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Cultured and Fermented Foods

How to Make Rejuvelac

Rejuvelac was developed by Ann Wigmore, the wheat grass guru of the 60’s. It is a fermented grain drink. Rejuvelac is famous for its healing properties, is high in enzymes, vitamins and probiotics. It will repopulate your gut with good guys which is very important to a high functioning immune system (see Hot News of June 26, 2006), since a great percentage of our immune system resides in the gut. Rejuvelac also aids in digestion and helps with the elimination of waste from the colon, which is just another way of saying that it could have a slight laxative effect.

Please don't be put off by the length of this recipe – I am just trying to take all the guess work out of it for you. It is really very easy and uncomplicated to make rejuvelac.

You will need a few pieces of equipment to start with: Two 2-quart sized mason jars and one 4-quart sun-tea jar. Both can be purchased at any hardware store, like McGuckins. You will also need either some cheesecloth or a couple little mesh screens which fit into your mason jar lids. I use the screens. Then, you will need either a blender or a food processor.

Foodstuffs you will need to purchase: Organic kamut berries. Primal Defense Powdered HSO Probiotic Formula. Both can be purchased at Vitamin Cottage or any health food store. Kamut is a gluten grain, but even those of us who are sensitive to gluten can drink the water of fermented gluten grains.

Here is the recipe

Soak 1 C. of your kamut berries overnight in filtered water. You could use one of your 2-quart sized mason jars for your soaking.

The next morning, pour the water off of the berries and rinse the berries in a sieve under running water. Put the rinsed berries back into your 2-quart sized mason jar. Cover the mason jar with cheesecloth or the screen and lay the jar on its side on your kitchen counter. Rinse the berries twice daily. After two or three days, you will see little white sprout tails beginning to show.

At this point you will grind your sprouts in your food processor or blender until it is well broken up, sort of like mash. Then divide your ground kamut sprouts into two of your 2-quart size mason jars. Into each jar of ground kamut sprouts, put 1 teaspoon of the Primal Defense powder. Now fill each jar to the top with good water. Cover with the cheesecloth/screen lid again and stand on your kitchen counter for 48 hours. Stir it every now and again. The water will be gray-ish because of the probiotic powder – which is a dark gray.

After 48 hours, your liquid will be fermented and you will have your first batch of Rejuvelac. Pour off the Rejuvelac from your two 2-quart mason jars into your 4-quart sun-tea jar and refrigerate. It is ready to drink now and is better when it is cold.

Don’t be scared of it! Rejuvelac actually tastes quite good. It has a very mild, slightly fermented, sweet-ish taste and hardly any odor. It will feel good going down. If it smells funny, throw it out and start all over again. This almost never happens.

If you want to make another batch, save the ground berries from the first batch. Divide them again into the two 2-quart mason jars with the 1 teaspoon each of the Primal Defense Probiotic Powder, cover with filtered water and allow them to ferment for only 24 hours. Pour off your second batch of rejuvelac into your sun-tea jar and refrigerate. (If you will be making two batches I recommend that you buy two sun-tea jars.) Throw your ground berries away after the second batch then start all over again with new berries.

Drink up to 2 quarts per day for cleansing or a glass or two per day for prevention. Or, you could make your batches just in the spring and fall for cleansing purposes.

How to Make Kefir

Kefir is fermented milk, kind of like very liquid yogurt. It tastes tangy and good and will repopulate your gut with good enzymes.

Food stuffs to buy: 1) Body Ecology Kefir Starter. It is a box of 6 little envelopes of kefir starter, each of which makes 6 quarts of kefir. You can buy it from the website which is www.bodyecologydiet.com or from Hannah’s Herb Shop in Boulder. Call first, they don’t keep a lot in stock. 2) Two glass quart jars from Mcguckins. 3) Milk. I just use 1%. The directions for making kefir are included in the box of Body Ecology Kefir Starter, but I will go over them here, too.

Warm one quart of milk just slightly, to about skin temperature or 90 degrees. Mix into this warmed milk, one package of kefir starter. Stir or whisk to mix well. Pour this into your quart glass jar, put a lid on the container and let the mixture ferment for 18 to 24 hours. You will notice that the milk mixture will get thick but will still be pourable. There also may be some little lumps in the end product which won’t affect it at all - just shake all the lumps out.

Once it is thick, shake or stir vigorously and put in the refrigerator. It is ready to drink when it is chilled.

Don’t drink the whole quart! Save 6 T. so that you can start your second (and third and fourth etc.) batch. I usually have two quarts going at once. Take 6T. of your already made kefir and put into your second glass quart jar. The instructions say to add warmed milk to the subsequent batches but I just pour cold from the fridge and it seems to work. Put it on your counter to “clabber”, like you did for the first quart. Remember, you can do this up to 5 or 6 times from one starter package and have great kefir each time.

I like it plain, but you could also add some flavoring, like stevia and vanilla.

How to Make Cultured Vegetables

Please see the Hot News of June 26, 2006 for more info.

You will need to buy the following product: Body Ecology Culture Starter either from their website, www.bodyecologydiet.com or from Hannah’s Herb Shop in Boulder. There is a recipe in the box of culture starter, but I will go over it here, too.

Beginners Mix Recipe

1 very large head of cabbage, shredded in a food processor
1 bunch of kale chopped by hand
3 large carrots, peeled and shredded in a food processor
1 T. dill seed

  1. Combine all ingredients in a very large bowl.
  2. Remove several cups of this mixture and put into a blender.
  3. Add enough filtered water to make a slurry, the consistency of thick juice.
    Step three is when you add your culture starter: Dissolve one or two packages of culture starter in ½ cup of warm water. Add some form of sugar to feed the starter. I use agave, a squirt or two. Let the starter/sugar mixture sit for about ½ hour while the bacteria wake up. Add this starter/sugar mixture to the slurry you have made in step 3.
  4. Blend well then add the slurry back into your first mixture. Stir well.
  5. Pack this mixture down into a 2-quart glass container. Push down with your fist or a potato masher. Veggies must be tight.
  6. Fill this container almost full, but leave about 2 inches of room at the top for the veggies to expand.
  7. Roll up several cabbage leaves into tight logs and place them on top to fill the remaining 2 inch space. Put the lid on tight.
  8. Let the veggies sit on your counter for at least 3 days and up to a week. Then refrigerate which will slow down the fermentation. These cultured vegetables will last for months in your refrigerator.

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