Archive for Vegetables

Beet Kvass

This stuff will knock your socks off and clean your liver at the same time.

  Ladies! It’s that time of year again,<<<<SPRING CLEANING! >>>>   I know you’re probably  busy scouring bathtubs, scrubbing walls, washing light fixtures, disinfecting floors, de-junking closets, sterilizing garbage cans, delousing mattresses, sanitizing kitchens, and  detoxing toilets,  BUT, have you ever considered your liver?  When was the last time you scoured, scrubbed, washed, disinfected, de-junked, sterilized, deloused, sanitized, or detoxed your liver?   Well now’s your chance, with lovely BEET KVASS, a lacto-fermented beverage that’s so delicious it will knock your socks off and spring clean your liver at the same time!

The Russians have been drinking beet kvass for over a thousand years, czars and pesants alike,  and never bothered to mention it,  at least not that I know of.  However,  thanks to  Sally Fallon, who  picked up on it and put it in her book, Nourishing Traditions, we  can now have the same clean livers the Russians have enjoyed for centuriesthanks Sally.

This ruby-red liquid is known to have many medicinal qualities, being  considered a tonic with tons of health benefits from nutrients, enzymes and beneficial organisms in it:  

  • Detoxifies liver
  • Alkalizes blood
  • Treats kidney stones
  • Helps fight chronic fatigue
  • Used  in cancer therapies in Europe
  • Used in chemical sensitivity treatments
  • Aids  in digestion and digestive problems
  • Promotes regularity
  • Helps allergies
  •  Protects against infectious diseases
  • Plus, it’s a veritable thirst quencher (Try it, you’ll see)

So now that you’re all fired up about making it, let’s get down to business.  Here’s what you do:

In a 2- quart mason jar place the following : 

  • 3 medium organic beets,  peeled and coarsely-chopped
  • 1 tablespoon natural, unrefined sea salt (not iodized or refined table salt)
  • ¼ cup liquid whey from yogurt (not necessary, but I use it because I have LOTS of whey) 

Now, fill up the bottle to the neck with spring water and apply a lid.  Don’t tighten it too much because the fermentation gases need some place to go, and you’d probably prefer them going out the top of the jar, where there is a nice exit hole already, instead of making an auxiliary hole out the side of the jar. (I haven’t experienced that yet, but would just as soon not!)

Leave the jar on your countertop at room temperature for 3-4 days.  You’ll see some bubbles  forming around the top of the liquid.  This is a good sign that all is going well according to federal lacto-fermentation regulations.  (Just kidding. There’s no such thing,  however, if Washington gets wind of this, they just might try to slap on some kind of rules.)

   Some instructions I’ve read say not to open the jar for at least a week,  so no free-loaders (bacteria and mold spores you don’t need or want) can hop aboard and foul up your lovely beet tonic.  I didn’t follow this rule myself, but I haven’t noticed anything foul tasting or slimy, so at least be aware of this  and decide what you want to do.  Somehow I just can’t keep myself from popping the top each morning to sip the rosy liquid inside— to see how it tastes. 

After the fermentation period on your countertop for the 3-4 days, place the jar in the refrigerator for at least one week, but three or four are better.  The longer it sits in a cool place, the better it tastes.  It becomes thick and rich in flavor and the salty taste disappears.  However, you can drink it anytime after the first week.

NOTES:  A word of caution:  Don’t shred your beets!  If you do, when you open up your jar, you just may see  little islands of mold floating around in your kvass.  Not a good thing.  Always make sure jars are sterile.  By that I mean sterile from the dish washer or from boiling water. 

 If you don’t have a 2-quart jar, use 2 1-quart jars and divide all the ingredients between the two.  This works just as well, and some people prefer it, saying it tastes better.  I’ve used both sizes and don’t notice any difference.   At first the taste seems salty, but goes away with age.  Sometimes it tastes fizzy and tangy, but always beety.  As it ages it becomes sweeter actually. 

After you drink most of the kvass, but have about 1/4 cup left in the bottom, fill up the jar with more spring water, another tablespoon of unrefined sea salt and 1/4 cup whey if you have it.  Let it sit out on your countertop another 3-4 days, and then in the refrigerator for a week or more, and you will  be blessed with  another quart of  delicious beet kvass for FREE!  However, once this is gone, toss those red babies and go dig some fresh ones for your next batch.

Good luck and happy kvassing.   Be sure to ask any questions I may not have covered.  Let us know if you try this and what you think.  Everyone to whom  I’ve given this beverage   adores it, with the exception of one person— my hubby, but hey, what does he know? 🙂

This post is part of
Wardeh’s Tuesday Twister

And Sustainable Eats
  “http://www.sustainableeats.com/2010/04/01/lacto-fermentation-blog-carnival-and-my-food-preservation-strategy/

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Roasted Onions

Nothing smells better than onions roasting in the oven on a cold Thanksgiving day–unless it’s the TURKEY!  But anyway, for a side dish, roasted onions fit the bill.  And these are so easy to make.  5 minutes in prep time and 2 hours  in roasting time.

Ingredients:

Large yellow onions (one onion makes 2 servings)

Olive oil

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

Parsley

Instructions:

Trim off each end of the onion and peel away the first  layer of skin.   Slice onions  in half width-wise.  Cut a large X through the center of each half.  This allows the onions to cook quicker and keeps the oil and seasonings in place.  Arrange on a baking sheet.  I used a Pampered Chef  stoneware pan.  If you have one, use it because the flavor is so much better.  Spread each onion with a generous amount of  olive oil, at least a teaspoon per onion, and sprinkle with lots of sea salt and some pepper.  Bake with your turkey in a 350 degree oven for 1-1/2 to 2 hours until tender.   After you take it out of the oven, sprinkle with some parsley or dill to add a nice little  “visual touch.”

This post is part of  Wardeh’s Gallery of Thanksgiving Sides.  Don’t forget to check out all the other “Sides” at:

 http://gnowfglins.com/2009/11/19/gallery-of-thanksgiving-sides/

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