Krautchi – sauerkraut and kimchi fusion

Krautchi sauerkraut and kimchi

I’ve been making sauerkraut and kimchi for about a few months now. It’s harder to get Napa cabbage for kimchi. So I decided to make kimchi using regular cabbage… my version of krautchi is born. There are other versions out there. I just threw in whatever I felt like. And I even just added in the Korean pepper flakes until I like the color. Very scientific and precise ;). Though, I am actually loving krautchi more than regular kimchi because the cabbage is so crunchy but with the delicious spiciness you get with kimchi. Can you make this without Korean pepper? Sure. It won’t have the same flavor profile but I’ve used paprika and regular pepper flakes before with regular kimchi. Go ahead! Don’t be afraid to experiment.

On another note, did you know that just 2 oz of sauerkraut has more probiotics than a bottle of probiotic pills? And with krautchi, you get all the extra flavor as a bonus. Here’s how I make it:

1. Cut up cabbage. Use 3/4 Tablespoons of kosher or sea salt per pound of cabbage.  Massage the salt all over the cabbage.

krautchi 2. Add in julienned carrots and daikon and cut up green onions. I use this to julienne the daikon and carrots.

3. Cut up a pear, ginger, and garlic and process it into a paste in the food processor. Work in the paste and Korean pepper flakes into all the vegetables.

krautchi4. Let everything hang out for about 3 to 6 hours until cabbage starts to look wilted. I added some fish sauce before putting them in the jar… just for kicks and giggles.

5. Stuff everything in a jar. I weigh it down with a 4 oz jelly jar with clean rocks in it.

krautchi

krautchi The brine will not cover everything right away. Wait about 24 hours and the brine should cover all the vegetables. Let ferment about 2 to 6 weeks.

I was impatient and started eating my krautchi at 9 days. It was crunchy and delicious! Now everything is gone and I’m waiting impatiently again until my next batch is ready.

krautchiBut in the meantime… I may or may not have licked the screen looking at this. I’ll never tell.

Krautchi – sauerkraut and kimchi fusion
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 to 5 lb cabbage
  • use ¾ TBSP kosher or sea salt per lb of cabbage or/ 3 TBSP for 5 lbs
  • 1 daikon julienned (optional)
  • 3 carrots julienned (optional)
  • 3 stalks green onion, cut up (optional)
  • 1 pear, cored and cut up
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 TBSP Korean pepper flakes
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut up cabbage and massage the salt all over it.
  2. Add in julienned daikon, carrots, and green onion if using.
  3. In a food processor, process the pear, ginger, and garlic into a paste.
  4. Massage the paste and Korean pepper flakes into all the veggies.
  5. Let sit out for about 2 to 6 hours until cabbage has wilted and releasing liquids.
  6. Stuff all the veggies into a clip top jar. Weigh it down and close the lid. The brine will not cover everything right after. After 24 hours, more liquids will be released by the cabbage and should cover all the vegetables if weighed down properly.
  7. Let ferment 2 to 4 weeks. Let your taste buds be the judge of when it’s done.

 

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Lazy wo(man)’s way to make nut milk

nut milk made easyI stopped making my own nut milks for awhile after I came back home from visiting the in-laws. I just couldn’t get back in the groove. Even though it is easy, sometimes just adding one more thing to the list just seemed exhausting.

Recently, I started making nut milks using an immersion blender and making a nut milk concentrate instead.  It eliminates the washing of a large blender and the annoying blade.  Since I’m making it concentrated, there is less milk to squeeze through the nut milk bag.

1. Soak your nuts overnight.

nut milks made easy

2. Drain the water. Add in about the same amount of water you have of nuts. Blend with immersion blender right in the jar.

nut milks made easy

3. Secure a nut milk bag (<– my absolute favorite nut milk bag) over another jar. Use at least a liter jar so that there’s room to hang. Pour the nut milk mixture in the bag and strain. I leave it in the fridge and let it do its thing until I’m ready to deal with it.

making nut milks made easy

 

nut milk made easy

 

When I’m ready to deal with it, I take the nut milk bag off and do a final squeeze or two. What is there is a very concentrated nut milk. Now, I water it down until it’s to my liking. Normally, that’s about 3 to 4 cups of water total. I don’t add any sweeteners to my nut milks, but you can add a date or two in the blending stage. Alternately, you can add honey or maple syrup after you’d watered down the milk concentrate.

I save the discards in a container in the freezer until I’m ready to put them in the dehydrator to make cashew flour.

With this new method, I can say I’m once again liberated from store bought nut milks once again!

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Make your own Pomegranate vinegar

Pomegranate vinegar

Pomegranate vinegar is very trendy lately. All the cool Korean pop stars are drinking “red vinegar” for weight loss. I’m not about fad diets but wanted to make some speciality vinegar… just because. Why not?

Most of the pomegranate vinegars I saw online involved just infusing fruits with white distilled vinegar.  I wanted REAL vinegar. For a 16 oz bottle, you can expect to pay $20. I found this recipe for cherry vinegar and used it as a guide.

