Culturing raw vegetables can be a little intimidating. The process really is quite simple, but it seems like a lot to keep track of. What type of vegetables do you use? What do you culture with – salt, whey or freeze-dried culture? How do you make sure the culture doesn’t go bad during the fermentation process? How long, exactly, do those jars need to sit on my kitchen counter? And why bother culturing vegetables, anyway?
Consuming probiotics and fermented foods has numerous possible benefits. Chief among them, a healthier gut means more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are absorbed. Plus, fermented vegetables are really delicious. Store-bought pickled veggies (like sauerkraut and pickles) are usually preserved in vinegar instead of a lactobacterial-salt slurry. This short-cut pickling method means no probiotics are present and the vegetables are usually limp and soggy. Lacto-fermented vegetables are crunchy, tangy and alive with healthy bacteria.
Avocado fries have that tempting combination of a crispy outer layer, creamy middle and addictive fried flavor. Made with nothing more than avocado, coconut, egg, salt and spices, it’s a pure and healthful snack or salad topping loaded with beneficial fatty acids.
Before you scarf down an entire plateful, keep in mind that a little bit of avocado goes a long way. The good news is that avocado fries are both rich and filling so a small portion is plenty satisfying. This simple recipe gives avocado fries a Southwest flair, adding cumin and chili powder to the mix. You could take this theme a little further by adding finely chopped cilantro to the coating and finishing them with a squirt of fresh lime.
One last thing: Don’t make this recipe unless you have a bottle of hot sauce in the fridge. It adds the extra kick that sends avocado fries over the top.
There are several types of vegetables that can be used to mimic noodles (spaghetti squash, zucchini) but none do it as well as celeriac. Peeled strands of this rugged root will cook to al dente in less than 3 minutes, making a fine bowl of faux fettuccine.
Celeriac noodles can be topped with any of your favorite sauces, but are especially good with this parsley pesto that matches the clean, fresh flavor of the noodles. Celeriac (also called celery root) has an herbal, pleasantly bitter flavor that will remind you of both celery and parsley. The flavor is stronger when raw and quite mild when cooked.
With some time and effort, you could probably shape these Swiss chard fritters into gorgeous, perfectly round discs. But here’s the thing – they’re going to be eaten up so quickly, it’s not really worth the effort. Straight out of a hot pan, Swiss chard fritters are crunchy on the outside, creamy in the middle and have the delicate flavor of Swiss chard, dill and parsley.
Tired of greens simply sautéed in olive oil? Swiss chard fritters are a new way to keep nutrient-rich greens in regular rotation in your diet. Serve a side of Swiss chard fritters for breakfast with eggs or next to a steak for dinner and you’ll also be serving up impressive amounts of vitamins K, A, C, E, B2, B6 and B1. Plus, zinc, folate, calcium, fiber…the list goes on and on.
It’s two days away from Thanksgiving here in the United States, and that means a significant portion of my readership is scrambling to put together a Primal menu. Things are easier now with the rise of the ancestral health community and the growing preponderance of related recipe blogs, but a lot of you are still wasting precious time combing through their volumes or converting standard Thanksgiving recipes into Primal-friendly recipes. You have better things to do. You have family and friends to visit, footballs to toss (or kick, as the case may be), piles of polychromatic leaves to roll around in, and thanks to give. Even if you’re an international reader, don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or know quite what it’s all about, you still like to eat great food.
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