Being Wild in the Woods

 

There is a certain amount of trust and intuition that allows one to literally pack up and head to a country you know little about, except for the Algarve of course, with sheer curiosity.  Perhaps it is more of perceiving it as something you have just yet to know.

And so it is, this summer, The Cultured Club embarks upon an exciting trip to Portugal to meet wonderful people, discover wild landscapes, learn of new wild foods and finally be guaranteed some summer sun.

Really, The bacteria make me do it!

I am beyond excited to detail a very special course at out first destination in the beautiful mountains of Central Portugal.

We will be joining Lynn in A vida Fausto, a paradise where she has consciously chosen to live off the grid and to build a healthy habitat. I can think of now better playground to explore the world of fermentation and the foraging potential of the local terroir.

The Cultured Club is offering a 5-day retreat solely focussed on this lost skill with the added deliciousness of foraging walks and an abundance of organic food  for a happy gut, commencing on July 2nd.

You are welcome to arrive at A Vida Fausto on the Sunday from 2pm onwards.  With a relaxed getting to know each other and settling into our new environment, we will offer an introductory talk on the various aspects of Fermentation and gut health, followed by a shared dinner under the canopy of trees.   A very unique sleeping experience in the middle of nature awaits you as the evening closes.

 

Over the subsequent next four days we will have a morning and afternoon workshop on the practice of Fermentation.

This will include:

 

  • Making probiotic drinks
  • Capturing our own wild yeasts and bacteria from the forest.
  • Making vinegars
  • Fermenting food with a variety of techniques
  • Making fermented condiments
  • Improvising with foraged ingredients
  • wasting less in kitchen
  • Ways to serve and implement into gut happy meals
  • Exploration and understanding of Gut health.
There are no musts – you decide for yourself how much group and how much alone time you want.
╰☆ The Location
A vida Fausto is located on the foothills of the Sierra de Estrela mountain range, near Coja in Arganil. Read and watch more about these stunning surroundings on her website: www.avidafausto.net/well-being
╰☆ Accommodation
Lynn has transformed small green houses into comfortable bedrooms, which are placed in cozy corners around her Birdhouse. They are equipped with a twin or double bed, cabinets for clothes and a little terrace with 2 chairs and a coffee table. These greenhouses are transparent and provide you with a unique 5 billion star sleeping experience close to nature.╰☆ Facilities
At A vida Fauto there is a vermicomposting flush toilet, which isn’t any different from the one you use at home. The hot shower, fuelled with wood can be used in the morning before breakfast or at the end of the day before dinner. There’s unlimited drinking water straight from the natural spring. The birdhouse provides electricity to charge phones and laptops. However the use of hair dryers and other high power equipment is not possible.
╰☆ The Package
We offer this retreat for the friendly Early Bird price of 449 euro per person if you pay before June 1st, 2017. After that the pakage price is 499 euro per person.
The package includes:
☯ 5 nights accommodation in a shared greenhouse room
☯ 15 organic plantpowered organic gut friendly meals prepared fresh and with love
☯ 8 focussed workshops on fermentation
☯ A foraging hike exploring wild edible plants and flowers of the area
☯ trip(s) to the waterfall when it is just to hot to do anything else
☯ Bedsheets and natural soap (due to the water going straight to the land, we use only 100% natural products
☯ Tea and fruitwater during the day and in addition beer and wine in the evening
☯ Electricity to charge phones/laptops
☯ Wifi around the Birdhouse. Cafes in the village provide free wifi too.
╰☆ How to get there
It’s a 3,5 hour drive from Lisbon and 2,5hrs from Porto. Rental cars in Portugal are very affordable, it’s a fun roadtrip and we encourage carsharing. There are also great, convenient and fast public bus services (with wifi) running from both cities to the busstop Catraia de Mouronho.╰☆ Booking & Reservation
To reserve your spot send an email with in the description “Wild in the Woods” and your full name to avidafaustso@gmail.com and by transferring 100 euro as a deposit after receiving bank details.If you think one of your friends may be interested in joining us, feel free to invite them to this page. For further question you can reach me on here info@www.new.theculturedclub.com

For practical questions about the accommodation, food and other things it’s best to reach out to Lynn (Loetje Loe on Facebook) directly via message or email avidafausto@gmail.com

Give your microbiome the holiday of a lifetime!


