Sunday, January 8, 2012

Apple Cider Vinegar; Homemade

Wow! was this easy and fun! I have almost a half gallon of apple cider vinegar that I started fermenting last summer. You HAVE to start with fresh pressed apple cider. The Lactobacillus and other wild yeasts and bacteria are on and in the fresh orchard apples. The minute you boil or pasteurize juice, you kill the friendly bacteria. Now, I'm not saying that it is impossible to make your own apple cider vinegar from pasteurized apple juice....I guess you could if you introduce the right culture mix into that juice and keep it warm and covered for several months...maybe it could work. Maybe Kombucha culture?

The first weekend of November 2010, a group of neighbors in my ward, gathered at a property that had an apple press, a new one. Each of us brought several bushels of apples that we bought or collected and picked wherever we could. We brought gallon jugs and many containers. We were taught the procedure and then we started. The next 4 hours we worked very hard, rotating the work stations until all 160 bushels were juiced. I brought home 8 gallons of juice and immediately stored 5 in my freezer and cooked and bottled the other 3 gallons. Summer of 2011 I cleaned out my freezer and wanted to use the space that the juice was taking up. I decided to try fermenting the rest of the apple juice. I let all 5 gallons defrost which didn't take long being in July. I then divided up the juice between some 1/2 gallon jars and quart jars. I did an online search how to do this and came up with some processes and time lines.

The directions were to simply cover the jars with towels or paper filters so air could circulate and leave the jars in a dark, warm place free from overt interference and direct sunlight for 6 months. I covered the jars and put them in my back room our of the way. A few days later, I smelled mold, the bad smell of mold really strong. I checked the jars and sure enough 3 of them had developed white mold on the top. I scooped that mold off and read directions again to see what to do when bad mold developed. I couldn't find anything about it.

I decided to add kombucha starter to the cider. I figured that the good bacteria would quickly take over and then start to make a "scooby" as a covering to keep the "bad guys" out. That is what happens in Kombucha (see much older blog) so I thought it might work in cider. I was did work. Each jar developed a "scooby or mushroom cap" and over the months it grew thicker and thicker as liquid shrank. They never did develop mold again. The back room instead of smelling of mold, started to smell of vinegar...a much better smell.

Right after Christmas, I harvested the the remaining juice out of all the jars. The gelatinous "scoobys" were very thick and as I couldn't think of anything useful for
those, I threw them away. I filtered the vinegar that was left; and it sure did taste like vinegar, and then I put all the vinegar into a 1/2 gallon jar and stuck it in the back of my fridge. I have been using some of it, but I will tighten it's cap and put it downstairs with other storage items. Very satisfying!

Kefir Class; the Art of Culturing Milk.

I am giving another Kefir class at Real Foods Market in Orem, Saturday, Jan. 14 at 1 pm. Real Foods Market is where I buy raw milk, free range eggs, free range, grass beef, Real Salt and Redmond Clay and a whole bunch of other wonderful, healthy products and produce. It can be found on 800 N. and about 450 West on the north side of 800 N. in Orem. It's a great place to get "Real Food". The cost of the class is $10 but I give out so many tastes of everything and then I sell kefir starters for another $10. I will have starters for other fermented products as well. If you are close, and interested in starting some kind of culturing for your health, this class will be very beneficial for you. Joanne Seal "Mrs. Seal's Kitchen Cultures".

Monday, January 2, 2012


New year and new projects; one of them is sprouting. Wow! What have I been missing? A bunch I think. My favorites? fenugreek, sunflower, spelt and lentils. In the picture are lentil and spelt sprouts. I sprouted hulled sunflower seeds only once and didn't like the result so I purchase those now at my local health food store, when I can get them. They have a great flavor and are great in salads but the seeds get slimmy and the sprouts are all crooked and messy. The ones I buy in health food store are straight stemmed and about 3 to 5 inches tall and two cute green leaves. Mine didn't look like that at all. There must be a trick to get them to grow tall towards light and then harvest them without the messy, slimy seeds. I haven't got the process down yet, but I'll work on it.

Fenugreek bulb or plant is on my food list for highly beneficial foods for blood type Os but I haven't eaten those. I sprout and eat the seeds and I love them! They are the easiest to sprout and taste so good to me. They produce a gel that is very good for my gut and they taste really good. Lentils on the other hand, are on my AVOID list for Os but I sprouted them anyway to experiment and ate them and they don't seem to give me trouble. But cooking lentils up in a soup used to give me much bowel disturbance and gas! not good. The sprouting process must neutralize the lectins (abundant and diverse proteins in food) that otherwise give me trouble.

I use wide mouth jars with sprouting lids to sprout. It's so simple. You just soak about an ounce or two of seeds for 2 days in pure water (I use high ph water I harvest twice a day with my "precious prills)(see older blog) then pour off the water and drink it(the soaking water from wheat is so sweet and good) then rotate bottle and let the seeds stick to side of bottle and stay warm in your kitchen with air circulating through the mesh or sprouting lid. Rinse and pour off water in the am and again in pm every day until they are tender to eat and you can see little white tails on them. Put a regular lid on them and store in fridge and eat til they are gone.

I use spelt sprouts in my morning kefir "green smoothie". The others I eat with breakfast eggs, salads and soups. Really a nutrition boost. I believe this is why all that wheat is in our food storage. NOT to grind and make into bread (although if that flour is soaked first,then fermented, it wouldn't be too bad once in a while for Os). Wheat and spelt and other grass type grain is to sprout and provide vitamins and enzymes and fresh "greens" that a high carbohydrate diet, like a food storage diet, couldn't otherwise provide. Hoorah! for sprouts!