By Lynnie Stein / April 17, 2020

Festive Ferments

Homemade fermented goodies add a level of sophistication …

Fermented cocktail onions are so much better tasting and gut-loving than your usual store-bought ones!

Tomato salsa is so easy, tasty, and quick to make.

Having a bottle or 2 you can always whip a snack together for guests … bruschetta and Festive taco comes to mind.

Fermented Cranberry relish and sauce is delicious with turkey or brie.

Mincemeat was a traditional way of preserving fruit and nuts for the winter.

At festive times it is often eaten as a tart filling.

It is a delicious accompaniment to a cheese board.

Homemade frothy whipped eggnog is probiotic and delicious.

Made with coconut milk kefir for those who are sans dairy. (recipe in wild coconut and feral milk books).

Picky eaters are not always eager to try new food.

Fermented beverages like water kefir can be combined into gelatin to make yummy treats.

Also made into ice cream or shave ices and flavored with any number of ingredients.

Milk kefir will shake up your Festive menu plan! So many ideas in Feral Milk book.

Fermented garlic and ginger are easy to sneak into several foods.

Sauerkraut brine / kvass is the go-to starting point and can replace your final seasoning in everything from Festive dips to Christmas dinner.

Fermented tomato salsa combined with mashed avocado is deelish tossed through fresh vegetable spirals or pasta.

Gdzie jest barszcz i kwasna kapusta, tam chata tlusta.

Old Polish proverb … “Where there is beet soup and sauerkraut, there is plenty.”

When life gives you cabbage, you make sauerkraut

Christmas … with a festive touch and share with others.

Homemade sauerkraut is a world apart from the stuff that comes from the grocery store.

It is crunchy and delightfully sour, perfect for topping a round of beer-braised brats or layering into a big Boxing day sandwich.

Follow along in Module 1 The Gut Academy Online Course

Sauerkraut fermentation requires almost no work on the part of you. In principal, sauerkraut is made by the wild fermentation of cabbage in the absence of oxygen. The gift of Sauerkraut is made by combining shredded cabbage, salt and sometimes spices, and allowing the mixture to ferment.

 Gifting pretty bottles of Gut-loving Festive Sauerkraut … including mustard seeds, shredded ginger kombu, and lemon slices (make the lemon slices a bit bigger as they will shrink) … double duty … Chop ‘em up, peel and all, and throw in just about anything from salads to grain dishes, baked potato for an amazing flavor boost (or you can just eat them in your kraut, of course).

Apple Kraut … green cabbage, radicchio, shallots, apple, juniper berry and allspice

Red Apple Kraut … Red and green cabbage, diced apple, turmeric, and ginger 

Christmas Kraut … Red and green cabbage, cranberry, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, orange juice and orange slices.

Pear / Peach + Goji … green cabbage, diced pear, goji berries

Grandma would include classic kraut in most of her recipes. It is an excellent flavor booster to salads, stir fries, fruits, salsas, green smoothies, cacao treats, sandwiches, sushi, rice rolls and more.

Gut loving bouquet?????? Add fresh edible flowers to sauerkraut.

Kraut menu in Sexy Sauerkraut e-book.

  • Christmas Superfood Tabouli – mix finished kraut with quinoa, diced tomato, and fresh greens and herbs.

Christmas Kale and Red Kraut Salad

Koreans have kimchi days like the tomato sauce making days Italian families have.

The grandmas organize the families and will make a 100-wombok kimchi, mainly with the help of the daughters-in-law.

Sometimes they will make a 500-wombok kimchi and those larger quantities are stored in huge stoneware pots, which are buried until another pot is required. Kimchi recipes in Kimchi e-book

And follow along in module 2 

 Hosting a Christmas kraut party

Have you ever been to or hosted a sauerkraut party?

Gather friends and boxes and boxes of cabbages in your kitchen, and slice, salt, hug, and massage and pack your way through heads of cabbage to put up the year’s sauerkraut.

Sharing the love and labor among friends with laughter, smiles and plenty of wine. 

Great Grandma Eliza Rose Epple’s Pudding uses the sourdough process made over a period of three days.

Over time transforming to deliciously dark, richly indulgent, fruity, moreish festive flavor and slightly bitter.