Eating the whole egg!

 

In all honesty, if it weren’t for eggs, I would be vegan.

I am quite particular about my eggs.  Having kept chickens (that’s them below!) for many years whilst living the rural life, they are a great feature of daily life and now that the domestic situation does not lend itself to this currently, I like to choose my eggs wisely.

 

This generally means they are more expensive and always organic.

With that in mind, I like to make sure that I am getting the most out of my foods, this goes across the board and I will always question if there is more nutrition to be gleaned than meets the eye!

My curiosity was aroused when I was occasionally feeding my kefir grains some egg shell, as a mineral boost.  Well if it is good enough for my bacterial friends, then it is good enough for me!  Egg shells are  are 95% calcium carbonate (incidentally, this is the main ingredient in an antacid to relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, and upset stomach) with one single egg shell containing around 2g of calcium.  In other words between two to four times our RDA.  Calcium has been shown to reduce pain and bone loss in women with senile osteoporosis

So next time your are breaking eggs, instead of throwing out valuable nutrition, boil up the shells firstly to remove any harmful bacteria. After the shells are nicely boiled, bake them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes with the temperature turned up to 90C/200F to dry them out.  They will grind nicely into a fine powder in a blender for long term storage and as a great source of calcium to add into various meals.

I love to add it into smoothies for the kids, along with a host of nutritionally potent powders such as maca, camu camu and Diatomaceous Earth.  Little do they know!

 

 

 

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a naturally occurring rock made from the skeletons of fossilized diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. When ground into a fine powder, diatomaceous earth works mechanically to destroy a wide range of pests, insects, parasites and pathogens by cutting through the exoskeleton, absorbing bodily fluids and causing them to die. Food grade diatomaceous earth is chemical-free and non toxic.

Diatomaceous earth has many uses including detoxification of the body — inside and out; protecting pets and livestock from parasites and insect infestation; and keep your yard and garden pest-free.

How to use it:

Add diatomaceous earth to your diet to detox parasites that can contribute to food intolerance, nausea, bowel discomfort, pain, itching, asthma, sinus infections, Morgellon’s disease, and a host of other allergic-type reactions.

DE detoxes mercury, cadmium, lead and other heavy metals; removes poisons from chemtrails, radiation and may alleviate the effects of GMOs. DE possesses antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties.

In addition to detoxing and destroying pathogens, diatomaceous earth helps to lower blood pressure and contributes to the production of collagen to improve skin tone, strengthening the tendons and joints.

To consume DE orally, start with half a teaspoon and work up to two heaping tablespoons. Mix thoroughly in four ounces of water. Drink immediately and follow with another eight ounces of water. Take on an empty stomach. Continue drinking water throughout the day, because DE can cause constipation.

Initially, you may experience a Herxhemier reaction, which can cause abdominal discomfort and flu-like symptoms. This is a normal response to detoxing, as parasites and pathogens die, releasing their toxins into your system for elimination. The symptoms disappear after a few days.


New Year, New Growth

Lose weight, detox, quit smoking, give up drinking, get fit, spend time with friends, learn something new, enjoy every moment, reduce stress…….empty promises and more stress.

After the imposed hectic nature of Christmas we continue to put pressure on ourselves as the new year rolls in.  We have indulged, and now we must be punished with new diets and a new look.  It is just the first week, where is  the time to just relax?

This year I sat back and observed.  I clocked off work a week before Christmas and dropped right into winter mode: being cosy, resting, making super nourishing food, eatings lots of the aforementioned food and making a few gifts of choice to share the seasonal love. It was my own personal RETREAT and  I made a promise that I would remain in this mode until the winter holidays were completely over and the first week of the new year had passed and the children back to school.

I must admit that to remain on holiday and truly rest has not been easy. There have been plenty of walks which have inspired great thoughts.  However the tsumani of new year enthusiasm drowned me in a wave of guilt.  My fault for swimming into the tide of social media.