It also grew a lovely mother of vinegar or MOV (the filmy blob on top in the above photo) for me that I can use to jump start future batches of vinegar. I bottled it up in an old Braggs acv bottle. It looks gorgeous and fancy :). If you want something different for salads and marinades, try some pomegranate vinegar. And since this stuff is also raw and live, it’ll have tons of beneficial bacteria just like apple cider vinegar. Drink up!

1. I used the arils from 2 pomegranates.

pomegranate vinegar

2. Added water and sugar. Then I used an immersion blender and blended everything up.

Pomegranate Vinegar

3. Then I added 1/2 cup of raw apple cider vinegar as a starter and put a paper towel on top with a rubber band.

4. I stirred it daily for 7 days and then strained it. It hung out for 4 weeks and then it was done.

 

Make your own Pomegranate vinegar
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pomegranates – arils removed
  • 3.5 cups filtered water
  • ¼ cup organic sugar
  • ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Blend up the arils with water and sugar.
  2. Put it in a half gallon jar.
  3. Put a paper towel on top with a rubber band around it.
  4. Stir daily in the same direction for 7 days.
  5. Strain.
  6. Put it back in jar with paper towel and rubber band on top and let sit about 3 to 4 weeks.

 

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Honey fermented pomegranate/fruit

Honey fermented pomegranate

 

Have you ever fermented anything with raw honey? If you haven’t, you must give it a try. It will change your life. This week, I’m bringing you honey fermented pomegranate. You can do this with any type of fruit. Some of my other favorites are concord grapes, blueberries, and strawberries. The honey will turn the fruit boozy. With grapes, you can feel the carbonation as you bite into it. They are absolutely delicious in yogurt. I love to use my boozy fruit to flavor kombucha.

It’s seriously easy! Put your fruit of choice in a jar. Pour RAW honey on top. Let is hang out for awhile on your counter while you admire the beauty of it in the jar. Once in a while, turn the jar over. Make sure to put a towel or bowl underneath it as honey will find its way out.

honey fermented pomegranate

honey fermented pomegranate

honey fermented pomegranate

honey fermented pomegranate

oooo…and look at this action after just one week!

Taste after about 3 days. When it taste good to you, then put it in the fridge.

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Alyssa Milano receives Bead Flora hair clip

 

I noticed I received this email from Alyssa Milano’s assistant! It’s funny how it slipped through the cracks on my end as I’ve been sleep deprived by my own little ones. She received the French beaded hair flower that was sent to her via The Artisan Group for Mother’s Day.

alyssamilano

 

This is the hair flower that Alyssa received.

Bead Flora and Jewels beaded flower hair clip gifted to the stylist of the Bachelorette

 

Of course, the tutorial to make this is available on my website.

And if you’re so crafty, you can purchase the hair flower here. 

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Pickled daikon and carrots without vinegar

Pickled carrots and daikonI’ve been doing quite a bit of ferments lately. It’s a great way to enhance your food by adding probiotics to it. I decided to julienne two classics: carrots and daikon. They are traditionally pickled in vinegar but I decided to lacto-ferment them.

It can’t be any easier!

1. First, create a 2% brine. Put 2 teaspoon of salt in 2 cups of water. Stir until dissolved.

2. Julienne some carrots and daikon. I use this julienne cutter. I toss whatever I can’t get (because I don’t want to julienne my fingers too) into the broth pot.

3. Pack the carrots and daikon in the jar however you wish. I layered them. Pour the brine over the daikon and carrots.

pickled daikon and carrots

pickled daikon and carrots

Close your jar and let it do its magic! These are fast and can be ready in approximately 1 to 2 weeks. Once the taste is to your liking, put it in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process.

There really is not a need to weigh these down because they are packed in so tight.

These are great for sandwiches, salads, or a side for dinner.

pickled daikon and carrots

Pickled daikon and carrots without vinegar
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large or 2 small daikon
  • 2 to 3 carrots
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups filtered water
Instructions
  1. Dissolve kosher salt in the water.
  2. Julienne the daikon and carrots.
  3. Pack it in a medium clip top jar.
  4. Pour brine over the daikon and carrots until it is covered.
  5. Close the top and let ferment 1 to 2 weeks.
  6. Taste after 1 week. When it is to your liking, put it in the fridge.

 

Have you made something similar? I’d love to hear of ways you incorporate these into your meals. 

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Experiment: Black garlic in the rice cooker

Making black garlic in the rice cooker

Black garlic is all the rage these days. It is often mislabeled as fermented. Really… it’s just cooked in a really low heat for a really long time. Many have successfully made black garlic in a dehydrator for 30 to 40 days. I purchased some black garlic at Trader Joe’s. It tasted good. Moist, tangy, and slightly sweet.

I joined in a black garlic making event via a Facebook fermenting group. One of the recipes that got everyone excited was a recipe that makes black garlic in the rice cooker and it only require 9 days. I didn’t want to have a machine on my counter for 30 days, but 9 days I can handle. I have tested the heat in my current rice cooker on warm, and it holds a steady 140 F.

So I lugged both kiddos out and bought some of the most gorgeous organic garlics I’ve ever seen.

