In the mood of "Waste Not Want Not" I want to share what I have recently done with my kale, chard and collard green ribs as I process the greens or use them in my meals. If you aren't familiar with those ribs rather tough. I do cook them if I am cooking my greens for a good long time but more often, I am sautéing and the ribs won't cook long enough to soften the structure enough for my pathetic digestion (which incidentally is getting better with the help of my new chiropractor, new herbal regiment and cutting all sugar out of my diet). I could also justify giving them to my chickens if they were chopped up well, or to the rabbits who I have started keeping a separate "compost" bucket for.
But I digress. How do I not waste these lovely little morsels of tough plant cellulose? I lacto-ferment the little buggers. Some people also pickle them but I would much rather the low FODMAP friendly ferment (since my beloved coconut kefir has been out for months now...). For anyone that has FODMAP symptoms these little lovelies are a fantastic way to get some beneficial bacteria while you have to cut out sauerkraut! I also had the pleasure of cutting out pickles because I seem to have a problem with produce skin. Ahem...mandatory evacuation of a room due to noxious gas is not a real friend maker... COME ON DIGESTION! HEAL! I MISS MY PICKLES!
So the easiest way to do this is get a couple bunches of your desired green. Take the rib out. Cut it into desired size pieces and place it in the desired jar. I go with a quart size mason jar. Cram it in there and make sure there is at least an inch of space at the top (maybe a bit more). Mix a brine of 1 tablespoon of salt to 2 cups water and pour over "pickles." Place some sort of weight on top of the cut up ribs and make sure there is about 1/2 inch of water over the top of the ribs so that they don't rot/mold/etc. You can use a jar that fits inside your jar and then hold it down with a cloth or check out these fermenting glass weights on ebay. Put a rubber band around the cloth to hold the cloth on and keep the critters out! Alternatively you can use one of the fancy air locks (I had hubby make me some of these). Now you are done with the difficult stuff.
Find a nice spot on your counter for the pickles to sit for a few days to a week depending on the texture you would like and the temperature in your home. Don't be afraid to taste them periodically. Also, this is a good way to make sure there is always enough liquid. If you are in a hot dry environment you may need to periodically add more salt water (brine). remove weight and cloth, place a cap on them and put them in the fridge.
Enjoy these in soup, salads or just by themselves. My 3.5 year old loves them! Nice and crunchy and with a pleasant pickle flavor. Likely you could add garlic or dill or other herbs to your liking as well.
Shared at: Waste Not Want Not Wednesday
Hi there, Wysteria here. I will be writing as regularly as possible on behalf of my family and regarding our adventures in farming, food, health and things of the like. My interest range widely and my brain wanders far. Namaste.