 

New years resolutions have never worked for me.  I don’t believe in overnight transformation.  A slow organic shift of thought and action is more sustainable.  I see that as more of a year long project.  All that and a well stocked pantry and you are set for successful meander to reach your goal.

To take the stress out of dietary goals I have learnt to keep things relatively simple.  I follow plate advice from leading nutrition experts such as Robert Verkerk at the Alliance for Natural Health, choosing whole foods simply prepared (with love of course) and flavour loaded with an ALIVE fermented note and a side of the many previously prepped condiments or spice blends.  I have one fridge solely dedicated to ferments and such condiments as pestos, tapenade, mayos etc

A light meal could be as easy as a generous portions of greens, marinated, steamed or sautéed, with a small portion of starchy veg, such as sweet potato paired divinely with The Cultured Clubs favourite miso mayo.  Or a bed of salad with a poached egg, some avocado topped with this lush dukkah.

But here is your new year addiction: The nutrient-dense authentic Argentinian chimichurri!!!!!!!

Best to have healthy addictions than punitive promises.

I CANNOT GET ENOUGH CHIMICHURRI

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar/kombucha vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor/blender and pulse until smooth. If you need to add more oil, add a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Reserve sauce in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Having nutrient dense food available to you makes any mental shift a hell of a lot easier.  Nourishing the body wakens the mind allowing for thoughts made up of positive energy.  There is a direct connection between your mental state and what you have just ate, however no amount of nutrition and healthy eating will benefit you if you are stressed.  The chimicurri is made and I am off to nurture perfecting my positive thoughts for  2017.
Work starts back tomorrow, stress-free, rested and relaxed.
There are workshops and collaborations to be planned, some exciting developments to be prepared  and more bacteria to be made and shared.  I Look forward to seeing you along the way in 2017

 

#Zenwishlist2017

  1. Let go of grudges
  2. Treat everyone with kindness
  3. Regard your problems as challenges
  4. Express gratitude for what you have
  5. Dream BIG
  6. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  7. Speak well of others
  8. Avoid making excuses
  9. Live in the present
  10. Wake up the same time every morning
  11. Don’t compare yourself to others
  12. Surround yourself with positive people
  13. Realise you don’t need approval
  14. Take time to listen
  15. Nurture social relationships
  16. Meditate
  17. Excercise
  18. Live minimally
  19. Establish personal control
  20. Accept what cannot be changed

 


A Cultural Shift for Christmas

It is not easy in our Culture to be healthy and the minute you try, you are met with opposition and disapproval from the tribe who see the turning of your ways as an insult to their choices.   Ok, maybe a bit harsh, but it can be less than encouraging.

However YOUR choices effect at least seven of the closest people around you, so never underestimate the power of your actions.  Be careful of your choices, vote with your pocket and this CAN and WILL change the our culture for the better.

 

Never has this been more apparent than at Christmas.

 

I reckon I have always struggled around this time of year for one reason…….the mindless consumer mania.  It has made as much sense as the last minute gift which is suppose to express how much I care.  Throw kids into the mix and the pressure can seem beyond your control.  Kids we cannot fool, as they have Santa Claus on their side, although how he can discriminate between giving one child the latest iPhone and another a few bits of lego is perhaps something we need to address and Mummy/Daddy/Significant care giver could take the pleasure of gifting those more expensive items? ……………..Just a thought

Anyhow, let’s take the pressure off the ‘gifts for everyone else‘ list!

I love giving, anyone who knows me well, knows you cannot leave my house without having something bestowed upon you. This is in no way a Scrooge mentality.  It is the insanity of this time of year is perfectly captured and articulated by George Monibot in an article from 2012 which you can read here: On the 12th day of Christmas your gifts will be junk.

 

Read it, Think about it!  Ask the questions about the system which is supplying your demands!  A Cultural Shift, it is all I want for Christmas. (And my children’s future!)

 

Stepping off the consumer treadmill can be daunting.  It’s a vulnerable place…..I know!  Suck it up, be the light and Feck it, as they say!  Old patterns die a very loud death and there is always room for continual growth.