Black garlic in the rice cooker

Black garlic in the rice cooker

Black garlic in the rice cooker

One of the other members in the BG event used the same rice cooker as mine (except hers was white) and after day 9, her garlic was brown. So I ventured out to the inter webs to search for an answer. One site suggested 10 days in the rice cooker, and then let it “hang out” in there for another 10 days after unplugging.

After day 10, I took a clove out and it was black… but tasted very bitter. I let it cook some more…and testing a clove each day. Some of the cloves I took out were brown. Even though the garlic was no where near “done” taste wise, some of the garlic were getting hard so I unplugged it. I still let the garlic “hang out.”

Here’s my conclusion: If the garlic is not done by the time you unplug, no amount of sitting around is going to make it taste right.

The only thing I can think of that made a significant difference was probably the original poster of this recipe used a different rice cooker. It does not have a vent hole and the lid is attached to the rice cooker and appears to have a tighter seal. While temperature is important, the seal is also important in keeping in the humidity. I’ve read of others who put the garlic in a mason jar inside the rice cooker and have had good results. I may give this method a try and report back if I do.

Even though this was a failed experiment, I will still make good use of the garlic “rocks” I have. I’m throwing a clove or two in the bone broth pot. I may grind it up to have black garlic powder.

Have you successfully made black garlic in the rice cooker? If you have, please comment below with what type of rice cooker you used and length of time the garlic was in there. 

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Soba noodle soup

Soba noodle soup
A noodle soup is my go-to meal for lunches. It is fast and easy. It is fast like making instant noodles but so much healthier. It is a great way to incorporate my bone broth into our diet. I’m just not into drinking plain broth.

Soba noodles are a mixture of buckwheat and wheat flour. It cooks up very fast. I like to add turmeric to my soups because not only does it give it wonderful flavor, but it’s also amazing for you health. It is anti-inflammatory, helps prevent and heart attacks. Hey, it’s all about eating good food and taking preventive caution. :)

Soba noodle soup

I hope you give this a try!

Soba noodle soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • 1 bundle of soba noodles
  • ¾ cup peas (or other veggies of choice)
  • ¼ cup cooked meat like shredded chicken (optional)
  • ½ t tumeric powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring broth to a boil.
  2. Add in peas and noodles.
  3. Reduce to medium heat. Let cook about 2 to 3 mins.

 

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Blender trick with regular mouth mason jars

Regular mouth mason jar and blender attachmentMost people these days have one of those fancy blenders. I don’t. I still have a cheapo blender. But… did you know that you can use a regular mouth mason jar in place of of the glass blender? I’m drinking a lot more smoothies lately because of it.

I prepare smoothie ingredients in pint or 16 oz jelly jars and keep them in the fridge. When I’m ready for one, I pop on the blender blade and give it a few whirls. Put on a Ball sip and straw lid, and you are ready to go on the road with your smoothie!

Blender trick with mason jarsThis would be perfect for salad dressings, guacamole, and making baby food too. The possibilities are endless. There is no need to lug out the giant glass jug that comes with the blender.

Move over Magic Bullet!

Blender using mason jarBlender using mason jar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Perpetual broth in the crockpot

perpetual bone broth

Why am I only finding out about perpetual broth now? My parents had one going in a giant stock pot when they owned a restaurant. But I never really thought to do this at home. I’ve been doing it the sucker way! Bone broth is rich in minerals and is amazing for your health, gut, skin, and nails. It’s also amazing for fighting off colds. I’ve been making bone broth for weeks now since the whole family was sick in October.

For this batch, I cooked the ox tails on low until it browned and added some Vietnamese pho ingredients in it: ginger, onions, one daikon, coriander, star anise, cardamom. I didn’t really measure…just whatever I felt like it. Plus a splash of apple cider vinegar to bring out the minerals in the bones.

The kids and I went to the store the next day and got some rice noodles,  beef, bean sprouts, cilantro and had a delicious pho noodle soup that night. I didn’t plan on blogging about this so I did not take a photo of that delicious looking meal!

I added more water in and added some more vegetable scraps we had. I had kale stalks, broccoli ends, cilantro ends. Some say the kale and broccoli makes the broth bitter but I didn’t notice anything. I’ve also some chicken bones in it during the week.

Perpetual beef broth

And the delicious noodle soups kept on coming!

Pho style beef noodle soup with rice noodles, thinly sliced beef, and baby kale greens.

Pho style beef noodle soup with rice noodles, thinly sliced beef, and baby kale greens.

Pho broth with brown rice noodles, sliced beef, and baby kale greens.

Pho broth with brown rice noodles, sliced beef, and baby kale greens.

Mama brand brown rice noodles
This is the brand of noodles I used. The ingredients were only brown rice and water. For some odd reason, they didn’t have the ingredients in English but they did have it in Chinese and French… which I can read a bit of in both. If you can’t find this brand at your local Asian store, here is one you can get online.

I also made congee and using the broth instead of water in making rice and quinoa. It’s been over a week and it is still making some flavorful broth because of the extra bones I’ve been throwing in. I will wash the crockpot and give it a rest for a day or two while I use it to make yogurt.

It can’t get easier than this to help boost the family’s immune system!

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