When you are wanting to preserve your garden goodness, there are generally a few ways to accomplish that. You can freeze, dehydrate, can or preserve foods by fermenting.
Canning foods requires jars, a water bath or pressure canner, lids, bands and takes a lot of time. Even fruits and jams can take at least an hour start to finish per batch. The upside of this is that you can store your foods without refrigeration after properly sealed. The downside is the initial investment of equipment and the time spent canning.
Freezing foods takes less time than canning. By freezing, you are locking on a lot of flavor and nutrition in your fruits and veggies. The downside to freezing is that you need space in a freezer, and an investment in freezer friendly containers. If you lose power for any length of time, you may also lose your entire food harvest.
Dehydrating is simple and easy. You can do it via solar in a solar oven like this one or you can dehydrate in a home dehydrator like the Excalibur. (get it here) Food takes just hours to be ready to store. Once dehydrated, they can be stored on a pantry shelf, carried in a backpack, or taken camping. Dehydrated foods take up little space and weight. The downside is that you have to re hydrate most foods before consuming.
Fermenting foods is a great way to preserve your harvest.
It’s an easy way to preserve food without power or excess heat. Ideal for families that are living off the grid, those who travel a lot while foraging and want to preserve their foods, and for those who are concerned about power outages taking out their food storage.
The initial investment in fermenting foods is minimal. Most of the time you just need salt, water and your foods. Sourdough, water kefir, and kombucha are good examples of basic, easy ferments. Easy to do and learn.
When you are wanting to get more into food fermenting, you may need some help getting started. Help knowing when the food you are fermenting is done, to troubleshooting issues, and for knowing what’s safe. When you are just starting out, knowing what and how to preserve foods by fermenting may be difficult. Traditionally Fermented Foods aims to help even the beginner at fermenting become well adapted fast. (get your copy here).
This book is full of delicious fermenting recipes that are easy to follow. You’ll quickly learn HOW to ferment as well as what foods you should try fermenting first. I love the full color photos and the clear directions. This recipe for fermenting homemade kimchi is a great recipe to start with!
Kimchi health benefits include boosting flavor of the veggies as well as adding beneficial enzymes to the food.
The vegetables already have beneficial enzymes in them. Author Shannon suggests that fermenting the foods is “taking what is already good for you and giving it wings, so to speak.”.
If you want to know how to eat kimchi, try pairing it with eggs, beans and salad. Shannon also suggests trying it mixed with a soft cheese to make a delicious spread.
I hope you love it as much as I do!
**this book was given to me for the purpose of this review, and all opinions are mine. Recipe taken from book with permission**
Homestead ’Chi Kimchi, when made right, is an easy crowd-pleaser. This is by far one of my favorite vegetable ferments for several reasons. The flavor is great, the ingredients are commonly found and the turnips that grow so easily but are eaten so begrudgingly are converted into a form our whole family loves. Servings2 quarts Prep Time3 weeks Ingredients
- 2 medium heads cabbage
- 2 large turnips
- 1 2 green onionsroughly chopped
- 8 large garlic clovesminced
- 3 Tablespoons salt
- 3 Tablespoons ground sweet paprika
- 1-2 Tablespoons red pepper flakescan also use 1/4-1/2 cup diced hot peppers
Shred the cabbage thinly using a knife and cutting board or a mandolin.
Add the cabbage and all remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well with hands to combine.
Pound the cabbage with a mallet or potato masher to release the juices. Alternatively, allow to sit, covered, for 1 hour to allow the juices to be released.
Pack kimchi tightly into a half-gallon (2-L)-size jar or 2 quart (1-L)-size jars, leaving at least 2 inches (50 mm) of headspace.
Add the fermentation weight of your choosing. Check that the brine is above the level of the fermentation weight. If not, mix 1 cup (236 ml) of water with 1. teaspoons (8 g) of salt and pour this brine into the jar until the fermentation weight is completely covered.
Place at cool room temperature (60 to 80F [16 to 27C], optimally) and allow to ferment for at least three weeks.
If you haven’t used an airlock, then during this period, especially during the first 5 to 7 days, you will need to burp the jars by quickly opening them to release the built-up gases that result from the fermentation. To do so, carefully and quickly open the jar, listen for the release of gas and close the jar back up with just a bit of the gases still remaining inside.
Author’s note on salt for recipe: use 4 Tablespoons salt if the temperatures exceed 80 degrees F.
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