 

So here are my Top 10 solutions which I feel might just enlighten OR at least taste good.  Gifts made with love hold way more value!  Gifts made by hand are filled with LOVE.  After you have spent a fortune on quality ingredients,(NOTE:buying organic is particularly important when purchasing spices) plus invested your time, you will have something to be proud to gift.  If you are creatively minded, there is another wonderful world of labelling, wrapping, musing, so let your philosophy flow through you as you gift something truly unique.

For the Flavour Seekers in your life: (recipes in the clickable titles)

Dukkah  An Egyptian spice blend.

Furikake  Japanese Rice seasoning.

Immunity Spice Blend  Good on everything.

Miso Eggs  Like you have never experienced before.

Asian Dipping Sauce  Also good with everything.

Master Tonic  Your ultimate flu shot.

Miso Mayo  It can go an everything else that doesn’t have have dipping sauce smothering it!

For the want of a better world

Probiotic Toothpaste  A little different but surprisingly shiny results.

Facial scrub (from Susan Jane White)  Completely lickable!

For the Seasonal Table

Cranberry relish  No Christmas dinner should be without it.

Christmas Kraut  It will make the day after more interesting.

Orange, Ginger & Turmeric Kraut  It will bring a little sunshine to your plate.

 

All (as in most) recipes are from The Cultured Club recently published book on Fermented foods and Fabulously Funky Recipes available on Amazon and in all major book stores.

 

The Cultured Club by Dearbhla Reynolds, published by Gill

 

P.S.  If you get the time I recommend you take it to get to know that difference between Tongue Taste Vs Hand Taste as perfectly described by my food hero Michael Pollan.  It will make the joy of your gift even more special.


Sugar coated addiction

During the holidays it’s easy to overindulge in sugary treats.

The reality of this has yet to unfold BUT I feel it creeping with alarming force.

In the Autumn of this year I delighted myself by getting through a challenging 8 weeks without sugar.  I must admit I fell into by accident however if you want to mindfully consider it, it cannot recommend it highly enough.  Sarah Wilson’s I QUIT SUGAR programme is life changing.

Believing that I ate a fairly healthy diet, with a palate which predominantly favours things a little more sour than sweet, did not prepare me for the withdrawals I would experience by eliminating ALL sugars including fruit, refined carbs, the starchy vegetables, such as beetroot, carrot, sweet potatoes as well as any shape of the sweet stuff, healthy or not.  I even stopped drinking kombucha and water kefir during this time, just in case any residual sugars were lurking in the brew.

By week three, I was ready to kill for a sweet fix.

Yes, those sugar loving pathogenic bacteria were screaming for their last chance at some grub.

BUT I did not give in.  I would crowd out the thoughts with a strong will, a spoonful of fermented goodness and an additional supporting probiotic of Saccharomyces boulardii.  (It likes to chase after Candida, that sugar loving resident of our intestines).   In addition to this a tablespoon of coconut oil worked well or a tall glass of good old water.  (I need serious help in remembering the basics when it comes to water.)

The 8 weeks got easier and easier, they were bloody delicious too and 3 months later I still do well to avoid the stuff…………

..UNTIL this week!

WINTERS’ dark evenings have set in and my hibernating instincts have really appeared from nowhere, as have the sweets and treats.   Small Lindt milk chocolate balls made their way into my life and mindlessly, like I had no control, into my mouth.  Not just one but two, then three, then, I don’t know, i lost count!

Even after 3 months of relatively little sugar, a straight hit of pure sugar literally created havoc.

Literally in a day I went from feeling vibrant and energetic to lethargic and in need of more SUGAR, or anything that could be easily converted to sugar.   I am grateful that I can recognise this drastic swing directly attributed to consuming something which should be classed as a drug. It is widely thought to affect the brain in a similar way to cocaine, and now a new study has suggested people addicted to sugar should be treated in the same way as other drug abusers.  The addiction is real and it is only when you have literally been released from its deceptive grasp that you can see how easily it traps you.

