In this episode of Know Your Food with Wardee, I'm taking listener questions, including:
- suitable sea salts for fermenting
- can soy yogurt be used for whey in fermenting
- can dried figs be used to make a fermented fruit paste like the apricot butter in Nourishing Traditions
- can half gallon jars be used for fermenting
- how to dispose of or save unused whey
- can you ferment store-bought condiments
- does yogurt cheese contain probiotics, because the whey is dripped out
- what's wrong with beet kvass that tastes just like salty water
- kefir that separates into curds and whey and tastes less sour
- what to do with Kombucha
- can green beans be dehydrated
- sourdough starter that separates
- does warming a raw sprouted lentil burger destroy enzymes
- how to render fat from a grass-fed beef, how long it lasts, and what to do with it
Plus I shared what's going on at our place (last week's update)!
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Here are the questions I answered in this episode, in the order they're answered (in case you want to skip around). The podcast contains my answers, plus if I mentioned any additional resources, they are linked here along with the question.
Patricia asked: I have just bought your book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods, and am looking forward to trying out many recipes. There are two questions I would appreciate an answer to. 1. I use Himalayan salt which is totally unrefined. Is this suitable to replace the ‘sea salt', and would I use the same amounts as said in your recipes? Sea salt is very difficult to find here. 2. When you say ‘tsp' or ‘TB',does this mean level or heaped spoonfuls.
Joan asked: Regarding whey in your book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods, I do a lot of fermenting and would like to try basic whey. But I've a big casein problem and am not sure I can separate it well enough by straining. Also, I do food prep for very strict vegans. Any ideas? Can I use soy yogurt (like Whole Soy brand) to make a satisfactory non-dairy whey? Your book is great — I'd like to try some of the new things in it!
- Caldwell's starter at Wise Choice Market or Cultures for Health
- Body Ecology starter at Cultures for Health
Lisa asked: Your food blog is one of the most excellent out there. I've learned much. I have two questions about fermenting that I was hoping you could help me with. My children aren't big fans of the fermented veggies I've done in the past, though they consume kombucha, kefir, and yogurt with wild abandon. I was thinking of trying something sweet that they might like better, and I liked the Nourishing Traditions fermented apricot butter recipe using dried apricots (she also gives variations using dried pears and apples). I don't have access to any of these, but I do have organic figs and dates that I get at Costco for a great price. Is there any reason you know of why these couldn't be fermented? It seems like you can ferment about anything, but I wanted to check… I've been fermenting dairy for a long time, but the veggie/fruit thing is rather new. I didn't know if there was some “Must NOT Ferment” list out there. Also, is there any reason not to ferment in half gallon jars? Most recipes I've seen call for quarts. I don't really have quarts because I have four little children who eat like farm hands and a quart of anything lasts about as long as a paper shirt in a bear fight. If you know the answers to these questions, I would be very grateful for any time you could spare to answer them. Thanks!
- Use 3/4 teaspoon sea salt and 2 tablespoons whey (or starter culture) per pint of fruit paste made from dried fruits.
Maddie asked: Regarding your book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods. On page 119, the recipe for olives says it's a ‘lacto and aceto' ferment, but there is no whey in the directions. Is this correct, if not would you kindly advise how much to add? Love your book and step by step walk-through as a newbie — fermenting is great fun.
Stephanie asked: I have your book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods. I have really enjoyed reading it and trying some recipes. I have a couple of questions. My understanding is that whey only last a couple of weeks in the fridge. 1. What if I don't use all of it in that time? Is there a proper way to dispose of it? I read an article that it is harmful to pour it down the drain. 2. If I don't have time to make everything from scratch could I just add the whey to a store bought item (ex-hummus, salsa)? 3. Lastly, once I separate the whey from the yogurt, does the yogurt still have probiotics or not? Thank you so much for your response. I am enjoying my experiments with fermentation and the added health benefits.
Norma asked: I have a couple questions. I made beet kvass, it tastes just like salty water, what did I do wrong? When I made sauerkraut, there was no build-up of pressure when I loosened lid as you suggested, it turned out good. Thanks for any help.
Aaron asked: My question is about kefir making. I have been making kefir for 8 months or so, pretty religiously. Usually, I get a nice thick, beverage-like consistency that is sour and alcoholic. That's the way I like it. But right now, the last few batches have been SUPER thick, but not very sour. I have tried a second fermentation but the curds and whey separate and they won't mix together by shaking, it turns into watery liquid with chunks in it… not ideal. I understand that we're dealing with sensitive balances of tiny tiny beings here. I was just wondering if you had ever encountered this issue and had a remedy. The temperature has gotten warmer where I am, and I'm sure my amount of grains have grown as well.
Susan asked: I am just wondering what types of things you use Kombucha with? I have recently started this process of tea making, but, wondering about other uses than tea, from your perspective with the fermentation expertise you have. Thank you!
Want to make your own Kombucha at home, but need a scoby (starter)? Here's the one we recommend.
Joanne asked: After reading your post on zucchini (very informative, I might add) I was wondering: can green beans be dehydrated also?
Daniela asked: I remember a while back you had been on the GAPS diet, and I recently been diagnosed with colitis. I would love to know how you did on GAPS and is it easy to follow? Also I would love it if you have a GAPS guide that's easy to follow.
- What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on the Intro GAPS Diet — a great step-by-step day-by-day plan
- Why I'm On The GAPS Diet
- GAPS series here at GNOWFGLINS
Lisa asked: This is my 5th attempt at making a sourdough starter. Each time I have been getting a layer of starter with bubbles, liquid, and then the flour with no bubbles. I searched on line and some are saying to throw it away and others say it is still good. Would you happen to have any advice on this? Thank you for your time.
Julie asked: I'm curious about using a whole foods diet to help with Type 1 Diabetes. I know that Type 1 is technically not curable, but I wonder if there are things we can do through diet to give our son the best possible advantage. Does soaking grains change the carbohydrate count? Does yogurt that has been cultured 24 hours to remove the lactose have the same carbs as that which has been cultured less time? Thanks!
Marilyn asked: I'm sprouting lentils which we eat raw. However, if I were to put them in a veggie burger and heat the burger just until warm, would it destroy the nutrients in the sprouted lentils? Also, is there more protein in raw sprouts or cooked after soaking? Still learning.
Jayne asked: I seem to recall that you had a beef butchered on your property. And, also think that you posted about rendering the fat from the beef. We have gotten beef for several years, and I have always asked for the suet (kidney fat?) to use in making soap. Long story short… a butcher last year looks to have given me all the beef fat. And, unfortunately, I did not realize this until after all the fat in trash bags had been in my freezer for a while. I am not certain how to even begin to ‘tackle' this huge hunk of fat. Always before, my butcher would give me a small bag of chunks of fat (suet) that I know how to work with. Anyway, this experience (it is all still in my freezer) and your blog post on using what appeared to be more than just the kidney fat for rendering… leads me to ask: do you render all the fat from a beef? I recall seeing large glass jars with rendered fat… Once rendered and jarred: is that fat shelf stable for long? How do you use it? I am also interested to know if you get ‘all' the bones from a beef for making broth or only specific ones? I enjoy your posts and emails! Thanks!
- Butchering Our First Home-Grown Grass-Fed Beef
- Home-Rendered Grass-Fed Beef Tallow
- Tallow Balm
- Tallow Bars
What's Coming Up!
Next week I'm taking more listener questions!
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