Fermented garlic is super simple. Great to use in so many recipes you probably already make, or as a side dish on its own.Fermented garlic can be used in any recipe that calls for raw garlic. It has a softer taste and is milder than raw garlic. Some describe the flavour as tangy and refreshing. I always thinks it adds more vibrancy to our foods.
Sometimes whilst fermenting, your garlic may appear green, blue or even red. This is completely natural and occurs when the acidic environments and the sulphur or amino acids in the garlic react together. It is safe to eat. As with all fermented foods, the fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients, rendering fermented garlic even more nutritious and beneficial than the original starting point. So that means more immune boosting, digestive healing, bacteria balancing, liver supporting and Vampire repelling for us all!
Avoid using fermented garlic in foods you need to fry, boil or heat as it may destroy the bacterial balance and other nutrients. Add to soups, vegetables and salad dressings before serving.
When it comes to using your garlic the only limitations are what you have available!
You can add it to anything, plus you can also play with the flavour of the garlic itself. Try with adding spices or herbs to your ferment like turmeric, cumin seeds, bay leaves, coriander seeds, mustard seeds etc.
I like to add it to my salad dressings, hummus, mayonnaise, ketchup, dips, ghee to toss steamed vegetables in, soups before serving, salsa. I also add it to my raw pet food and eat them whole when I need an immune boost. You can also dehydrate it to make garlic salt.
- 4-5 Garlic Bulbs (peeled and separated)
- Approx. 2 tbsp Sea Salt (1-2%)
- Weighing Scales
- Mason Jar (or glass fido jar)
- 1. Weigh the peeled garlic to work out the salt weight (1-2%)
- 2. Weigh and add the salt to the garlic in the jar.
- 3. Fill the jar with water to cover the garlic cloves
- 4. Leave for 1-2 weeks on the counter and taste, depending on the temperature and humidity levels of your fermenting spot- leave for up to 28 days.
- Ferment to taste so continue to taste and then refrigerate when you like it!
Here is a handy printable pdf of the recipe for you: Fermented Garlic PDF
Kimchi is a traditional Korean ferment. There are hundreds of variations using cabbage, radish, scallion or cucumber as the main ingredient. The paste can contain a variety of ingredients. There may be more than 187 different varieties, all from different regions of Korea. Traditional ingredients will may use garlic, ginger, red pepper, some also add sugar, vinegar, fish sauce or paste to add to their recipe. Families will pass on their different seasonal varieties and they are traditionally buried in the ground to ferment.
Traditionally made by brining the vegetables and then mixing in a paste before packing it into a fermentation vessel to become full of probiotic bacteria and flavour.
Fermented cabbage has a long history of providing benefits for many different health conditions (see my sauerkraut here and a flavoured version here). The fermentation process produces the living probiotic microorganisms that are beneficial to the digestive and immune system, plus making nutrients in the foods being fermented come to life and are more accessible.
The fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering Kimchi even more nutritious than the original starting points.
Salt is one of the most amazing natural products. Hugely beneficial to the body when consumed in the right way. I am often asked which salt to use- these are my salts of choice:
Sea salt – originates from drying the sea water in the sun, salt lakes or other methods. This is what I prefer and generally prefer those from Wales, France or Scotland. Sea salt nutrients can vary and may contain up to 80 or more minerals than table salt (which is refined down to one or two) it will hugely depend on where the sea salt was obtained. In addition to sodium and chlorine, you are likely to find potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur. Trace minerals in sea salt can include iron, iodine, manganese, zinc, bromine, boron, copper.
Pink Himalayan salt – this salt is traditionally harvested in the Pakistan side of the Himalayan mountain range and the pink colour may be due to the salt containing iron oxide. Harvested from caves of ocean salt settled into geological pockets. It is an unrefined, unprocessed raw mineral, mainly mined by hand. The salt can be up to 250 million years old, which is pretty cool! Its nutrient content is similar to sea salt (since they both originated from the sea).
I use these two salts in fermenting, in cooking, in the bath, as a scrub, as salt lamps and also on the carpets to help deep clean them.
- 1 head of Chinese cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 daikon radish thinly sliced
- 2 carrots thinly sliced
- 1.5% weight sea salt/ pink Himalayan salt
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1 ½ inches fresh ginger
- 1 ½ tbsp. Korean red pepper
- 1tsp coconut sugar (optional)
- 1tsp Fish sauce or water
- 1tsp fish paste (you can also use seaweed)
- Weigh cabbage, radish and carrot to work out how much salt is needed.
- Try and retain one of the out side leaves for later. Add the thinly sliced cabbage to a non reactive bowl (plastic or ceramic)..
- Weigh and add the salt to the vegetable in water. Mix into the cabbage with your hands to massage and work in the salt. Leave for 1-8 hours.
- Make the paste by adding the remaining ingredients to a mini chopper and pulsing until a paste.
- Drain the vegetables from the brine, taste to determine saltiness. (note the saltiness will mellow). Rinse if necessary.