 

Thankfully, my trusty ferments came into play again to crowd out the sugar craving candida bacteria and I am back, restored to my former clarity.

I would consider stocking up on your favourite ferments as one will need all the luck possible to navigate their way through the sugar coated holidays.  I am tempted to turn my attention to making some pickle juice turkish delight type treats as a kitchen experiment to suit my palate!  Not sure if the chemistry will allow it though.

 

‘The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads’…
and all that seasonal jazz!

 

Kimchi, seasonal kraut & master tonic will all be available on Thursday December 15th @Kiln&Loom Christmas market and carol service.  Otherwise, get something into a jar now…your Gut Flora deserves it. Balance is everything!

 


Invisible helpers

Today is World Mental Health Day, October 10th 2016

Today is the perfect day to share thoughts I have been wishing to express for a long, long time.

Thankfully today I am as happy as could be.  Life throws its usual surprises, joys, curses, and challenges, but deep in my head, heart and gut, I AM HAPPY.

However, I didn’t always feel this way.  In fact there were times I was so anxious I would miss the party.  There were times that it felt impossible to see the good in any situation or anyone.  A little cranky, a little shy, feeling unfulfilled in a big way and in the most part a low-grade anxiety that would send the day in the wrong direction.   I was good at hiding it with a big smile and surface conversation.  To be honest, I never really thought it was a problem.  It was just how it was, a general dull, predominantly negative state of mental health.

Then something remarkable happened.  I gained perspective through one small simple tweek in my life.

I had always been shy of the gym or anything involving too much physical exertion and although this is often prescribed as a remedy, it did not inspire me.  Lazy, guilt for feeling lazy, more laziness, it is a vicious circle.

I was also under the impression that I ate a healthy diet but through divine inspiration, I was about to up my game to foods that would propel me into a positivity I had never known before.  Like my head, my body was experiencing a state of health similiar to my head.  Nothing specific, nothing broken, just a low-grade average feeling.

I introduced Fermented foods into my diet.  

These foods are high frequency, healing foods and a lot changed.  My energy increased, I lost weight,  I had a vitality, my skin glowed, food fuelled me, it didn’t cause me digestive malaise and best of all my mind became an oasis of joy and positivity.  So much so that the thought of physical exertion thrills me now!

I am convinced the friendly little bacteria which proliferate in fermented foods did a great job of cleaning out my my head, pushing away any dark clouds and allowing in the sunshine.  You can imagine my delight when the studies started to come out to prove that this shit works!

The gut and the brain, they are intricately linked. Here is the info graph.

Things couldn’t be better, I have gained a fresh perspective over the years which allows me to view things in the positive.  I now clearly understand and see the effects of energy flowing where attention goes.  Even when challenging times arise, there is always something good to unfold.

My message is simple: EAT FERMENTED FOODS.  It was a tasty addition to my life with many benefits, plus it saved a fortune on therapy!  It is World Mental Health Day and if we can help, it is our human duty to do so.

Here are a few articles below for further reading:

http://www.choosehelp.co.uk/topics/mental-health/gut-bacteria-mental-health-microbiome

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-health-may-depend-on-creatures-in-the-gut/

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/09/09/the-brain-gut-connection-how-gut-bacteria-may-treat-depression/

 


Drown it in something yummy.

It is MONDAY, the list is long and a busy week lies ahead.  The ‘BABY’ goes onto the shelves of all major book stores this Friday, October 14th.  Surreal in its beauty and very real in the dreaming.

I am prepping for a tasting extravaganza at The Fumbally Stables on Saturday and there may be a seat left at the table if you check HERE.

Whilst I am at the Fumbally, my book will also be on the Northern Irish stand at the Gluten free Festival in Croke Park on October 15th & 16th.  We will be giving away some tickets to the festival on the Facebook page  over the week.

I would love to think that I keep all the balls in the air effortlessly, I generally fail miserably, mostly in the housework, general domestic bliss area.  When life is busy, meal times are not the treasured calm, nurturing experience you might want them to be.  They can be poorly planned and creatively uninspired.  Thankfully there is always a jar or two of something Fabulously funky in the fridge!

