Preserving your cucumber harvest
Pickles are one of the best items to come out of the garden in my opinion! Years ago, pickling for me was a tedious task that had somewhat unreliable results. Nothing more disappointing than a mushy pickle after you have invested several hours in a hot kitchen and waited weeks to try them!
So when I stumbled upon fermented pickles I rejoiced! No more hot kitchen, no more hours of labor prepping and canning, and higher nutritional value. Sign me up!
Benefits of Fermented Garlic
Lately I have been on a fermenting kick. I have fermented everything from chicken feed to pickles and beets, and whatever in between! It's just so much fun to add veggies and salt to a jar and in a week have a totally new flavor, packed with added nutrition.
I have posted fermented recipes in the past and I explain many of the health benefits to eating fermented foods. Some of these benefits include adding good bacteria to our digestive system, which in turn boosts our immune systems(1) and help us digest food more efficiently.
Garlic is a well known natural germ buster! It is good to eat garlic in some broth when youre feeling under the weather. It is even better to eat garlic raw and it is best to eat fermented garlic! Researchers have found that fermented garlic contains more antioxidants than its fresh counterpart.(2) Fermented garlic has also showed several other advantages over fresh garlic including its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.(2)
Why I do It and How to Start
It wasn't until last year that I first heard about fermented chicken feed. It was a foreign concept but I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. The health of our flock has always been a priority to me. This is why we purchased some of the high-end soy free, organic chicken feed for many years.
But what other benefits would this bring to our homestead??
And what not to feed your pigs!
One of the most exciting aspects of raising pigs, in my opinion, would be their ability to turn "trash" into a treasure of bacon! Once I started collecting kitchen scraps for the pigs and goats on our farm I realized how much food goes to waste. Onion skins, egg shells, and potato peels were once sent to the trash, never to reach their full potential. Yes, I realize these items are gold for the compost pile, but I have an ugly confession to make here.
I am a terrible compost keeper!
There, I said it! I am determined to master composting but today let's talk about another way to create a (nearly) zero waste kitchen.
No refined sugars needed...
When I first started baking with my sourdough starter, I never realized how versatile it could be! You can transform such simple ingredients such as flour, salt and water into an array of wonderful home baked goods. By adding butter and milk to our dough, its very easy to turn sourdough into a rich bread dough.
There are many reasons to start using sourdough in your vintage kitchen. The fermentation process that takes place unlocks the nutritional value making iron, folic acid, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and calcium bioavailable to us. Phytic acid prevents us from absorbing these vitamins and minerals, which is present in the bran layers of cereal. With even just a few hours of fermentation, phytic acid can be neutralized. Longer fermentation helps to break down gluten. I aim to use a 24 hour fermentation in order to break down as much gluten as possible. By using an age-old method of preparing bread, we not only eat like our ancestors but we also enjoy the benefits of their ancient wisdom.
But back to the delicious, no sugar added cinnamon rolls! I have taken the basic sourdough and transformed it into a sweet treat that I don't feel guilty about!
Francesca, wife and mother of three, eagerly shares day-to-day life on her ten acre farm in northern Colorado.