Whole Food Homestead

plant. grow. reap. eat.

Category: Preserving

Fermented Pickles

Before the jarred pickles lining the shelves today, people enjoyed naturally fermented cucumbers. Their sour taste was not from vinegar, but from lactic acid produced by healthy bacteria, which also served to preserve the pickles. When the fermentation process was complete, the vat of pickles would be stored in the root cellar where the cool temps would help them last for months and months. Today, of course, you can buy a sealed jar of pickles that will last indefinitely, but the trade-off is in the nutrition. Continue reading

Fermented Green Beans

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I have green beans coming out of my ears! If you are a fellow gardener and have planted even one row, you are probably experiencing the same windfall. If not, you can find loads of beans in all sorts of colors at your local farmer’s market this time of year. I wanted to take advantage of this crop abundance as an opportunity to share a less common preservation method for green (or yellow, or purple!) beans – in addition to freezing, canning, or eating your green beans with every meal for the next couple weeks, a great option is to ferment them. Continue reading

Gift Guide for a Whole Food Homesteader

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For those of you who are scrambling for last-minute gift ideas, or just shopping for yourself, here are a few of my favorite things! (I am not receiving any reimbursement for these listings.) Please comment below to share your ideas and favorites – I know there are scores more, plus my husband doesn’t know what to get me yet! 🙂 Continue reading

Your Family’s Most Nourishing Staple: Homemade Bone Broth

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Once you get on the homemade bone broth bandwagon, you’ll be like me and other broth aficionados who can no longer imagine throwing out a carcass – especially one as rich with possibility as the one from your giant Thanksgiving turkey! Of course, bones from chicken pieces, a rotisserie chicken or any other poultry will also work for a homemade chicken “bone broth.” Continue reading

Basic Korean Kimchi

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Now – RIGHT NOW, as in don’t waste another weekend! – is a beautiful time of year to visit your farmer’s market – the colors and smells are amazing! Piles of purple cauliflower, peppers in every color, bright pink, orange and yellow chard, squashes, pumpkins, root vegetables, and even a few precious hold-outs from the summer such as cucumbers, beans and tomatoes, if you’re lucky. This is the glorious last-hurrah of the growing season, and I am focused on collecting and storing as many of these nutritious foods as I can for the upcoming winter. This kimchi recipe is perfect for doing just that – you can find nearly every ingredient in your own garden or the farmer’s market right now (the exception may be the ginger root).

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Fermented Carrot Sticks

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These are a super easy fermented vegetable to prepare. Carrots are easy to find and inexpensive – and this time of year you should even be able to find them at a farmer’s market. The flavor is similar to dill pickles and the texture will remain pretty crisp, so if you are new to fermenting vegetables, these carrot sticks shouldn’t come across as overly exotic.

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Dried Apple Rings

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It’s apple-picking season in Minnesota, and we have had so much fun gathering apples from every corner – neighbors, friends, a tree I never noticed right by the nearby high school, and two newly-discovered wild apple trees in the marsh behind our house. Of course apple orchards are another fun way to get your apple fix, but don’t underestimate your ability to find a crop of free, and probably pesticide-free, apples near you!

Drying apples is one of my new favorite ways to preserve apples – for one thing, it is less labor-intensive than making applesauce. Also, it is a super easy, and non-messy, snack for the kids on-the-go.

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