Monday, June 22, 2009

Self Preservation

Lots of crops are producing abundantly now so we are busy eating a lot, selling some and preserving the rest for later. We love canned green beans so we can lots of them for the winter. We like preserves on our biscuits and cornbread so we are making blackberry preserves. We like fermented vegetables too so we are making kraut from purple cabbage and fermenting big jars of mixed vegetables. The ingredients will change with the seasons. Right now they are filled with carrots, white turnips, zucchini, yellow squash and broccoli. We have 2- 1 gallon jars and 2- 1/2 gallon jars going now. Robin gets them for the kitchen at the Monastery where she works. They came with pickles in them, ironically enough. Each jar is flavored with different herbs and seasonings. Rosemary in one, garlic and basil in another, thyme in a third and jalapeno peppers and spicy oregano in the last one.
The great thing about fermenting is that they are live cultures that have many health benefits. They aid digestion increasing nutrient absorption. Studies have shown that the fermentation of vegetables in the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts,, collards, bok choy...) converts glucosinolates in them into a powerful group of cancer fighting compounds called isothiocyanates. The same lacto-bacillus that ferment the vegetables live inside our digestive systems.
Self-preservation ;-)


Hayden said...

Want to offer us your recipe? are you lacto-fermenting?

I've been wanting to do this, but am not certain about percentages of vinegar, salt etc. - not looking to can, just preserve lightly and keep in refrig.

Will you share details of your experience?

Erica said...

We have dilly beans fermenting on our counter and hope they turn out well. Your jars look beautiful!! Just water and salt to ferment them or do you add whey?