Fermented Beets and Pink Sauerkraut #2 \\\ Betteraves fermentées et Choucroute rose #2

(version française plus bas!)

I like making sauerkraut and fermented vegetables because it’s like magic occurring through time. You start with the simplest of ingredients and get amazingly good-for-you-pickled-like goodness. My favourite to make is sauerkraut because it is so simple to prepare, quick to ferment and delicious! I already shared a pink sauerkraut recipe, but I found something new over the holidays, and thought I would share that too!

fermented-vegetables

I had already experimented with raw pickled beets, but I wanted to see if I could get the same results by fermenting them instead. I also decided to grate the beets instead of cutting them into strips to make them easier to use in salads and recipes. The result is a crunchy, sour and thick preserve that is so great in salads, sandwiches and everywhere else really! These are really simple to prepare and are so delicious!

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Here is what you need for the fermented beets:

  • 3 to 4 medium-sized beets
  • 2 tbs coarse sea salt

Here is what you do:

  1. Wash the beets thoroughly.
  2. Use a manual grater or your food processor to grate the beets up. Place them in a large bowl.
  3. Mix in the salt and massage it into the beets. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, sterilize a glass jar by filling it up with boiling water (BE CAREFUL!). Empty it up and let cool a few minutes.
  5. Transfer your beets and their juice into the jar and make sure that they are really packed in and that there are no air bubbles.
  6. Close the jar with a folded paper towel and an elastic. Place it in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Remove the scum that forms on top every day (I only needed to do this for the first 5 days). A thick liquid should form over the first night and cover everything. Make sure to push the beets under this liquid every day. After 5 days, the beets are nice and salty, but after 10 days they start to get sour and are ready to transfer to your fridge. Enjoy!

This is so good! The beets are crunchy, sour and salty. I usually use them in salads instead of vinegar and they make a great job. They are also filled with gut-loving bacteria and iron which will make you feel great.

pink-sauerkraut

Since you already are working with beets, you might as well try to make pink sauerkraut with them too! This is a very simple trick that makes for the brightest pink sauerkraut. Basically, you do the same thing as for regular sauerkraut, but you simply use 1 head of green cabbage and 1 beet. Grate everything up and then follow this recipe. It’s so pink and pretty! Let me know if you try working with beets!

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J’aime préparer de la choucroute et des légumes fermentés parce que c’est comme de la magie! On commence avec des ingrédients très simples qui se transforment en quelques jours en des condiments délicieux et bons pour la santé: MAGIE! J’aime beaucoup faire de la choucroute parce que c’est vraiment très simple et tellement délicieux! J’ai déjà partagé ma recette de choucroute rose, mais j’ai trouvé un petit truc durant les vacances que j’aimerais aussi partager.

fermented-vegetables

J’avais aussi déjà expérimenté avec une recette de betteraves marinées crues, mais je voulais voir s’il était possible d’obtenir un résultat comparable en utilisant un procédé de fermentation. Le résultat? Des betteraves croquantes, acidulées et salées qui sont si bonnes dans les salades, les sandwiches, et un peu partout en fait! Elles sont très faciles à préparer et tellement délicieuses!

fermented-beets

Voici ce dont vous aurez besoin:

  • 3 à 4 betteraves de taille moyenne
  • 2 c. à soupe de gros sel

Voici ce qu’il faut faire:

  1. Bien laver les betteraves.
  2. Utiliser une rape manuelle ou votre robot culinaire pour raper les betteraves. Placer le tout dans un grand bol.
  3. Mélanger le sel et bien masser le tout pour que le sel soit vraiment bien incorporé. Laisser reposer pendant 15 minutes.
  4. En attendant, stériliser un contenant en verre en le remplissant d’eau bouillante (SOYEZ PRUDENT!). Vider le contenant et laisser le refroidir quelques minutes.
  5. Transferer les betteraves et leur jus dans le contenant en verre et les écrasant bien pour éviter les bulles d’air.
  6. Fermer le contenant à l’aide d’un morceau d’essui-tout et d’un élastique. Placer le contenant dans un endroit frais et à l’abris de la lumière directe du soleil. Enlever le résidu qui se forme à la surface du liquide tous les jours (J’ai eu besoin de faire ça seulement les 5 premiers jours). Un liquide épais devrait se déveloper et recouvrir le tout. Assurez-vous que les morceaux de betteraves soient sous ce liquide. Après 5 jours, les betteraves sont douces et salées, mais après 10 jours, elles sont acidulées et prêtes à être mises au frigo et à être mangées. Savourez!