I do appreciate that this is not my average week and that most of time things move at my own pace but to help at time like these my little trick is to drown something bland in something amazing.

From very early, my kids had a liking for the savoury taste of soy sauce (we now use either tamari or liquid amino, the gluten free version of soy sauce), seaweeds, miso, sesame, you can taste it?  Sushi is their favourite snack.

I have a particular persuasion for Asian foods be it indian sweeping all the way across to Japan. Currently this is in the form of any kind of dipping/drowing sauce, as I can get away with a lot by simply cooking up something simple, ( rice and some veg)  and pouring as much of this goodness on top.  If I have the time I will even make something to dip into it.  Ok it is not fermented but this week is different and I can only try my best.

I will tripling this recipe at least and making a big batch today:

1 spring onion, chopped
1 fermented garlic clove, grated
3 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp gochugaru chilli flakes
2 tsp black or white sesame seeds,

toasted 1/2 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp kombucha vinegar

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. It will keep well for three days in the fridge.

 


Do you want to know a secret?

I have always been attracted to the obscure.

I could have gone easier on myself and followed a more attractive cleaning eating menu of  health bursting smoothies and the like.  Or I could have just done as was expected and walked into a career in Pharmacy.  But Oh no, not me, I have to take it to the extreme, along an unchartered path and completely, wholeheartedly find myself deep in a crock of fermenting food embracing a more “cultured” lifestyle.

 

I have seen you whince, I have heard every joke, noted every raised eyebrow, rolled my eyes at every excuse and laughed at every reason to dismiss these foods….most of the time offered out of blind ignorance to their unbelievable qualities of these foods and their ‘awakening’ of taste.

 

I get it, there is nothing that sounds sexy about sauerkraut, SCOBYs and bacteria.  Nor does the smell of kimchi, kefir or kombucha invite you into all their charms.

 

Well here is a little secret.

Today I went on a day trip to the science lab at Queen’s University, Belfast, with my bacteria.  Under the guidance of Dr. Tancredi Caruso, I discovered there is a whole lot of goodness in these foods which will turn you right on!  (I knew this of course, but seeing it there right in front of me was a proud moment.)

We took the tiniest drop of the juice of a favourite ferment at present:  Whole sweet heart cabbages which were brined 5 months ago (pictured to the left and above).  The leaves are used to make wraps for various dishes, a favourite detailed in The Cultured Club book.

 

dsc_0490

This tiny little drop of what would be considered ‘pickled brine’ was placed on a slide.  There was no staining needed to highlight the bacteria (technical info that I didn’t quite know the theory on) and as it came into focus, through the eye of the lens, there dancing in front of me, I could see these ‘living foods’ buzzing, teeming and vibrating with life.

The magnification, if you can imagine was 1mm, then amplify it x 400.

 

 

The slide was linked to a computer screen so we could marvel at the activity.  Something warm and giddy happened as I watched the abundance of bacteria and the busy vibration, reproduction (yes, some were asexually reproducing on screen) and movement unfold.

There IS something incredibly attractive about these foods and I could not only see the life force in what I eat but I could see how these foods make me feel when i eat them.  

When you eat these living, fermented foods, you feel the ‘life’ they impart.  These are high vibrational foods which have gone through a process of “lactofermentation”. This is where natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid and you can clearly see them continually buzz around.  There is a giddy knowing that you are taking something real into your body.  Now that is more tempting than their names might suggest and a new way of thinking about food.

So this is my secret and one I am delighted to share and you can join me to discover more whilst seeking out your own personal, experiential and enlightened path to wellness.

If you would like to see the video then have a look through the lens here

Grab a jar, mix up some brine and chop(or not) your vegetables and add a little party to your food

HOW TO FERMENT A WHOLE  CABBAGE

 

Throughout Eastern Europe, fermented cabbage leaves are used to make a traditional dish called sarma – or golabki in Polish, golubtsy in Russian, malfoof in Arabic, krautwickel in German or töltött káposzta in Hungarian. It’s a word of Turkish origin meaning food wrapped in leaves, just in case you’re wondering!

