While I culture many foods, I thought I’d talk about some of the foods that can always be found in my fridge and why. Each of these foods makes it quick and easy for me to add cultures to a meal without extra planning since they are always on hand.
From the Editor: Please welcome Sarah, CFH Customer Support Rep and Cultured Kitchen-Keeper.
Let’s start left to right!
I recently made miso cultured onions. While this particular recipe is new to me, I always keep something like it to use as an all-purpose topping or salad addition. Not only is it delicious, it is versatile. I tuck them in a sandwich, mix them in some potato salad, or mix them into some roasted veggies.
Sauerkraut! This is perhaps my favorite culture and I’m (almost) never without it. Kraut was the first veggie I ever cultured. I had made plenty of sourdough and yogurt, but never thought about keeping cultured food on hand intentionally until I started making sauerkraut. This is a red cabbage kraut made with just salt and water. Plain, but anything but boring! I add it to warm soup, to salads and sandwiches and love it with some cooked greens and eggs.
Lacto-fermented garlic. I am a big garlic lover, but I found myself not using it much. The kids think it is too spicy or strong. Then I heard about fermenting garlic from Jerri. Life changer! I love adding the chopped cloves anywhere garlic is called for. The fermentation makes the garlic mild and almost sweet. But my favorite part is probably the liquid. Just a splash of brine brings a rich garlic flavor to anything without hassling with chopping garlic or dealing with chunks. I have vowed to always have at least one jar of this garlic on hand.
Piima or buttermilk. I change my mind about my favorite of these two cultures, but I am always using at least one of them I do like yogurt, but I find the more liquid versions of cultured dairy to be versatile. I add them to smoothies, make salad dressing, and make my own sour cream and cultured butter. They can even be used as cheese starters. I really do find myself using some every day for one thing or another. I have also been known to just mix up kraut and piima to eat over rice.
Water kefir and kombucha. I struggle with drinking enough water. I really do. Keeping a glass of these cultured beverages nearby encourages me to drink much more since I like the taste so much. They can also be used as starters for other cultures. Kombucha can be cultured for a month or more to produce vinegar, and I have a jar of it on the counter for just that purpose. Water kefir makes delicious soda. This means my kids enjoy drinking it!
All of these cultures are easy to make. While the picture of them all lined up looks daunting, I spend very little time maintaining them. Which gives me more time to find other things to culture!