C’est si bon! Les betteraves sont croquantes, acidulées et salées. Je les utilise généralement dans mes salades au lieu du vinaigre ou du jus de citron et elles font très bien l’affaire. Elles sont également remplies de bactéries qui aident le système digestif et de fer qui vous aideront à vous sentir en forme.

pink-sauerkraut

Puisque vous travaillez déjà avec des betteraves, pourquoi ne pas les utiliser pour faire de la choucroute? C’est un petit truc super simple qui transforme une simple choucroute en une magnifique choucroute rose! En fait, on fait la même chose que pour une choucroute classique, mais on utilise un choux vert et une betterave. On rape le tout, et on suit cette recette. Le résulat est tellement joli! Dites-moi si vous essayez ces recettes!

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How do you cook your beans? \\ Tu les cuis comment, toi, les légumineuses?

If you are vegetarian or vegan, beans become an important part of your diet. Because I like to save money on food, I like to buy dried beans instead of canned because they are so much cheaper! To make sure that we always have a variety of beans available, I usually cook big batches of beans at the same time, and keep them in individual portions in my freezer. That way, I can mix and match different bean types every day very easily. It’s also great for days when I don’t want to cook because all you have to do is toss a few portions of beans with some curry spices and a few tomatoes and, BAM, instant curry! Magic!

beans

I wanted to write this post because many people have asked me how I managed my beans (that’s quite a title, bean manager!) and how I cooked them.

  1. Make sure you soak your dried beans overnight in plenty of water: this will help them soften and will shorten the cooking time. Most beans usually expend triple in volume once soaked. Make sure you add at least 1 or 2 inches (3 to 6 cm) of water above their level so that they are not interrupted halfway through their soaking.
  2. Drain the beans and do NOT cook them in their soaking water. As they are soaking, the beans will release some indigestible sugars which can cause bloating and gas. Also, you want to keep in mind that beans are usually not washed before drying to avoid molding. So, the soaking water might contain impurities that you don’t want to eat. That’s why it’s also important to rinse them well after they have been drained.
  3. Time to cook! Place your beans in a large saucepan and cover them with water until there are about 2 inches (6cm) of water on top of everything. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to let simmer. By doing this you make sure that the beans will come out of their cooking whole and not mushy. You know your beans are ready when you can mash them with a fork. It usually takes between 1 or 2 hours. Keep an eye on them to make sure they are always covered in water while they are cooking.
  4. To salt or not to salt? DO NOT SALT! Adding salt to the cooking water will harden the skin of the beans, and it will take even more time to cook them.
  5. Once cooked, drain and rinse them and you are ready to go!
  6. Final tip: if you find that your beans are not as soft as the ones you buy in cans, try adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the cooking water.

If you eat beans regularly and don’t want to waste a whole day cooking beans, I suggest mixing similar-sized beans together and cooking them at once. You can also look for a pressure cooker. I found one of these on sale for 50$ (instead of 200$; you got to love sales!) and I’m currently experimenting with it. It really reduces the cooking time: from 2 hours for chickpeas to 20 minutes! Really cool, but I have to admit it’s a little scary to use as well. I’m guessing I just need to get used to it.

beans2

Most beans keep really well in the freezer, so don’t be afraid to cook more than what you need and save a few portions for another recipe.

Let me know what your bean tricks are!


Lorsque l’on devient vététarien ou végan, les haricots et autres légumineuses deviennent des constituants importants de notre régime alimentaire. Comme j’aime faire des économies, j’achète généralement mes haricots secs en vrac au lieu des conserves. J’aime cette alternative car elle est économique et sans déchet!

beans3

Il peut parfois sembler que le travail requis pour préparer ces haricots secs est compliqué, long et que le résultat final est bof. Plusieurs personnes m’ont demandé comment je prépare mes haricots secs, alors voici comment je fais et mes recommendations:

