More Experiments with Cultured Foods

>> Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This weekend I used the farmer's market bounty to try more combinations of cultured veggies.  So far all of the creations I've thrown together have been pretty tasty and seem to get better with time.  Here's what I came up with this week:

Contains broccoli, baby bok choy, carrot pulp and juice, ginger juice, spinach, and coconut water.

With this batch I threw in broccoli slaw mix, cilantro, mint, radishes, and pineapple vinegar.

Finally!  Cranberries have arrived in Korea.  I just put cranberries and salt in this one, hoping it will serve as a tonic for the mornings.  Maybe something to alternate with my beet kvass.
Not shown is the daikon radish, onion, ginger, and hot pepper mixture brewing on my countertop.


Cashew Butter Brownies

>> Monday, October 26, 2009

These brownies were an adaptation of Elana's Brownies ( and they are oh so good.  The cashew butter makes them rich and sinful while the almond extract adds a delicate touch to them.  Be careful how many you consume because one batch does contain a whole jar of cashew butter!


Cashew Butter Brownies
Yield: About 12 large browines

2 cups cashew butter (unsalted raw chasews soaked, dehydrated, processed until smooth) or 16 oz jar
2 eggs
1 cup raw honey
1 Tbls almond extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C). Grease or line a 9x13 glass baking dish with parchment paper.

Add ground cashew butter to large bowl and mix in eggs, honey, and almond extract gradually.

Once thoroughly mixed, blend in cocoa, salt, and baking soda and mix well. 

Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes.

The variations to this recipe are endless.  I've tried them with almonds, sunflower seeds, and will soon try a pecan/ macadamia nut mixture.  All my nuts and seeds were soaked and dehydrated before making the butter.  You can definately use store-bought nut butters as well.  Add ins include chocolate/ peanut butter/ toffee chips, coconut, candy, etc.  Also, if you would like a plain nut butter blondie without the cocoa, just omit cocoa and reduce honey to 1/2 - 3/4 cup and extract to 1 tsp.


Apple (and Pear) Butter

>> Sunday, October 25, 2009

Up until yesterday, my husband had never tried or even heard of apple butter.  Or any kind of fruit butter for that matter.  Fortunately, I had about 10 apples and 5 pears in the freezer that I needed to put to good use.  Originally I made two batches of applesauce, one with about 5 roasted apples and the other with 5 apples and 5 pears that were just cooked down.  I stored both batches in the freezer and this was a perfect opportunity to try a new recipe and make room for the 3 frozen geese we bought this weekend.  I mixed these two sauces and created a naturally sweet, satisfying apple-pear butter that was worth the slaving over the stove.

Choose any combination of apples and pears that you like.  I used local Korean apples and Bartlett pears.  Roast the fruit in the oven and process to a smooth sauce (I left some nice big chunks in there) or cook down, adding water if necessary.  I love lots of cinnamon so I added both ground and sticks to the sauce.  Put sauce back in a heavy bottom pot and simmer on low heat until the water has cooked out.  Mine took about 2 hours.  As the mixture gets more concentrated, the color will turn a deep brown and you'll need to stir more frequently to prevent burning.  That's it.  No sugar required and a whole spoonful was too sweet for my sugar-fiend of a husband.


Columbus Day Weekend Fermentation Fun

>> Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This weekend was a 3day for us G-men so what better way to spend it than slaving in the kitchen!  Lately I've been on a fermentation kick so I wanted to try a few new things (and that was good enough reason to skip out on work after lunch on Friday to go to the grocery store).  My previous attempts ranged from really tasty to really tangy to really nasty.  Most of my recipes were based on either Nourishing Traditions by Sallon Fallon or The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates.  I find that NT uses too much salt, while BED doesn't use enough.  I like a pinch of sea salt to give it a little kick. 

Previous Experiments

Cortido- This called for using a pineapple vinegar brine.  The hubby loves dehydrated pineapple so we carved one up and I used the skin to make the vinegar.  I only let the skin sit for about 2 days submerged in water so it never really developed the vinegar smell.  After straining off the skin, I added some red cabbage, carrots, onion, mint, and a pinch of sea salt.  I let this sit for about a week before putting it in the fridge.  My favorite so far.

Broccoli Slaw/Parsley- This one was ok.  It's not as pretty as the cortido, but it has a nice tangy, almost puckering taste to it.  I used the pineapple vinegar once again and added some broccoli slaw (with carrots and small shreds of red cabbage) and a bunch of parsley.  This sat out for about 4 days before moving to the fridge.  I didn't add salt to the mix to try out the flavor.

Apple Cider Vinegar- Since the pineapple vinegar seemed to work really well, I decided to try some apple cider vinegar from a few apple peels.  It developed the vinegar smell a whole lot faster than the pineapple.  I think I'll save this one for medicinal purposes.

Preserved Tangerines- I think I let this one sit out too long (2-3 weeks) and it was just nasty.  It smelled really good though.

This Weekend's Fun

At the grocery store I picked up some carrots, broccoli, onions, red bell pepper, daikon radish, asian pear, mangoes, pineapple, papaya, limes, cilantro, yogurt, milk, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, beets, tomatillos, and cucumbers.  Here are the combinations I came up with:

Broccoli, carrots, onions, red bell pepper, cucumbers, pineapple vinegar.

(Left) Carrots, daikon radish, ginger, 2 plums that were hanging out on my counter all week, asian pear.  (Right) Carrots, red bell pepper, onions.  (Not shown) Daikon radish, asian pear, onions, ginger.  (Also not shown) Beets, salt, and whey.

The hubby loves when I make fruit salsa with coconut rice.  When I saw a similar recipe from NT, I had to try it.  I mixed mangoes, papaya, and pineapple with red onion, garlic, cilantro, homemade whey, jalepeno, and lime juice.  (Not shown) I used the yogurt and milk to make SCD compliant yogurt that was fermented for 24 hours at 105 degs to burn off all the lactose.  I used the extra yogurt to make some whey for the salsas and beet kvass.

I thought that was it for my experiments, but we decided to check out this 24 hour Korean-type Costco on Sunday and found these beauties.

I made 3 different batches of salsa.  One with tomatillos and red tomatoes.  One with all the colors. And one with just plain red tomatoes (that happened to be one of the best tasting tomatoes I've ever had).  All were mixed with onions, cilantro, jalapeno, lime, garlic, and whey.

I tried the Beet Kvass this morning after sitting out for 4 days and it was still a little sweet for my taste.  I'll give it another couple of days before I move to the fridge.  I'll try the salsas tomorrow and will probably move all the rest after 7 days of sitting out.


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