Apr 21, 2011

Preserving Food

Eating locally was one of my new year's resolutions.  This is a doable goal in May through September.  However, the pickin's get a little slim about January.  One remedy to eating locally year round is to preserve food when it is in season.

Brainstorming a bit, here are some ways to preserve food:
fancy airlock is optional.
(let me know ways I've omitted.)

1. freeze
2. dehydrate
3. can
4. lacto-ferment

Of the four options above, I feel mostly confident about three of the ways.  I want to learn to can tomatoes this summer.

Believe it or not, the most intimidating sounding option, lacto-fermenting, is rather easy.  It tastes super yummy and is very good for you!  When lacto-fermenting food, the nutritional value actually increases - unlike canning or freezing.  Lacto-fermenting doesn't require fancy equipment (just extra refrigerator space.)

Last weekend at the farmers market, I gathered most everything needed to make kimchi.  I followed Lisa's recipe here.

For the first time I used chinese cabbage instead of the standard head of cabbage.  After a quick google search, I discovered that chinese cabbage does not have to be pounded.  Rather, soak it in a brine solution.  That was easy!

In the picture to the right, you will see that I didn't use much of the green part of the cabbage.  I'm going to make more this weekend and use more greens.  One recipe I found online said Koreans also use mustard greens in their kimchi.

I'm taking baby steps towards preserving food this year with hopes of a full table of local foods in January.  One of the recipes I want to try is this one for lacto-fermenting rainbow chard stems.


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