Fermented foods are just beautiful not only for the taste buds but also for your gut. Ancients culture have propagated fermented foods for preservation and taste through the centuries. The souring action if microbes that produced fermentation have been critical in our diets throughout the globe. Similar foods can be found in every culture, just called something different.
Indian “Achar” or “Kanji” are great examples and so is the fabulous “Kimchi” from Korea.
My personal story takes me back to the late 1970’s where as a young girl spending lazy winters vacation in Lucknow, India I would watch my grandfather ferment and pickle various vegetables in earthenware and produce the probiotic liquid called “Kanji” in India. It was delicious, tart and healthy and the joy of helping my grandfather while he worked on these beautiful foods is a memory that is permanent ink in my soul.
True to foods that nourish your soul and help you remember your history, in this series I am sharing different fermented food s I am experimenting with.
This fermented beet pickle and tonic fascinates and mesmerizes with its deep violet color and tangy taste. There many health benefits of both the beets and these are just amplified through fermenting.
“Kanji” is usually a pungent combination of water, mustard seeds, beetroot and carrots and is full of digestion-boosting friendly bacteria and enzymes. I have only used beets here so the color is quite intense. Beets are high is sugar but the fermentation breaks the sugars down and makes this drink a healthy tonic. Very similar to Kvass which is an eastern European fermented beverage commonly made with rye bread.
The simplest soups are sometimes the best…warm, tangy and so good for the soul. This soup is simple and this soup is good and this soup is nourishing.
It was ready is just 20 mins and made this chilly winter day just a little bright. The fridge was left with a depleting stock but I found the vibrant celery sticks and fresh carrots which inspired pulling this off. I had made some fresh lemongrass paste and had dried kafir lime leaves on hand so looked like a perfect day for soup.
The color in the soup is obtained from fresh turmeric that I minced with the garlic and ginger. It adds an earthiness but if you don’t have it on hand then don’t fret….equally delicious with out it.
For the home made recipe of lemongrass paste check it out on my blog here.
The vegetarian version of this soup uses a vegetarian broth, I bought an organic low sodium version but homemade would be great. If you are not a vegetarian then do use a good bone broth or beef broth that will bring intensity to the soup.
Fresh raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are flourishing in the market now and you know you want to put them in everything including Banana cream pie! They are perfect this time of year. Just be careful to pick the organic one without the harmful pesticides.
Not only I had the best bananas and berries on hand, I had the inspiration which came in the form of my creative fellow blogger Laurena@Life Diet Health. Do visit her blog for the original version that inspired me and her other amazing healthful recipes. Thanks Laurena!
So back to banana berry pie…it is vegan and gluten free. How you say? Cashews make the best creamy filling and you will not miss the fresh cream….they have to be soaked and then put in a high powered blender to get that creamy consistency.
The other ingredient used her to hold the cream together is Psyllium husk. It comes from the small seeds of the Plantago ovata plant and it gluten free. Just a tablespoon and half was enough for this pie.
I did not feel like making a pie crust from scratch so picked up a pre made gluten free crust from my next door Mom’s organic market. It worked out pretty well.
Oh yes and lets not forget the dates, sweet and delicious! I have used 4-5 dates plus coconut nectar too sweeten this pie.
This is a traditional Onion Chutney that accompanies many a feasts and dinners in Kashmir. The process is a quick pickling process which is very simple bringing out the tart and savory flavors.
The recipe call for dry mint but fresh would be fine if you are out of stock. I dry my mint in summer and fall and it lasts me at least 6 months. Dry mint does have a unique taste that it imparts to many Kashmiri dishes.
I serve it as a side to rice and savory dishes but you will find that it was be used in many other ways such and sandwiches kebabs.