Must be the perfect antidote to all that has passed.

Organic fruits soaked overnight in ginger and turmeric Tibicos. 

Additions of grated carrot, apple, beetroot, and sweet potato with grated frozen bone marrow.

Plus, generous additions of festive spice, and a dash of Guinness.

Served hot, doused with warmed brandy, and set alight.

Teamed with a pear poached in a syrup of elderberry and juniper + Kefir cream, brandy butter or whisky sauce.

 There is this idea that the best puddings are made in January … in time to prepare puddings and reflect on the coming year and mature on December 25 and maybe that is true for those with a finely tuned pudding palate.

My problem is I make the puddings like grandma without measurements and each year with different ingredients.

Here is an alternative as a starting point made close to Christmas.

Fruit + Nuts

1 1/2 cups of chopped mixed organic dried fruit: choose from raisins, sultanas, currants, pineapple, figs, prunes, apricots, or dates. The Source Bulk Foods have a wonderful variety of mixed fruits and activated nut mixtures.

1/3 cup chopped nuts: hazelnuts and brazils

1 tablespoon of grated mixed citrus peel: orange, lemon, and lime

1 tablespoon of citrus juice: lemon, orange, or lime

1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses

4 tablespoons dark ale, Guinness, or stout

2 tablespoons of dark rum, brandy, port, or sherry

1 tablespoon kefir

Flour + Spices

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 t ground nutmeg or mace

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 1/2 cups whole meal spelt flour

1/4 cup unrefined molasses cane sugar

50 gm butter from pasture fed cows

2 eggs from pasture fed chickens

4 tablespoons sourdough starter

1/3 cup grated beetroot

1/2 cup whole meal spelt flour

750 ml pudding bowl.

Baking paper

Aluminum foil and string

As this Christmas pudding uses the sourdough process you will need to make it over a period of 2 days, though it has been made successfully in 24 hours.

Ferment fruit + nuts

  1. Chop the dried fruit into 1/2 cm cubes then mix with the chopped nuts and finely grated citrus peel in a large glass bowl.
  2. Add citrus juice, blackstrap molasses, dark ale, brandy, and milk Kefir.
  3. Cover with a cloth held in place with a piece of elastic and leave to ferment overnight at about 20-25C.

Make the Christmas pudding

  1.  When the fermented fruit and nuts are ready mix in the spices, salt, and unrefined sugar with 1 1/2 cups of flour, then finger in the butter.
  2. Add beaten eggs and sourdough starter.
  3. Stir in the fermented fruit and nuts, and the beetroot.
  4. Add additional flour a little at a time (about 1/2 cup) until you get a smooth cake-like batter. (Note the batter needs to be more moist than dry.)
  5. Grease a 750 ml pudding bowl with butter, dust with flour then spoon in the Christmas pudding mixture, cover with a damp cloth, and leave to prove a further 12-24 hours at 28C. There needs to be about 1/2 – 1 inch of space at the top of the bowl to allow for the mixture to rise a little.

Steam the pudding

  1.  Put a small cake rack on the bottom of a large saucepan, then add one inch of water.
  2. Cover the pudding bowl with two circles of baking paper, (greased with butter if preferred).
  3. Hold in position with an elastic band then tie with string.
  4. Remove the elastic band. Trim off any excess paper then cover with a piece of aluminum foil held in position with string. Trim off any excess foil. Can also use the traditional cloth.
  5.  Stand the pudding bowl on the rack in the saucepan. Ensure that there is about one inch of water in the saucepan.
  6. Cover the saucepan with a lid and bring the water to a gentle boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and steam the sourdough Christmas pudding for 2 hours. Keep an eye on the water level to ensure that it does not boil dry, topping up, as necessary. The pudding may rise another 1/2-1 inch during the cooking process.
  7. Serve the pudding hot with Kefir cream, brandy butter or whisky sauce.
  8. The sourdough Christmas pudding should improve with age and keep for a couple of months. Be sure to store it in a cool place. In warm climates it is advisable to store in a refrigerator or frozen.
  9. To reheat, steam again for 45 minutes. If using cloth … Hang with pegs on a clothesline to drain before opening.

Flame with brandy for full Christmas effect!

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© 2021 Lynnie Stein