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Fermentfully Yours

Today I spent a lot of time outdoors with the boys planting seeds in our “salad bowl” garden, but I still had time to get a few kitchen science projects going. First up, two batches of bread dough.

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I use the wet storage bucket method, a.k.a. “Healthy Bread In Five Minutes a Day”. Today I mixed up a sweet dough, dates and oatmeal, and a savory dough, whole grain rye. Both buckets took me less than 10 minutes to prep, and now I’ll have homemade bread fresh every day for the next two weeks. If this method sounds intriguing to you, I HIGHLY recommend the book.

Then I grated up some carrots and ginger to try out my new macgyvered mason jars for fermentation. Check it out, we rigged airlocks into the lids!

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I’ve been experimenting with home-fermented foods lately. I made a nice, but too salty sauerkraut using a crock and a bag of salt water. Then I tried some beet and apples in a crock with a heavy jar as a weight. Those turned out edible, after, of course, I worked up the courage to try them. So now I’m trying out the carrots in my new mason jars. If this works, it will be a lot easier than the crock. For those of you new to ferments (like me), the general idea is that fermented fruits and veg contain beneficial bacteria, just like yogurt. Our modern American diet is too “clean” and nutritionally empty; these little microbial good guys help your body run the way it was meant to.

Along the same vein, I also did kefir upkeep. Kefir is a milk culture, very similar to yogurt.

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I have thriving kefir grains, but unfortunately, I’m having a tough time acquiring a taste for home brewed kefir. I’ve tried pureed strawberries and honey, blueberry jam, and plain sugar (which kind of defeats the point, right?). Anyone have any serving suggestions? I’m a big proponent of eating things because they taste good, not just because they’re good for me.

So, my friends, tell me, which of these projects do you want to hear more about? My nerdly pursuits are wide-ranging; there’s a lot of info to cover here!

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