MAKES 1 X 2-LITRE JAR

You will need:

1 sweetheart cabbage approx.

2-3 tbsp sea salt

filtered water

1 Remove the core of the cabbage and fill the space where the core was with salt (this is generally about 2-3 tablespoons of salt, but you might need a little more or less).

2 Place the cabbage in a clean 2-litre jar. Sweetheart cabbages are rather small so they fit nicely in a jar, but it may be necessary to gently peel off some of the loose outer leaves. If that’s the case, place them in the bottom of the jar as you do so. Once you have jarred your cabbage, fill the jar with filtered water to within 2.5cm of the rim.

3 Allow to ferment for at least two months at room temperature, until it’s soft and tart, then transfer to the fridge and store for up to six months. These leaves can then be chopped into a dinner salad or used to make the stuffed cabbage rolls.

Get giddy with your creations!

Dearbhla x

 

The Cultured Club book, published by Gill Books, will be available on all book stores from October 14th.You can pre-order your copy here

 

 

 


Beetroot, I love you

 

 

It has come to the end of the season for beetroot and it has been an early summer love affair once again and it features once again in this #RecipeOfTheWeek.
We have romanced in a bowl of cold beet soup, we have turned up the heat in the oven as slow roasted sweet cubes and we have really got it on by merging another favourite fancy: KIMCHI 
 
 
I tasted Beetroot kimchi at Ireland’s First Fermentation Festival and I am forever indebted to Prannie Rhatigan, Ireland’s seaweed Queen for this variation. This recipe involves making a paste with rice flour as with many traditional kimchi recipes.   Using a paste, you don’t need to worry about weighing down the ingredients under the brine and it adds an extra starchy food to the fermentation fun.  Naturally this recipe will involve seaweed, another favourite.
 
 
 
Ingredients: Beet Kimchi
 
Makes 1 litre
 
1 bunch Organic beetroot
2 tbsp rice flour
1 cup water
4 cloves garlic
2 inch knob of ginger
1 tbsp chili flakes
1 tbsp sea vegetables
 
2% salt brine (1 tbsp in 1 litre of water)
 
 
Method
Slice the beets thickly and fill up your glass jar.
Pour in 2% brine to cover
Leave overnight.
 
The next day, pour off the detoxifyingfermentedvegetablebrine solution and transfer the beetroot into a bowl.
Make a paste of rice flour: 2 tbsp with 1 cup water over low heat.
allow the rice paste to cool and add  4 garlic cloves, knob of ginger, 1 tbsp chili flakes and sea vegetables.
Process with a hand blender into a paste (or transfer to a blender)
Massage in the paste to the beets to get some on each beet.
Return to fermenting jar, packing it in nice and tight.
Continue to fill the jar, leaving 2 inch space at the top of the jar.
Leave to ferment for at least 5 days, and then taste.
 
You can continue to leave it out on the countertop until you reached your desired taste is achieved.
You well thank me, this is taste you will not forget.
You are very welcome!

 

 


All kinds of Kimchi

I am delighted that food heros such as Jamie Oliver and Sarah Wilson are extolling the virtues of fermented foods, in particular a certain national favourite of Korea: KIMCHI.

Kimchi and other fermented vegetables are a powerhouse of goodness containing a favourable dose of good bacteria for optimum gut health, organically created through the process of fermentation.  Something as good as kimchi has earned its place as a world heritage dish and has a festival dedicated to it.

Once discovered this food never leaves your taste memory.

Making kimchi for me, is more than a weekly occurrence, I make it a range of Fabulously Funky Ferments on demand and I see the growing desire to get our hands on this heritage food growing week after week.  In fact I cannot keep up and it is truly my desire that you clear YOUR kitchen counter and make space in your life to make a batch of kimchi.

So, for the kimchi kraziness of it, I put the three different recipes to the test.

Read More


logo
About

The Cultured Club is dedicated to reviving this lost tradition and bringing the control of our health into our own kitchens.
'Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be food' is a hard philosophy to live by when we are so removed from the food we eat.

Visit us on Facebook