Ozuké in Boulder Lifestyles

Mara and Willow were invited to share their thoughts on what it takes to run a business in Boulder. Read more here.

 

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Sourdough 101

As a food lover and fermentation fan girl, I have tried my hand at lots of different funky experiments from nukazuke to mango chutney- all with varying outcomes, both good and not so good. Sourdough, however, was one that somehow seemed too involved or inaccessible and got set aside as my business started to grow.
When my dear friend, and publisher of the wonderful Roost Books, Sara Bercholz gave me a sourdough starter for my birthday, I took it as a sign that the time had come to try my hand at baking this mythical bread. I used a simple recipe from this gorgeous book, as well as some tips from Tartine Bread , as they have been bread heroes of mine since I lived in California years ago.
It turned out that the recipes can be quite simple and that the process simply requires patience (character reveal.) First feeding the starter, then making the leaven and giving it time to get nice and lively and then giving the dough plenty of room at every step to fully rest and rise. It takes days, but the result is so astonishingly satisfying that now I am totally hooked. My family gobbles up the loaves, the whole house smells of that heavenly mix of flour, water, warmth and a little magic.
While I  am starting to look at the more complex recipes and experimenting with different heirloom flours, I am mostly just happy to have begun down this ancient pleasure avenue of baking good bread and feeding it to the ones I love. I encourage anyone who has the hankering to try- it’s like having a new pet:)

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A visit with Sandor

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A few weeks back we had the pleasure of hanging with our friend and fermentation hero, Sandor Katz.

We had some lovely meals together and met lots of great folks who are interested in the lore, health benefits, gustatory profile and funk of fermentation. The culminating event was a farm gathering with classes, talk, book signing, marketplace, food, beer and friends at Frog Belly Farm in Longmont. It was a perfect fall afternoon, the barn was cozy, the cabbages fat in the field, the piglets happily nursing. Good all around.

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Ozukés Umeboshi gets some hometown love from Boulders Daily Camera

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The Daily Camera just posted this great write up on our newest and trending product. We hope you get to try this delicacy before it’s gone. Extra thanks to Cindy Sutter and The Daily Camera.

Read all about it here

The Healing Powers of Pickling-Ozuké in the Yoga Journal

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(click on the image to see full size)

Here’s one from last year. A small story about the magic of fermentation and a Yummy recipe from Mara as well. Thanks Yoga Journal!

 

Good Food Awards 2015

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When Mara told me last January that she was buying the entire plum and cherry harvest from a young farmer she had met through the Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union, I must admit, I was a tad unsure about buying all that fruit. We mostly make kraut, kimchi and various other pickled delights but the fermented fruits, popular throughout Asia as well as parts of Latin America, were a new exploration for us. In the very early days of our business (before we actually even knew it was a business) we had harvested wild plums from my family’s land in Lyons and made a batch of umeboshi to share with friends but this was a great deal more fruit, with more on the line. Flash forward to harvest and our crew stemming a zillion cherries, elephant heart plums arriving plump and sweet- such elegance and flavor, a process of balancing sweet, salty and tart coupled with adding the zing of live food. They were on their way to becoming something very tasty.

In September, we submitted to the Good Food Awards with these new products and heard back in November that we were finalists. The news had the wonderful rush of risk paying off but also of the tendril of our process, our creativity and our care out in the world.

This month we went to San Francisco to accept our award and to meet many other excellent food crafters from all over the country. We wore lipstick, we were humbled in the presence of gustatorial greats like Mark Bittman, Alice Waters and Ruth Reichl. We ate many wonderful things and drank our fair share too. We made new friends, worked a souk style Farmer’s Market on Saturday at the Ferry Building (which was so outrageously busy we had to hide in bed and watched Girls for a few hours to recover) and took in the foggy goodness of the city. Thank you to Sarah Weiner and the rest of the GFA crew for putting together such an cool gathering of food nerds, hats off to all the other winners and if you are local and want to taste the goods- Umeboshi: Salted Paonia Plums and Cheriboshi: Salted Paonia Cherries are now available at a Whole Foods and other independent grocers near you.