  1. Faire tremper ses légumineuses toute une nuit: Il est vraiment important de faire tremper les légumineuses car cela les rends plus faciles à cuire et plus tendres. Comme la majorité des haricots triple de volume lors du trempage, assurez vous qu’ils soient bien couverts d’eau. Je conseille entre 3 et 6 cm d’eau au dessus de leur niveau.
  2. Drainer et bien rincer: NE LES CUISINEZ PAS DANS LEUR EAU DE TREMPAGE! Il est très important de vider l’eau de trempage (que les plantes adorent!) et de bien rincer les légumineuses avant de les faire cuire: lors du trempage, les légumineuse vont dégager des sucres indigestes qui causent des ballonnements et des gaz. De plus, les haricots ne sont généralement pas lavés avant d’être séchés pour éviter les problèmes de moisissures et l’eau de trempage peut dont contenir des impuretés qu’il n’est pas très intéressant de manger. C’est pourquoi il est aussi très important de bien les rincer avant de les faire cuire.
  3. À la cuisson: Placer vos haricots dans un grand chaudron ou casserole et couvrez-les d’eau. Encore une fois, assurez vous qu’il y ait au moins 3 cm d’eau au dessus des haricots. Portez à ébullition, puis réduisez le feu pour laisser mijoter entre une ou deux heures. Les légumineuses sont prêtes lorsqu’elles sont facilement écrasables avec une fourchette. Jettez-y un coup d’oeil de temps en temps pendant la cuisson pour vous assurer qu’elles soient toujours couvertes d’eau.
  4. Saler ou ne pas saler? NE PAS SALER! Évitez d’ajouter du sel à l’eau de cuisson comme celui-ci rendra la peau des haricots plus rigide et allongera le temps de cuisson.
  5. Une fois cuite, drainer et rincer les légumineuses à nouveau et voilà!
  6. Dernier conseil: Si vous trouvez que vos légumineuses sont moins tendres que celles en conserve, ajouter 1 cuillère à thé de bicarbonate de soude à l’eau de cuisson.

Une fois cuite, les légumineuses se conservent très bien au congélateur en portions individuelles. J’aime bien en cuire de grosses quantités à l’avance et les avoir sous la main. C’est comme avoir des conserves! Si vous souhaitez réduire le temps de cuisson, il est possible de cuire les légumineuses à l’auto-cuisieur ou dans une cocotte minute. Par exemple, les pois-chiche ne prennent plus 2 heures à cuire, mais 20 minutes! J’expérimente encore avec la mienne, et je dois admettre que c’est un appareil assez effrayant à utiliser, mais l’économie de temps est substentielle!

Et vous, vous les cuisez comment vos légumineuses?

A few tips for vegans… and other humans!

In the last few days I have looked at different things I do in order to save time, be happier and generally make my life easier. I hope these tips will help you out too!

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  1. Keep your space positive: I feel that as a vegan it is very easy to get overwhelmed by negativity: videos/articles/pictures of animal suffering filling your digital space; people criticizing and judging your decisions and looking at your everyday choices like if it were their business; and even self-doubt sometimes.
    • I became vegan because I love animals, and I do not want to passively or actively participate in their suffering. Seeing animal cruelty videos does not reinforce this resolve: it makes me sick, sad and depressed. I’m not saying that this type of information is not relevant. A lot of vegans made their choice after being exposed to such information, and people should know what it going on. But in my case, the images stay in my brain and create a negative blur that prevents me from focusing, creating and feel good. So, I have taken the habit of systematically blocking groups that diffuse this type of information. It doesn’t mean that I don’t see any of it, but a lot less. I prefer to focus on the positive things about being a vegan.

    • With time, I found out that trying to justify my veganism was not a good strategy when faced with people ignorantly and aggressively judging it. When faced with such situations (and it happens), I usually say that being vegan is my personal choice, that each person is different and that this suits me. The discussion usually ends there because I try not to fuel the deb20141231_182853ate. Over time, I find that this strategy and being a positive example of a healthy vegan helps people not feel threatened and encourages them to be curious, in a more respectful way.
    • Self-doubt is normal! I find that every time I do anything, from changing coat to becoming vegan, a fair amount of self-doubt is involved. And it’s healthy too! Without self-doubt, how could we evolve? When this feeling is pulling me down, I look at my cat and think of all the reasons why I became vegan in the first place. This usually does the trick!
  2. Take the time to meal plan: Sitting down with my cook books once a week and selecting recipes that I want to try out has two advantages:
    • I get to really use my cookbooks. It also keeps the meals interesting as I try out new recipes regularly.
    • I make a shopping list with only what I need for the week. Like this, I avoid over-buying and waste.
  3. Buy legumes in bulk and dry: This is less expensive, and it usually involves less packaging: good for your wallet and the planet!

  4. Prepare legumes ahead: As a vegan, a good portion of my proteins comes from legumes. A good idea is to mix a variety of dried legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas for example) in a big bowl and let them soak overnight before cooking them for an hour or so. It is important to mix them to make sure you have the full spectrum of amino acids everyday: each legume type usually contains only a partial number of amino acids. By combining them you have a greater variety of amino acids which makes your body happy! I store a big batch of these in the fridge so that I can add them to everything all week long.

I hope these are helpful! Let me know if you have tips of your own: I’m always on the lookout for ways to make my life easier!