When we started years ago, we could have only dreamed of gracing the pages of this exemplary gastro periodical.We are truly honored to receive such glowing praise from one of our favorite food magazines. Read the article HERE
Originally posted by Alexa @ www.superfoodsuperlife.com
Ferment all the way with Ozuké
One of the foods that I never thought I would fall in love with is pickled vegetables. I had grown up loving deli pickles, but nothing more than that. How was I to know there is such a simple yet beneficial world of food out there — all things pickled, fermented, cultured and alive! I read about this exciting world of microbes contained in these foods in Dr. Perlmutter’s recent book Brain Maker. A must-read or must-listen for anyone who wants to improve their gut health!
I wanted to speak with the people who actually make these foods. Willow and Mara King are the chefs behind Ozuké, one of my favorite brands of fermented vegetables. To think that ingesting living organisms being beneficial for our gut is utterly fascinating! It used to totally freak me out, but now I try and get some form of probiotics into every meal. It has made a significant difference in my digestion, my immunity and so much more.
Q&A with Mara and Willow King of Ozuké
Q: What inspired you to create Ozuké?
A: Ozuké was born out of the kitchen… that fun space where you go with your friends to create deliciousness, make something brand new and share your creations with what invariably ends up being a party.
Q: What does ozuké mean?
A: Ozuké means “the best pickled things” or “honorable pickles” or “from pickles” or even more esoterically… “from cooking without heat”.
Q: What’s your philosophy on health?
A: Health is your participation in the creation of an inspired life.
Q: How long have you been pickling/fermenting for?
A: Kombucha since the 1990’s… I picked up a scoby from a cute french girl and nurtured it in my mountain home at the time. That little scoby became a giant scoby in the back of one of the sushi bars I ran in the 2000’s along with smelly pickling experiments all in recycled 5-gallon sushi ginger buckets. In 2009 I was the head chef of a nutritionally sound fine dining establishment and we had my kimchis and probiotic krauts on the menu as well as my kombucha in the bar.
Q: What are some of the benefits to eating cultured foods?
A: Eating cultured foods is good for your digestive health, your immune health, your mental health and is even (through vitamin A and K) supposed to be good for regenerative or skin health.
Q: How much do you consumer regularly? How much should the layman consume?
A: I drink fermented beverages daily and have done for many years. I eat about 1/2 – 1 cup of fermented veggies daily. I eat yogurt quite often and I have recently started playing with fermented grains as well. I often hear that when folks are new to fermented foods there can be a period of adjustment that can be gassy and painful. My recommendation is that if you are brand new to it go slowly… a bite here and there and then build up your tolerance.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to pickle and why?
A: I have really enjoyed making fruit ferments the last couple of years… I started with plums making umeboshi and then applied the same logic to cherries. My latest obsession is fermenting grains… idli and dosa batter, injera, sourdough pancakes.
Q: Are there any individuals in the food movement that inspire you?
A: I recently spent a week living at Sandor Katz’s Tennessee home and studying fermentation with a group of 10 complete food nerds. It was such heaven! Sandor is an amazing human being through and through. A thought leader, a kickass mover and shaker in the kitchen, patient, accepting, full of humor and sweetness.
I like Mark Bittman’s can do approach to food and his commitment to food activism / politics as well.
Q: Is it possible to mess up a culture?
A: It is possible to mess up anything. What’s more important is paying attention to how and why. Processes, ritual, attention and an openness to learn are more important. Nature has been teaching us all lessons for ever – having a living thing in your care is a sure fire way to learn and grow.
Q: Why do believe cooking is important?
A: For me cooking is a practice. Like yoga or meditation for some. I get to tune in to flavor, seasons, color, fragrance and texture, to use these things along with technique, time and effort to create, to nurture and to share. If I do this more often than not I know that I am infusing the people that I love the most with my unique and distinctive inspirations. Cooking every darn day is also a political stance. I choose where my food comes from, I support my local farmer, I participate directly with the health of my local food shed, I choose not to buy processed crap. Some days I am tired and I don’t feel like cooking… good thing I married a man who also did his time slinging hash, working in bakeries and various restaurants in his youth who is perfectly capable of producing deliciousness and playing his part.
Q: Could you share an easy recipe with us?
A: We call this “Red Rice” at home. It is my daughter’s favorite and she will make it by herself (and a huge mess in the kitchen too 😛 teenagers!) This recipe starts with plain white rice and stains it red with beets. Start with butter melting in a pan. Add a full jar (you heard me!) of our fermented Beets, Dulse & Kale. Sizzle for a bit then add cooked rice.
Stir over medium heat until it is all incorporated. Add finely minced garlic and drizzle with toasted sesame oil. We love to serve this rice with an egg on top and some sprouts or baby kales on the side. You’ll definitely enjoy the bright red pearly grains juxstaposed with a vivid white of eggs and the greens. It’s such an attractive plate and you can always snazz this up with another kind of protein and call it dinner. Make this one time and I promise your family will start harassing you for more and more beets. Enjoy!
