave of ferments!

By Audrey

My garden is really getting interesting.  A few weeks ago, I could barely keep up with the waves of greens.  My favorites were broccoli raab and baby bok choy.  The arrugula and lettuces keep coming.  I will have to seed some new ones, though, as soon as some space frees up.

I need to come up with an idea for beets quick!  I have made beet kvass before, but haven’t used up the last batch, so I need a different plan.  Some of them are ready to pick.

The first cucumber is as big as a pinkie finger.  It has “pickle” written all over it!  The cornichons are not fruiting yet, but I am working on an adaptation of vinegar recipes for traditional cornichons.  Can’t find one so I’ll have to figure it out myself!

I was hoping to try nasturtium capers, but the nasturtium flowers are languishing.  I just gave them some organic fertilizer so we will see….

My neighbor asked me to water some plants in her absence and as she was showing me around her yard, I spotted a grape vine!  Finally, a source for leaves to make pickled grape leaves.  I already envision a Mediterranean feast with preserved lemons, too.  Additionally, I look forward to adding a leaf at the bottom of all my ferments to keep them crunchy.  What a stroke of luck to find a good source so close by!

I just picked my first banana pepper today and am hoping to have enough to pickle these as well.  The hotter, rarer varieties are not seeming to progress, sadly.  I do have a neighbor with too many jalapeno plants, so my dream of garden fresh fermented hot sauce is not dead!

There is only room enough for three modestly sized cabbages in my garden.  Not near enough to keep up with the predilection for cortido in my house.  Still, their fate was sealed before they were even planted.  I can supplement with the farmers’ market.

Last but not least: kohlrabi.  I have never grown it before so I don’t know if it is ready when it is tennis-ball sized or should I go for softballs?  And then, what to do with it?  Not very well known in the U.S.. Suggestions are welcome!

If you have been meaning to try your hand at ferments, but haven’t gotten around to it, my advice is to plant a garden.  You will simply have to figure out what to do with the produce once you pick it.

Audrey's first love is massage. She is currently a student of energy work but is always up for a new challenge on "earth school." Audrey works part-time in the food and wine industry and is in the process of re-evaluating her relationship to food. She strives, above all, to be authentic as she finds her own way to health.

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COMMENTS - 9 Responses

  1. Pickle those beets! they store for ages and make a great addition to a meal when you’re tight for time… I should say pickle those beets through lacto-fermentation. Then they’ll help aid digestion too!

  2. For the beets, do you cook the beets before you lacto-ferment them as described in Nourishing traditions? For some reason I have resisted this. I still have some, so I may give it a try. Can they really ferment after having been roasted? I did use one or two beets in a kohlrabi/cabbage/carrot/beet slaw which was fuchsia in color and very delicious. I haveI have jars and jars of cucumber pickles and a jar of dilly beans. I even pickled some of those grape leaves. Still have more of everything…….

  3. Also……Any advice on pickling banana peppers? Do you pickle them raw or do you roast them first?

  4. The beets will lacto-ferment after being roasted, I’m sure. It is indeed from Nourishing Traditions so if you have the book you can follow the instructions from there. I think the thing with Lacto-fermentation the bacteria feed on the nutrients in the food, so as long as the beets are of good quality and relatively fresh it should be A-ok. If you need the recipe from Nourishing traditions let me know. I don’t know about the peppers, you should try a few jars with roasted peppers and few jars without… and then tell me! It would be good to know. Good luck!

  5. I find it odd to roast the beets, considering the fact that you do not want to kill any lactobacillus bacteria. As for fun fermentations, my favorite experiment was fermented red bell peppers. I also enjoy orange cherry tomatoes (it tastes like candy that explodes in your mouth) and wild foraged burdock root. I found fermented kale quite disgusting, but I ate it anyway.

  6. I was of the understanding that the lactobacillus bacteria were present in the whey added, so it shouldn’t matter whether the beets are roasted or not. I would think that if they were roasted prior to canning that they would be easier to eat. The cherry tomatoes sound delicious!

  7. Hi Naomi,
    If you’re going to can them, I see little reason to even ferment them. Canning will surely kill all of the probiotic bacteria. Sure, fermenting it will make it easier to digest, but you can simply ferment the beets and keep them in their brine, and they’ll last for months if not years!

  8. oH Jared, lacto fermentation is all about digestion! I don’t care how long they last in the jar. It’s what they do for me once I get them into my stomach. cheers.

  9. Regarding fermented products, when Sally Fallon says to “move to cold storage” does this mean the fridge, or is a cool basement enough? Or is a freezer okay? And how long do these things last in cold storage?

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