The Body Ecology Diet book, trying to fill in the gaps in my diet and lifestyle changes in order to better facilitate my healing. If you are unfamiliar with the title, it is one of the most referenced texts on internal bacterial overgrowth, it's effects on health, and the necessary dietary changes to heal and keep it in check. Much of the information in the book I have already read in my various internet haunts over the past couple of years, but it is giving me some important information that I haven't previously considered, such as proper food combining and the importance of consuming fermented vegetables. If you have been following my blog closely, you may recall that fermented foods of any kind have been on my Absolutely Avoid list, because every time I have tried to introduce them into my diet, I immediately get a fits of brain fog, light-headedness, and often increased inflammation in my body. Sooo...I quickly abandoned said attempts and opted for playing it safe. The new year, however, has brought a persistent impatience with stasis into my life, and I feel that I've made enough headway in my healing that I can afford to take some risks. Maybe. I hope. Eh...we'll see.
So, here I am on week two of ingesting a wee bit of fermented something or other almost every day, in addition to the super probiotics that I've been taking 2-3 times a day for the past year. While I do feel a bit of the brain fog and fatigue, as well as a mild but persisting nausea, I'm hoping that this will improve in time and is simply a bit of the Herxheimer effect. Why do I feel hopeful this time around? I've made a few other exceptions in my diet in the past week that normally would throw me pretty off, but seemed to have little effect on me. Por exemplo: On Friday, I made some cashew-based custards, and included 6 wee blueberries in mine. Taken with stride. Later in the day I made a homemade butternut squash soup (recipe soon!), and ate a fair amount of the leftovers the following day. Pushing it, for sure, but I seemed to be okay. It does seem equally possible that because I feel off from the fermented veggies, the reactions my body is having from these exceptions aren't feeling as acute, but for now, I'm trying not to analyze it too much. My trial shall continue, and dear friends, you will benefit.
The two jars that I cultured this month turned out to be absolutely delicious, and I have utilized the vegetables, herbs and juices in a variety of ways that I am excited to share with you in installments. (Wraps, marinades, dressings, and chips!) Both of them are uniquely flavored, but both have an intoxicating smoky flavor thanks to the applewood smoked sea salt that I used. (Only two more days to enter to win some here!) I will absolutely be making these again. Be sure, also, to check out Kim's selection of fermented cuisine here. I used her tutorials as guides.
SMOKY CULTURED PARSNIPS WITH ROSEMARY & TARRAGON
2 SMALL PARSNIPS
1/2 CUP WARM WATER1 TBS APPLEWOOD SMOKED SEA SALT
1 1/2 TSP OF FENNEL SEED
2/3 TSP MEYER LEMON ZEST (or combo of orange and lemon zest)
2 LARGE STEMS OF TARRAGON
1 SMALL SPRIG OF ROSEMARY
CLEAN THE PARSNIPS, AND USE A VEGETABLE PEELER TO SHAVE RIBBONS OF PARSNIP OFF UNTIL YOU CAN'T PEEL ANY MORE. IN A CLEAN, STERILIZED JAR, LAYER FIRST THE SEEDS, THEN ALTERNATE TARRAGON AND PARSNIPS, AND TOP WITH THE ROSEMARY. PACK ALL INGREDIENTS VERY TIGHTLY. IN A SMALL BOWL OR CUP, MIX WATER, SALT AND ZEST. MIX UNTIL SALT FAIRLY DISSOLVED AND THE ZEST IS HYDRATED (IF DRIED). POUR INTO THE JAR, AND DO YOUR BEST TO SUBMERGE ALL HERBS AND VEGETABLES. SCREW ON THE TOP OF THE JAR VERY TIGHTLY. PLACE IN A WARM AREA AND ALLOW TO SIT, 3-7 DAYS DEPENDING ON THE TEMPERATURE OF THE ROOM AND HOW STRONGLY FERMENTED YOU WANT IT TO BE. (I KEPT MINE ON A SHELF ATOP THE RADIATOR.) REFRIGERATE WHEN DONE.
CULTURED BURDOCK & LOTUS ROOT
1 CUP WARM WATER
1 SKINNY BURDOCK ROOT
1 SMALL LOTUS ROOT
1 LEMONGRASS STALK
3-4 STALKS OF BASIL LEAVES
2 TBS PERILLA/SHISO SEEDS
1 1/2 TBS CORIANDER SEEDS
1/2 TBS APPLEWOOD SMOKED SEA SALT
1/2 TBS PLAIN SEA SALT
CLEAN THE ROOTS AND SHAVE THEIR SKINS OFF WITH A VEGETABLE PEELER. RINSE PEELER AND THEN PEEL THE FLESH OF THE BURDOCK ROOT WITH IT UNTIL YOU CAN'T PEEL ANY MORE. THINLY SLICE THE LOTUS ROOT INTO DISCS. SLICE THE LEMONGRASS, HOWEVER SUITS YOUR FANCY. I DID BOTH VERTICAL CUTS AND SMALL CIRCLES. IN A CLEAN, STERILIZED JAR, LAYER FIRST THE SEEDS, THEN THE BASIL, THEN BURDOCK, LEMONGRASS ACCORDING TO HOW IT WAS CUT/WILL FIT, THEN STACK THE LOTUS ROOT ABOVE. PACK CONTENTS IN TIGHTLY. IN A SMALL BOWL OR CUP, MIX THE WARM WATER AND SALT, AND THEN POUR INTO THE JAR. TAKE CARE TO KEEP CONTENTS SUBMERGED. SCREW ON JAR TOP VERY TIGHTLY. PLACE IN A WARM AREA AND ALLOW TO SIT, 3-7 DAYS DEPENDING ON THE TEMPERATURE OF THE ROOM AND HOW STRONGLY FERMENTED YOU WANT IT TO BE. (I KEPT MINE ON A SHELF ATOP THE RADIATOR.) REFRIGERATE WHEN DONE.