- Wearing gloves, mix in the paste, massaging the vegetables.
- Add to your fido jar pushing the vegetables down with a wooden spoon, potato masher or fingers. You will notice the brine being created and rising up to the top of the cabbage.
- When all the vegetables are in the jar then you place the retained cabbage leaf on the top- this will ensure all the stray bits remain under the brine. You may weigh down the cabbage with either ceramic baking beads, marbles, rocks or a shot glass. This step is not compulsory but does help the first few days of fermenting as it makes it easy to continue to push the kraut down to keep the cabbage in the brine.
- Leave for 1-2 weeks on the counter and taste, depending on the temperature and humidity levels of your fermenting spot- leave for up to 28 days. Ferment to taste so continue to taste and then refrigerate when you like it!
- It is optional to use 1tsp fish paste, you can also use seaweed in the paste.
Here is my video on how to make the paste to add to your vegetables:
When it comes to flavoring your Kimchi the only limitations are what you have available!
You can add anything. Play with other root vegetables, using vinegar, fish sauce and other spices in your paste (like turmeric, cumin or coriander).
Kimchi is added to most foods, soups, noodles, stews, pancakes and so on. It is really nice mixed in to sauces like BBQ, mayo and ketchup. Kimchi is also delicious with cheese and also eggs…
Grain Free Pizza Base
I have played with several grain free pizza bases over the years. We have been using this recipe for a year now and I am ready to share it with you all.
In my experience grain free bases are a faff to make and never taste like pizza most of the time! Traditional pizza base is very simple; flour (gluten and grain rich!), olive oil, yeast, water, sugar and salt. To recreate this without gluten and adding nutrients (which I always have to do!) is a tough thing.
I have really enjoyed my cauliflower crust however it was not nice cold and that is a must for lunchboxes! So I have been searching and playing for the right combination. I tried simply replacing the flour with a gluten free mix, but my need for nutrients was not being met! Then I decided that I actually wanted it grain free for the kids and my digestive needs. Thats when I turned to tapioca flour (see here for a great one to buy). Learning to use tapioca flour is an experience!!
The best starting point I found was in this book, Paleo Eats by Kelley Bejelly; (its a really great book)
I then went about filling it with nutrition, namely making sure it contained the amount of protein in it necessary to nourish and fill up my kids. Here is the result;
- 1 cup of water
- 2/3 cup of olive oil (I have also used coconut oil)
- 1tsp of dried herbs (I like an italian mix- you can use what you like or sun-dried tomato flakes)
- 2 tsp garlic or dried onion powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 cups of tapioca flour
- 1tbsp collagen hydrolysate (gelatin)
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 3tbsp coconut flour
- 2 tbsp almond flour (optional)
- dash of kefir (water or milk) (optional, you can also add a dash of apple cider vinegar)
- Add the water, oil, herbs and garlic powder to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Add the tapioca flour and it will instantly become a sticky mess (I mean dough)
- Ensure it is all mixed in and allow to cool for 10-15 mins
- Heat your oven to 200 centigrade.
- Add in remaining ingredients until it is a dough that can be kneaded. You may need to adjust the dry ingredients. Coconut flour expands so be careful if you add more. The gelatin helps to make it more doughy.
- I roll the dough out in between two pieces of baking paper. It is then easier to get really thin and then move to a baking sheet or pizza stone.
- Roll your dough out to a couple of mm. It is a nice thin and crispy pizza, any thicker and it is a bit too chewy.
- I have frozen the bases at this point
- Put pizza in the oven to 20-30 mins to pre cook (longer if you have cooked from frozen)
- Add toppings. I add passata, and whatever I fancy (the kids eat ham, pineapple and olives!) we like bacon, artichokes, olives and peppers!
- Add cheese if you like and put back in the oven for another 10-15 mins.
- The gelatin, almond flour and eggs add a good nutrient content to the pizza base so it is not so starch heavy. The oil adds a good fat content. We always serve with a nice crisp and colourful salad and it is very filling.
Nurture Your Life is the second in my series of books on natural health (the first was Culture Your Life published 2014). Children’s nutrition is a big passion of mine. As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I see many children with chronic conditions like persistent illness, skin conditions, energy and growth issues and a staggering increase in children with allergies and intolerances. With two children of my own, I feel compelled to help these kids find their strength and return them to health to help prevent more serious conditions in their future.
Weaning a child onto food is a very powerful first step in a child’s relationship with food. A relationship which is of fundamental importance to health. Think of your own love/hate relationship with food. There are so many non-foods in our diets in the west, our supermarkets are sometimes almost 80% stocked with chemical, processed and unhealthy foods. Conventional avenues still persist that rice cereal (which may be hugely inflammatory to an immature digestive system) is the food we should be starting our kids on. This book does not recommend that route.
I hope you enjoy reading it and ask questions, keep reading, become informed as to how the body works. Change your own relationship to food if need be. Lets start our kids off the right way, with foods to nurture their life from the beginning.
My new weaning book
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