Jun 6, 2014

Lacto-fermented Cauliflower with Curry

I'm always on the hunt to find something healthy my children will eat...especially if it is fermented.   This week's FarmShare basket provided a couple good sized heads of cauliflower.  Earlier I made grain-free tabbouleh with one.  While I was processing the cauliflower for the tabbouleh, the thought came to mind to continue with the the rest and ferment it.  I'm hopeful the texture will be enough like rice that I can sneak it onto their food without the children's knowledge. 

When it comes to fermenting, it is helpful to use the freshest, most organic produce available.  In a recent blog post by The Healthy Home Economist about the best probiotic to take, she mentions soil based organisms (SBO).  If you've read the book The Maker's Diet, Jordan Rubin also talks about the benefits of these.  Because of soil based organisms, I love produce that is grown locally - by a farmer I trust not to use chemicals.  Most of the time I don't even rinse the veggies.  I want those SBO in my ferment!   (I do cut out any visibly bad spots in the produce.)
That said, if you cannot obtain local and organic produce - second best would be organic from the grocery store.  However, even conventionally grown produce is great for fermenting.  Eating something fermented is the goal.  As with your financial investments, diversity is the name of the game.  Try to get multiple ferments in your body.  My goal (not always reached) is one ferment a meal.  Sometimes I'm able to get two ferments in a meal!  And sometimes I forget all together.
I followed this recipe except I decided to process the cauliflower instead of leaving it in larger florets.  Several reasons for finely chopping the cauliflower:

1. The food processor was already out and being used.
2. More cauliflower will fit in a jar when it is pulverized.
3. Maybe I can hide it in other foods and get my children to eat more.
Basic instructions:

1.  In a quart jar, dissolve 3 tablespoons of sea salt (non-iodized salt) in one full quart of water.  This is your brine solution.

2.  In a different jar, add your cauliflower - either in florets or chopped finely.  If you want to flavor this with curry, add curry to your jar.  The curry in my pantry is quite spicy and I used only 1/2 tablespoon.  The recipe I based this on called for 2.5 tablespoons.  You can omit the curry and it will still be delicious.

3. I like garlic so I added one clove to the top of the jar.

4.  Pour the brine solution over the cauliflower, leaving 1-1.5 inch head space and screw a lid on tightly.  Cover the jars and leave in a cool spot (if summer) and warm spot (if winter.)  The kitchen is hottest in summer, so my fermenting jars are on the mantel in the living room.  Recently I read on the Pickl-it site that UV rays can interfere with the fermenting process so be sure to cover the jars. 

5. You may need to "burp" the jars if the liquid gets too close to the top of the jar.  On day 3, I usually open the jar and taste.  If it tastes pickled then it's ready to go in the refrigerator.


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