Canning and freezing—as methods to preserve food—are relatively new in the Grand Scheme of Evolution.
Our ancestors (who did not have the advantage of electricity) largely fermented their crops in order to eat them at a later date. Pickles, relish, ketchup, mayonnaise, sauerkraut and mustard were all originally fermented. Depending on the environment, fermented fish, eggs, miso, kefir, kombucha and yoghurt were also staples of early Man’s diet.
It’s too bad that we have lost our taste for cultured food because that is literally where culture begins. These particular edible items also contain much that is good for us; probiotics to keep our immune systems strong and digestive enzymes to help us to digest what we eat. Could the decline in our health be due to the loss of these “helpers” in our diet? It is said that the availability of vitamin C in cabbage is increased ten times when it is made into sauerkraut.
I have recently begun making—and consuming—a lot of beet kvass. It’s incredibly easy to make and it is loaded with probiotics. Dr. Joseph Mercola recently tested some fermented vegetables and found that one serving of these foods had as many probiotics as a large bottle of expensive pills. Why not have the same benefit for a lot less money?
Here’s what I do. I take three or four medium-sized organic beets and cut them into chunks (you don’t want to grate them or cut them small because they will ferment too quickly & turn into alcohol).
I fill a quart jar about 1/4 to 1/3 full with these beets. I add a teaspoon of good quality salt (like organic grey sea salt or Himalayan).
Optional: I will often add a couple of garlic gloves and 1/3 cup of home-made whey, but this is not necessary.
Fill the jar with fresh (preferably not chlorinated and not with added fluoride) water leaving an inch of air space at the top. Cover tightly with a lid. Place on your kitchen counter for two days and shake a couple of times a day.
That’s it—you now have some beet kvass for your refrigerator. And when the juice is gone, you can refill it with water and set it on the counter for another two days for an additional batch.
My husband and I now drink a shot glass’ worth of the kvass with our meals. For me, personally, it solved a heartburn problem I was having and I prefer this flu defense to any and all flu shots. I have shown these two smaller glasses with one regular one so that you can get an idea of the amount that we actually drink. To your health!
Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens.
Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer! A personally autographed copy of her book, Love Signs, is available in the Almanac.com General Store. You can also find an ebook version on Amazon.com for $2.99.
Celeste is a great speaker for garden groups and civic groups. She is also offer a gardening “Apprentice with Celeste." Email her for details via AlmanacEditors@yankeepub.com