Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cultured Mondays - Pickled (Lacto-fermented) Celery (Heirloom Variety Used)

It's Cultured Mondays again!  How are your culturing goals coming along?  We have been faithfully eating at least one cultured food a day, and I am hoping to increase to two a day soon.
Yup, this is celery!  An organic, heirloom version.
My fellow blogger at the Nourished Living Network, Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS, has written an amazing book with about 150 fermenting recipes.  Yup, 150!  I'm learning that almost everything can be fermented.  You can find her book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods, HERE.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn how to ferment foods.

Another fellow blogger, founder of the Nourished Living Network, KerryAnn, just had a wonderful post about fermenting the proper way, on her blog, Cooking Traditional Foods.  I learned so much from this post.  Here is the link if you are interested.  After reading this, I plan on placing my ferments in my Harsch Crock and I just bought two pickl-it jars to try, so I will update you on how I like using these.  I'm learning that while mason jars will give you some probiotics, they will not give you the best.  So, while I may use mason jars here and there, I will be converting over entirely to anerobic fermenting containers in the coming month.

Now, onto the celery! I was perusing the farmer's market on Saturday, looking for something fun to culture this weekend.  It's spring and chilly, and mostly greens, beets, and carrots abound this time of year.  But then these beautiful red stalks caught my eye and I was thrilled to have stumbled upon some organic heirloom celery.  I have never seen this red celery before, but here it is!  And the taste . . . imagine the normal celery taste but ten times stronger.  This celery is delicious, and I think its the way God intended celery to taste.

This recipe is very easy.  Here is what you need:

* One 6 cup or two quart sized glass canning jars
* Four stalks, plus a few pieces of the heart cut into 3-4 inch sticks; can include a few leaves if you like
* One small head of garlic
* Two sprigs of rosemary and a few sage leaves or fresh herbs of choice; or none at all
* Four tablespoons of pink or sea salt
* Two tablespoons of whey
* Around 5 cups of filtered water

Wash your celery, garlic (skins off), and herbs thoroughly, cutting off any damaged or brown pieces.  Cut your celery into 3-4 inch stick sized pieces.  Take each piece of garlic and cut in half any large pieces, then lightly crush each clove.  Add all your vegetables and herbs to your jar along with your salt and whey.  Then add your filtered water.

Give the jar a few shakes to help distribute the salt and whey throughout the water.  Set in a dry, dark place (a kitchen cabinet is fine) and allow to sit for about a week (if very warm, then check after 4-5 days, but if cooler, then it will probably need a week, as the ideal fermenting temperature is around 70 degrees).  Once your celery is done fermenting, move to the refrigerator.

(Featured on Healthy Home Economist, Homestead Revival, Real Food Forager, Cooking Traditional Foods, The Nourishing Gourmet, GNOWFLGINS, Food Renegade, Real Food Freaks)

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