 

Boulder County Home & Garden

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Fermented Foods Find a Following

Fermented foods are making a tasty new splash as “good-for-you-foods”–although our grandparents knew it all along. By Mary Lynn Bruny

RECIPES FOR FERMENTING

fermenting-redrice Red Rice Make this recipe once, and I promise you, your family will ask for more. My daughter, Kailee, would never let a beet near her lips in any other way! Ingredients Butter or olive oil, to taste 1 jar Ozuké the best pickled things Beets, Dulse & Kale 3-4 cups rice, cooked 1 teaspoon garlic (or to taste), minced Toasted sesame oil Optional: sprouts, kale, fried eggs Directions Put butter or olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add one full jar Beets, Dulse & Kale. Sizzle for a bit, then add cooked rice. Stir over medium heat until everything mixes together. Add minced garlic and drizzle with toasted sesame oil. We serve this rice with a fried egg on top with sprouts and baby kale on the side. You can always snazz this up with another kind of protein and call it dinner. —Mara King, Esoteric Food Company

Elephant Journal- DIY Fermentation

on May 11, 2012

Create Your Own Culture. ~ Willow King

 

The Power of Fermented Foods.

About a year ago my partner Mara and I started a company that makes cultured vegetables. No, not beets and carrots that regularly attend the opera, but live, raw, probiotic, naturally fermented veggies.

We started out just making these goodies for our families and friends and nobody could get enough. It turns out that many people crave the zingy buzz of live food and that lacto-fermented foods, that used to be staple in many places in the world, are making a comeback.

Fermenting is an age-old way to preserve food.

It was a way to use all the access produce from the summer and keep eating it all year round. This in itself is a great process to connect to us to seasonality and keep the strength of the food intact.

Fermentation also makes food easier to digest, and creates new nutrients such as B vitamins—folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and biotin.

Some ferments have antioxidants principles and also create omega-3 fatty acids- which we know are key to a healthy immune system.

Basically, fermented foods help supply your digestive tract with cultures that are necessary to break down and assimilate nutrients. These cultures, lactobacilli chief among them, are like little invisible friends that help us stay healthy and happy through the ups and downs of the year.

If you are interested in experimenting we recommend starting with simple sauerkraut and then expand from there.

This is great activity to do with kids (or your dog) as it is a bit of funky food science experiment.

To begin you will need a ball jar, one medium cabbage, sea salt, and a starter like whey, or for a vegan option you can use kombucha.Each starter produces different results and flavors, so you can try a few and find the one you like best.Core and shred the cabbage and then spread on a tray or work surface. Add the sea salt—a good ratio is generally one or two  tablespoons salt to one three lb cabbage. Then pound the cabbage and salt with a wooden hammer (or a rolling pin can work) until the juices start to release and the cabbage softens. You can add a bit of starter at this point, or you can just do the cabbage juice and salt, which usually makes a fine ferment.Place the cabbage shreds into a wide mouth ball jar and press down with a fist (you can use a cabbage leaf as a top and the press on that) until the vegetable is submerged in liquid.

Cover this combination and leave it in a cool but not cold space (ideally 65 to 70 degrees) for about 3 days. You may like it stronger, in which case you could let it go for a few more days.

When you are satisfied with the taste, transfer to cold storage, where it will last for up to 6 months.

Now you can enjoy the benefits of your own homemade culture—monocle and all.

 

Why Cultured Foods?

Why Should You Eat Cultured Foods?

Here are a few pointers:

  • Fermenting foods is an age old way to preserve food. It was a way to use all the access produce from the summer and keep eating it all year round. This in itself is a great process to connect to seasonality and keep the strength of the food in tact.
  • In addition to preservation, fermentation also makes food easier to digest, creates new nutrients such a b vitamins, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and biotin. Some ferments have antioxidants principles and also create omega-3 fatty acids- which we know are key to a healthy immune system.

Basically, fermented foods help supply your digestive tract with cultures that are necessary to break down and assimilate nutrients. Our Ozuké all contain Lactobacilli and that is what makes them not only food but good medicine too.