Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Last Class on Fermenting

My last class, this fall, on fermenting vegetables and making your own kefir and maybe a little on sourdough bread, will be next Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6:30 at the Real Foods Market in Orem at 400 West just north of 800 North.  This company is so awesome selling raw milk and range fed meats and so many other good-for-the-body things.  

Raw milk is seen by the "authorities" as a dangerous anomaly which needs to be constantly watched, tested and monitored.  "They" would love to shut down this business on any excuse they can find.  Trouble is, they can't find anything.  This company knows they operate on the "edge" and so their operation, dairy and facilities are cleaner than expected.  The people on the ranch/dairy in Redmond know they have to exceed the standards to stay in business. 
 Very courageous people.   

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fermented Garlic to the Rescue!

Colds? Flu? Sinus infection again?  I would get this every September while teaching school, ugh!

Everyone knows that garlic is a pathogen killer even viruses, but getting the fresh garlic in you is the problem.  OK, supplements can bypass the unpleasantness of fresh garlic but how effective are those supplements?  How expensive?

Here is the best way I think....fermented garlic.  They are very edible.  The fermenting process tames the "bite" and sting of eating fresh garlic.  I don't know how it does this, but eating fermented garlic is easier.  When I feel that "wiggle" in my sinuses or throat and especially that slight headache when I bend over, I know what's coming and I get out a new bottle of homemade fermented garlic.  Usually, if I eat 5-6 that first day and second day, the early symptoms are gone!   

Garlic can be labor intensive getting the papers off all cloves but there are ways around it.  First, look in local grocery store for a whole package of peeled garlic.  I have found that commercially packaged fresh garlic, ferment just fine.  If not there, buy some bulbs and peel your own.  A trick I learned was to separate a bulb of garlic into cloves and place all of them in stainless steel bowl.  Hold another equal size stainless bowl  over it and gripping the rims of both bowls firmly together, shake hard.  Stop, pick out the peeled ones.....vigorously shake again and stop and pick out the clean ones.  Dump the papers out and shake again until they are all peeled.  

In a clean wide-mouth clean jar, pack the clean, peeled garlic cloves.  You can add little pearl onions and maybe some fresh dill or other whole seasonings.   
You must add 1 TBS. Real Salt (high mineral sea salt) dissolved in about 2 cups of chlorine-free water.  When I have all the garlic stuffed into the jar, I pour water in and pour out to see how much water is needed, then I dissolve the salt in this amount of water. 

I attach my air-lock lid and set at room temperature for a week for ferment.  If I don't see obvious bubbles of fermenting within two days  I will add 1 TBS.  whey to increase the lactobacillus in the jar for fermenting. In my picture above, the brine looks brown, it really isn't brown like that...(a trick of my amateur photography I guess) it's more milky than brown. 

As for color, if your garlic turns blue or purple, it is still Ok.  I had a batch last winter do this and I still ate them.  A chemical in garlic is reacting to the iodine or some other trace mineral in the salt causing the blue color.    

At the end of a week, this time year I do not refrigerate,  I will either start eating them or just label and set downstairs in storage.