Fermenting Green Beans and Carrots

When fermenting vegetables, it’s essential to use vegetables from a direct source. Some organic produce in the super markets are grown with some chemicals, or are sprayed with chemicals after they’re grown so that they last longer on the shelf. They might be grown better then conventional, but they’re not vegetables I would ferment with.

Here’s a video I found on fermenting green beans, which are coming into season. Tutti Frutti Farms just started getting their crop in, and we had them for our family boxes last week.

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What was helpful about this video, and the main point I’m sharing it, is something really simple. She blanches the green beans before she ferments it. If I had realized I could do that before, I would’ve tried that when I had an abundance of cauliflower. It’s funny how that didn’t pop in my mind since, I blanch medicinal mushrooms before I add them to the ferment. My squash ferments are excellent without blanching, I definitely wouldn’t blanch summer squash, or zucchini. Cauliflower and green beans, though, makes sense, and I’ll give it a try with cauliflower next time I have plenty.

I personally don’t use starter culture. I don’t want to use something powdered that comes in a packet online. I don’t use whey, because when I sell my ferments I want to be able to have it available for everyone, and whey comes from dairy. You can also use juice from another ferment to kickstart your ferment. I usually don’t even do that. I use himalayan salt. 

If you want to pick up a ferment with quality ingredients, approved by me, The “Soup Sorceress”, stop by Mimosa Cafe or the Country Natural Food Store in Topanga. I had a gift of an over load of squash, so I made this for sale at a very low price, and it won’t last long. The price will be higher next time. So give this tastiness a try! Fermented yellow sunburst squash. You can use it to top off your soups, as seen on my instagram, @soupsorceresskali

I absolutely love pickles, but I love this even more. It’s sour, tasty, and I crave the juice. I also love to add in a few raw almonds in the juice, and snack on those. Wow!

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Is the equivalent of what we would call someone a “sweet tooth”, a “sour and savory tooth”? Or maybe a “veggie tooth”?

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The Topanga Chili Cook Off 2015

I don’t have a recipe to share for my chili. I can only list the ingredients I used and a few methods. What I really want, is to share what I used, and thank the local farms and my friends. From finding fresh curry leaves at the farmers market, to my Husband asking me to put fresh strawberries in chili one night, everything came together from the inspiration that surrounds me. I got second place in the traditional category, even though it was quite untraditional.

Here are the ingredients I used and what I did.

Santa Rita Farm Heirloom Tomatoes~ In the summer when the tomato season was at it’s peak and the flavor was best, I vacuum sealed and froze bags of them.

Grass fed ground beef and grass fed bison stewing meat. The beef is from Novy’s, and the bison is from the guy at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. I’ll post the name of the farm once I go back and ask.

Fresh Curry Leaves~Coleman Family Farm ~ I infused olive oil with the leaves and crushed garlic. I let the garlic burn. Poured the oil in a bottle, straining the garlic and curry leaves out. I used the infused oil to marinate the bison over night.

Padron peppers and jalapenos~ Santa Rita Farm~ I made a chili paste after roasting padron and jalapeno peppers. Roxanne even gave me one lucky red padron.

Habanero Hot Sauce~Sage Mountain Farm~ I made my own habanero sauce with habaneros, poblano peppers, garlic, carrots, vinegar and salt.

Chantrelle Mushrooms~ Santa Monica Farmers Market

Heirloom Sweet Potatoes~Milliken Farms~Everyone loves their heirloom sweet potatoes. They are special and I had to use them.

Jerusalem Artichoke~Coleman Family Farm~I was aiming for the artichoke flavor and unique texture, but I cut these too small and it seemed like it was just all sweet potatoes.

Rind of Limes- Etheridge Farm~I added a lot of this to the chili, but I couldn’t taste it in the end.

Sweet Onions and Heirloom Garlic~Milliken Farms~Best Ever.

I topped the chili with fresh strawberries from Tamai Family Farm.

I topped that off with habanero lime whip cream I made. (no sugar in the cream)

Why whip cream? For one, I love organic pastures raw cream. I thought about sour cream, but I didn’t want something store bought. I usually put some homemade mayo on top when I make chili. Then I thought, “some people are scared of raw eggs.” So whip cream came to mind. “Can I make a savory whip cream?! That could be totally weird.” So I tried it. With a lot of Lime juice, and a few spoon fulls of homemade habanero hot sauce, it tasted awesome. And since I was already planning to add fresh strawberries, it just made since to top whip cream on it.

Tamarind chutney~The one non local ingredient, but this one idea was bugging me. It really seemed like I needed some tangy tamarind in the chili. I really liked it. I would’ve just use tamarind paste, but chutney was all I could find.

I wish I had the chance to have a bowl, every bit of it was devoured by others.

Here’s a funny story on this years cook off, and a real chili recipe, from SkinnyGirlsandMayo.

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~Brown the meat first.

~Use the beer before adding in stock and stuff. Pour it in with the browned meat, onions, and garlic, and cook it until the beer is almost all evaporated. Then pour in stock.

~Let the stewing meat cook about an hour before adding the ground meat and vegetables.

~Add tomatoes in later. I put them in on the last hour, without the skins and juices.

~Kudzu powder or some kind of sauce thickener. With kudzu, you have to let it dissolve in a little water first and then add it in, or it will clump.