Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blackberries and Beets

After a very busy weekend, I had a rare Sunday afternoon of down time.  Instead of taking a much needed nap I decided to dive into making some more of the fermented recipes I have been itching to experiment with.  I can't get enough of making these lacto-fermented foods.  They are just so yummy and easy!  Not to mention beneficial for our digestion.  So after a stroll around the orchard, some deep inhales-exhales, and a visit to the garden, I came back to the house with a big bowl of warm juicy blackberries, a whole bunch of mint (several kinds) and one gigantic red beet.  Did I say gigantic?
And yes, I usually do have better things to do than take pictures of over sized vegetables but I needed proof.  I've never seen a beet this big before. 

So in to the kitchen I go to begin my experimentation...

...which resulted in five pint jars of raw beet kraut (click here for basic kraut recipe) and two gallons of fermented soda, one blackberry and one green tea/mint.  Yummmm!  You really do have to try these...

Fermented Blackberry Soda
about 6 cups of blackberries (freshly picked or frozen)
1 gallon filtered water
2 cups whey
1 cup agave or sugar (haven't had very good results with honey)

Wash berries if fresh and add to pot with 1/2 gallon of water.  Add sweetener and simmer until sweet and berries are pretty much broken down, about 15 minutes.  Taste for sweetness.
(If not sweet enough either simmer longer or add more sweetener.)
Pour berry syrup into gallon glass jar and let cool.  Add whey and rest of water until jar is full.  Stir well, cap and let sit in a warm place for a couple of days.  Taste after a day and a half to monitor the fermentation process.  The soda should become bubbly.  I have found that 2 days tends to be plenty in warm weather, I monitor mine closely because I don't want my soda to turn alcoholic. 
Once the bubbles form, strain the soda, put into bottles and refrigerate.  Enjoy chilled on hot days.

Moroccan Mint and Green Tea Soda (adapted from suddenly sauer)
A huge handful of fresh mint (about 1/2 lb)
1 gallon filtered water
2 tbls. green tea (preferably gunpowder but I have used sencha too)
1 cup agave
2 cups whey

Wash mint.  Bring water to a boil, add sweetener, then add fresh mint and green tea.  Remove from heat, stir, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes.  Pour into a gallon glass jar (leaving room for the whey) and let cool.  Cap and let sit for a couple of days to a week in a warm place until bubbles start to form.  Strain and bottle then refrigerate.


  1. Oh my gosh, that beet is astounding!
    Love your blog and all your news. I'm in awe of your energy and your creativity.
    You are creating such a beautiful life there!

  2. Oh wow! That is one impressive beat! Do you know if there is a substatute for whey?