Awesome Summer Ferments!

It’s that awesome time of year when the garden is going crazy with almost every vegetable (well, assuming that you weeded well in June – I’ve had plenty of barren July’s due to poor weeding habits). It gets to a point where it can get almost overwhelming – there’s no way you can eat fresh everything that’s ripe right now, and some stuff just doesn’t lend itself well to freezing – especially carrots and beets, both of which lose so much of their charm in the blanching process. Perfect time for a few magnificent, tasty summer ferments!

I had the pleasure this past weekend of a day to myself, so I made a couple awesome ferments, which I wanted to share with you. Enjoy, and please feel free to play around with the recipes here – fermentation is all about experimentation!

 

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Fermented Dilly Green Beans

Fresh green beans (at least a pound)

2 tbsp fresh dill (or 1 tsp dry)

2 tbsp fresh basil (or 1 tsp dry)

2 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dry)

1 med clove garlic, diced

1 tbsp sea salt (I prefer Celtic brand)

2-3 ounces Zukay Veggie Medley, or fresh raw sauerkraut juice, or a yogurt culture like Yo’Gourmet if you don’t require vegan cultures

Well water, or some other non-chlorinated water

Quart Ball jar

Take the tops off of the green beans, break them into 1-1 ½ “ pieces, and toss into the Ball Jar. Fill the Ball Jar to about 1 inch below the top. Add the salt, dill, basil, oregano, and diced garlic into the jar. Add the Zukay Veggie Medley (or other culture), and then add the well water until the beans are covered. Cap off, shake well, and let sit in an area at room temperature, preferably out of the sun. By room temperature, I suggest no less than 65, and no more than 105 (so be careful of fermenting in attics, etc). A higher temperature will make for a faster fermentation, but I think a fermentation at 70-80F gives a better flavor. In any case, I like my green beans to ferment for AT LEAST 3 weeks, if not 6 – but I like the fermentation to soften them up a bit and get a good deep flavor going. They should be perfectly preserved after 3-5 days, though they’ll taste too much like raw beans for my taste. Refrigerate when fermentation is done.

 

Fermented Beet Sticks

2 medium fresh beets, red or golden (but not both! The red beets will turn the golden ones red)

2 tbsp fresh dill (or 1 tsp dry) – optional (but tasty)

1 tbsp sea salt (I prefer Celtic brand)

2-3 ounces Zukay Veggie Medley, or fresh raw sauerkraut juice, or a yogurt culture like Yo’Gourmet if you don’t require vegan cultures

Well water, or some other non-chlorinated water

Quart Ball jar

Wash the beets, but don’t skin them. Slice them about 1/8” thick, and julienne the medallions. Fill up the Ball Jar to about 1 inch below the top. Add the salt and dill (if you’re a dill addict) into the jar. Add the Zukay Veggie Medley (or other culture), and then add the well water until the beans are covered. Cap off, shake well, and let sit in an area at room temperature, preferably out of the sun. Again, by room temperature, I suggest no less than 65, and no more than 105 (so be careful of fermenting in attics, etc) – but beets are funny in fermentation. I really do suggest trying to keep them at 70-80, because beets can turn off, and I’m not sure why. In any case, I like my beets to ferment for AT LEAST 1 weeks, maybe up to 3. Beets reach their perfect taste earlier than other ferments do. Make sure you save the liquid – even though I sell Beet Kvass, may as well drink your own! Refrigerate when fermentation is done.

This one is great for kids and parties. Not everyone loves beets – which is a shame, but for those that do, this will be PERFECT – with or without dill!

 

Fermented Garlic Carrot Sticks

Approximately 1 pound fresh carrots

2 med clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 tbsp sea salt (I prefer Celtic brand)

2-3 ounces Zukay Veggie Medley, or fresh raw sauerkraut juice, or a yogurt culture like Yo’Gourmet if you don’t require vegan cultures

Well water, or some other non-chlorinated water

Quart Ball jar

Cut the carrots into 2-3 inch long chunks, and julienne from there (or, as I prefer, slice the carrots at a 45 degree angle, about 1/8” thick), and toss into the Ball Jar. Fill the Ball Jar to about 1 inch below the top. Add the salt, and diced garlic into the jar. Add the Zukay Veggie Medley (or other culture), and then add the well water until the beans are covered. Cap off, shake well, and let sit in an area at room temperature, preferably out of the sun. By room temperature, I suggest no less than 65, and no more than 105 (so be careful of fermenting in attics, etc). I like this ferment  to ferment for AT LEAST 6 weeks, as I really don’t like the “raw carrot” flavor. If you like the flavor of raw carrots, ferment for less – they should be perfectly preserved in 3-5 days.

Other awesome tips for this ferment to experiment with:

  1. Thinly slice 1-2 raw jalapenos to make it spicy
  2. Onion also works well along side the carrots. Long thin onion strips do the best in my opinion.
  3. Grate some raw ginger (1-2 oz) to give it a nice zing – though I personally am not a fan of ginger and garlic together
  4. Again, dill is always welcome in a ferment. Dill is welcome in almost anything, in my estimation.

Have fun with these, and I’ll have another post soon about more great summer and early fall ferments!