Fermented foods are so good for us, but I have a requirement that any food we consume (yes, even that which contributes to our health and well-being) has to taste good. Yeah, a strange concept, I know, but my tummy simply rebels if I try to eat anything that is "good" for me, but tastes like something a starving person on a desert island would have to eat to sustain life.
In the past (especially when we have fresh-out-of-the-garden produce), we've been experimenting with different recommended recipes for fermented foods. Last year, Papa Pea came up with a dandy fermented pickle that was really good, and we have three half-gallon jars of pickling cukes fermenting on the counter as we speak.
But I admit, most of our attempts at fermenting food have been about as tasty as swallowing a big spoonful of cod liver oil.
This year, because of all the hot weather, we have a glut of slicing cucumbers so several days ago I experimented with using them as the main ingredient in a jar of fermented veggies.
After sitting on the counter at room temp for three days, it was ready for taste testing this morning.
And, wahoo, I did it! This attempt is actually very tasty. Although all we need to ingest regularly to gain the benefits of a fermented food is about 1/4 cup a day, both hubby and I said we could eat this latest concoction as we would a coleslaw or cold salad on our plates.
So if you care to give it a go, here's my recipe . . . as of yet without a good name. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
1-1/2 slicing cucumbers (each about 7-8" long), chopped in small
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium yellow onion, chopped in small pieces
1 sweet red pepper, chopped in small pieces
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/4 cup whey
Water as needed
Combine all ingredients except sea salt and whey. (I used the whey drained from making cottage cheese.) Place veggie mixture in a quart jar and press down. If you need more veggies to fill the jar to about an inch from the top, add more cucumbers. (Since my cucumbers were fresh from the garden, I left the skins on them which added more color to the mix besides being nutritious.)
In a small bowl, mix together the sea salt and whey. Add to the jar. Then add enough (non-chlorinated) water to cover the mixture, leaving one inch free below the rim of the jar.
Cover tightly, set on counter at room temperature for 3 days. (My mixture did "expand" as the fermentation process worked, and I had a little leakage so it might be a good idea to place the jar in a pan to catch the liquid.) Transfer to refrigerator.
I'm assuming this mixture will keep for several months in the refrigerator (if it should last that long) as most fermented foods do, and the flavor will most likely only improve over that period.
You can bet I'm going to make several more jars to have in the fridge for us to consume as we go into winter this year. Plus, I'll be able to profitably use all these great slicing cukes that are taking over the house!