It is the last day of the weekend again and already and I have the feeling I could use another 5 days of it. Though holiday mood does not really come up here in Germany with all the rainy autumn weather outside. Really nobody would believe it is the beginning of August if one would look outside my bedroom window this morning. But lucky for you: I decided to use the cozy, comfy mood I am in (and those morning hours, while my boyfriend is still sleeping on the other side of the bed) to share some thoughts and pictures with you.
not my window view – but pretty similar weather
First: How are things going on the organic challenge? Pretty well I have to say.
Not only did I stay in my budget this week: 28,08€ spent in the whole food store (you can see the amount of food I bought in my grocery haul video) plus 8,36€ spent on yesterdays trip to the farmers market. I got some spinach, to make my heavily missed green smoothies, bananas, for the same cause, pears, for a tarte aux poires (french for pear pie) I am going to prepare for a visit at my grandparents today and also some veggies, namely carrots, eggplant, cucumber oh and also a lemon, which I use in a lot (if not every single one) of my recipes.
not so green smoothie, due to all of the berries I mixed in
As you can see, summing up, I only spent 36,44€ for this weeks grocery shopping – BUT! I did enjoy a small portion of potato fries and a lemon beer yesterday at the fun fair with my friends. It was not organic, but also counted those two in, I went just slightly out of my budget – guess that is all right and quite understandably that I needed something to cool down my nerves with this amazing box fight (amateurs versus professionals) going on….
That was quite a lot of bragging… better come to the point of what I was actually going to talk about. Today I wanted to share with you a cheap way to get a lot of healthy vegetables in the winter months and also a way to prepare quite some delicious and healthy food. Probably due to my Russian background, I do just love everything fermented.
Miso, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, wine, vinegar, kvass (a Russian drink/beer made from fermented rye bread and used for my favorite soup – okroshka), cheese (the vegan kind), kefir and yogurt (which I do also produce using soymilk), just to name a few. I know that a lot of people do not like the idea of growing microorganisms in their food and eating them afterwards – but besides the diversity of flavors that can be created, fermentation has more useful side effects: like I already mentioned, food can be preserved over long periods of time, to enjoy it later in the year, when fresh produce is not available, fermented foods are ready to eat and do not need to be prepared in fancy ways, nutrients are easier to break up and can be better used after fermentation process and also those foods are enriched in essential food substrates.
You see – a lot of reasons to fall in love with fermented foods. This week I had my first attempt to make some sauerkraut myself. And man, how easy that one was:
All you need is:
- some cabbage
- some salt
Cut up the cabbage and place it in a big bowl. Add about 1 tsp of salt (or more if you make a big batch) and start to massage it in with your hands. After 2-5 minutes the cabbage will have released some liquid and quite softened up. Afterwards you can place it either in a huge glass container and put something heavy on top, so that the cabbage is pressed down tightly. Or you can do it as you can see in my example: use a preservation glass, press the cabbage in really tightly, put a leave of cabbage on top and close the whole thing up. After 2 to 5 days your homemade sauerkraut is ready to be enjoyed.
How I like my sauerkraut the best? I add some more salt and some fragrant oil (my favorite one is Russian unrefined sunflower oil, you cannot purchase it here in Germany, but probably some place you live?), mix everything nicely and dig in.
Another fermented food I just prepared a few hours ago, is yogurt made from soymilk. Some month ago I purchased a simple yogurt maker online (here, if you like to check it out), which does not need any electricity and has quite an easy system behind it. You can also make yogurt without fancy equipment – just search for instructions online.
I mixed half a cup of natural soy yogurt with half a liter of soymilk (it is important to use a type with more than 3gr Protein/100ml) and placed it afterwards with half a liter of cooking water (underneath the plastic pot) in my yogurt maker. Today in the evening this should already been done.
Luckily I still had some yogurt to enjoy as an early breakfast with frozen raspberries.
Do you like fermented foods? What are your favorites? And have you ever tried to make them at home?