Archive for the ‘Fermentation, Culturing & Curing’ Category

Kombucha – Fermented Tea

Monday, April 16th, 2012

by Catherine Haug, April 12. 2012

Kombucha – fermented black or green tea, or tea kvass – is becoming a popular heath-beverage. When fruit juice is added, it’s a healthful alternative to soda pop. We learned how to make kombucha from Jeanette Cheney, using the SCOBY (or ‘mushroom’) at our August 2011 gathering (Lacto-Fermentation, with Don Bates & Jeanette Cheney).

If you’ve never had kombucha before, you might want to try one of the Synergy Kombucha beverages that have added fruit juice, and is not as tart as regular kombucha. [Synergy comes in glass bottles that you can take to the Wellness Education Center (WEC), where Jeanette will reuse them.] After you’ve accustomed to this flavor, try the bottled 100% kombucha before embarking on your own brew.

Also, start with a small amount – about 4 oz – daily for a couple weeks, then gradually increase the amount over time.

What’s in kombucha that makes it so special?


Wild Fermentation of Veggies

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Fermented Bread & Butter Pickles

by Catherine Haug, April 16, 2012

(photo of Cat’s Pickles, by Catherine)

Dr. Mercola features a Video Interview of Carolyn Barringer on the topic of culturing veggies – how to, and the health benefits thereof. It’s a long video (1:48 hr), but for those of us who attended our gatherings on Lacto-Fermentation with Don Bates, & Jeanette Cheney Aug 17, 2011, or Homemade Sauerkraut, and introduction to Lacto-Fermentation, with Melanie Hoerner (pdf from October 2008), we’ve seen live demonstrations.

Carolyn uses a slightly different technique than we’ve presented, in that she does the fermentation in the quart glass jars that are also the storage jars (so no need to transfer from crock to jar), and uses the sodium-rich juice of celery instead of salt. Note that the fermented product is NOT canned (heat-treated) as that would decimate the probiotics and enzymes in the ferment.

Six Simple Steps to Veggie Culturing


Lacto-fermented Orange Marmalade

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

by Catherine Haug, December 3, 2011

Orange Marmalade

Last year I posted on Preserved Lemons, made by LaProvence restaurant and featured at the Village Market. In case you have not tried this wonderful technique for preserving lemons through the off-season, you are missing out. They lend wonderful flavor to recipes calling for lemon.

You can preserve other citrus in a similar way, or you can try making orange marmalade by lacto-fermentation, the older technique that predated canning as a means of food preservation. This won’t have the sweetness and sticky jelly-like texture of canned marmalade, but it is delicious nevertheless – slightly salty, tangy, and a bit of sweetness in a sunshine-yellow way. I use it in my morning smoothie, on ice cream, yogurt, and in baked goods. It would also be great in soups, stews or other main dishes.

I made a batch earlier this year and took photos along the way, then wrote it up in a photo-recipe in case you want to give it a try. The basic idea is from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon, but I’ve modified it with ideas from’s recipe for Ginger-Citrus Marmalade. Ingredients include: oranges, lemons, ginger, honey, Organic sugar, whey, salt and natural pectin.

Or see my blog, Cats Kitchen: Marmalade (Lacto-Fermented Citrus) for the recipe and information about the ingredients. I also made a 2-page printable pdf file of just the recipe: OrangeMarmalade-CHaug2.pdf

Preparing for, and Surviving our Future

Monday, November 14th, 2011

by Catherine Haug, November 11, 2011

From the Organic Consumers Association or OCA (1):

“Surviving the Approaching Storm

We are fast approaching a tipping point in terms of climate disruption, food production, financial meltdown, and Peak Oil.

To survive and thrive in turbulent times we will need to organize ourselves at the grassroots level to carry out a series of Organic Transitions – not only in terms of food and farming, but also in transportation, housing, health, and education.

While remaining engaged in pressing governments and businesses to green and revitalize the economy and stabilize the climate, OCA believes that we must “dig in” and prepare ourselves locally and regionally to become as “organic” and self-reliant as possible.”

We at ESP are at the forefront of this transition, by working locally to prepare for the approaching storm, and living more healthfully and happily in the process. See Surviving the Approaching Storm for the rest of the OCA article which focuses on the premise that “Organic can feed the world”. (more…)

Most Healthful Foods

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

by Catherine Haug, September 18, 2011

Dr Mercola posted an article on his health website this past week: Ten Best Foods to Eat Frequently for a Terrific Health Kick…. I found this interesting, but prefer a few minor changes and two additions (in my opinion). Here’s the list (see Mercola’s article for why these are so healthful): (more…)

Preserving Herbs with Salt or Sugar

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Capped jar of salt-preserved sage

by Catherine Haug, September 17, 2011

Photos by C. Haug

As our gardens are winding to a close for the season, we are elbow deep in preservation. Dehydration is the most common method for preserving garden herbs. Freezing is another fairly common method.

But have you ever thought about preserving them in salt or sugar? Both of these crystalline substances are anathema to bad bacteria but provide an environment favorable to good bacteria (lacto-bacteria). (more…)