Mindy Goldis AKA The Rawsome Vegan Gal sat us down and got the nitty gritty on what life is really like at Ozuké, the best pickled things. Hop on over to her site to find out what really makes us tick. While your at it, watch her glowing youtube review of our products here:
Last night we received one of the most enthusiastic and heart felt endorsements from our Facebook page. Interestingly we receive at least an email a week asking us if our ~fizzy, earthy, so alive they climb out of the jar beets are safe to eat. Something about your food rushing out to greet you has been unnerving for some folk who from experience expect a vacuum sealed lid to pop and show that everything is dead and safe and hermetically sealed. Well our beets are definitely NOT dead. They are the most live and most nutritionally dense of all our products, between the mineral and iron rich beets, the zinc and magnesium rich Maine coast harvested dulse seaweed and the blood bolstering garlic something truly magical happens. Johnny felt the magic. Here is what he said. 🙂
PS. make sure you read to the bottom there is an amazing 3 ingredient raw beet soup recipe that Johnny magicked together.~~~
I am slowly starting to ease into eating more fermented foods. I have a lifelong history of acute eating disorders that have caused some pretty intense damage to my body, especially my distressed digestive tract. I am a firm and faithful believer in the power of healing naturally with whole foods and know how beneficial fermented foods are to the digestive system. I recently discovered Ozuke’s sensational line of raw organic krauts at a local natural market. There were quite a few raw kraut brands to choose from but Ozuke’s really caught my attention so I went with my gut feeling and decided to give it a try. One of the first things I noticed was the amazing aroma that scented my car as I drove home. The krauts are freshly packed in air tight glass jars but the smells still seem to seep through. This made me eagerly enthusiastic to get home and dive in! The bottle will caution you to open carefully as natural explosion can happen. Do not let this scare you. You know the feeling when you pop open a bottle of bubbly on a special occasion and suds soar? Most people find this exciting as they cheerfully celebrate while they pop the top resulting in a fizzy frenzy. My reaction to opening my first jar of Ozuke beet, kale and dulse kraut was exactly this and so much more! To my surprise about 1 inch of shredded beets emerged from the top of the jar almost like it was sprouting up to shout “let’s get this party started!” Too anxious to wait, I quickly wiped up the beautiful beet splatter paint (hey, we all need some color in our lives!) and determinedly dove into deliciousness. I’m blushing to admit but I did not want to put the jar down. I was clinging to it like Winnie the Pooh to his honey pots! Everything became euphoric! The combination of sweet, salty, savory and slightly sour/tart raw-kraut-rocked my world like I was in some kind of sauerkraut sacred space with a note on the door that said, “Please do not disturb. I am in sauerkraut Heaven right now!” I say this with sincere seriousness. Nowadays I prefer to make all my own food, including homemade organic krauts, but Ozuke’s products are my new exception and obsession. I am currently hooked on their beet, dulse & kale kraut which I love using to make a dreamy & creamy fermented raw soup with 3 simple ingredients: Ozuke’s beet kraut, ripe avocado and Thai young coconut water – pureed into pure beet bliss! I am on a mission to try different krauts and start a staple stockpile of their fabulous fermented foods in my fridge! I feel it deep in my heart to share this testimonial because the outstanding owners at Ozuke are not just changing the food industry by promoting real, raw and healing foods but also changing the lives and health of others. I encourage others to embrace, enjoy and experience the nutritional cathartic healing benefits live fermented foods offer. Your health is worth it and you deserve it. Ozuke’s products are the perfect way to get your fermented food fix! You will feel the love, passion and positive energy they hand pack into every blessed jar. I cannot thank you enough Ozuke, God bless! Johnny Righini aka Mr. Sauerkraut Sassypants with his favorite Ozuke beet kraut!
Thank you Johnny for taking the time out to share your story and fizz like your favorite beets with such healthy enthusiasm. xo
Looking for a deliciously fun brunch, great ambience, and bottomless mimosa & bloody Mary’s? Then get yourself a reservation at Root Down (RD) in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver now! It takes some planning to get a table where tasty breakfast and lunch dishes are plentiful and doors close at 2:30 pm each weekend.
RD, Linger Eatery, and most recently, Root Down Denver International Airport (DIA), are where Chef D and his team work together with local farmers and artisanal food makers to create unique entrees. One of the most popular dishes at Root Down, is the vegetarian and gluten-free Eggs Benedict on the brunch menu. Instead of a traditional English muffin, hearty quinoa cakes are the foundation of this colorful eggs Benny. Atop the cakes is a generous layer of ozuké pickled beets that perfectly compliment the organic poached eggs, and the creamy rich dried tomato Hollandaise sauce. Citrus dressed arugula and roasted root vegetables complete this uniquely satisfying meal.
For some time now, Chef D has been using ozuké pickled things on his Root Down brunch and raw night menus. Recently, he and Mara have been brainstorming about plans to include ozuké pickled things in new and exciting ways at all three restaurants. Can’t wait to taste what he creates!
In the meantime, we’ll keep enjoying brunch at Root Down Denver, and we’ll be sure to visit their DIA location in the C concourse on our next trip. I know there will be lots of eclectic art to check out, refreshing beverages, and yummy food combinations. Plus there’s the Lite Brite bar at Linger Eatery!
• 1600 W. 33RD AVENUE, DENVER, CO 80211 | 303.993.4200 | INFO@ROOTDOWNDENVER.COM •
Monday – Thursday, 5pm – 10pm
Friday & Saturday, 5pm – 11pm
Sunday, 5pm – 9pm
(Bar stays open later – 12am-ish)
HAPPY HOUR (bar only)
Monday – Friday, 4:30pm – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10am – 2:30pm
Pastries by Dorian O’Connell
Love Dessert? Then this might be for you!
101 Sweet Pastry, changing the world bite by bite offers a weekly dessert club. Dorian, the founder/creator, is an amazingly talented pastry chef, who surprises us with her sweet & savory treats. If you think you would like to subscribe to Dorian’s weekly offerings, visit her blog and sign up to receive her newsletter. She uses organic duck eggs, seasonal fruit, and the finest ingredients in all of her creations. Conveniently, there are NO Club commitments. Are you home one week, and gone the next? No problem, Dorian sends out an email every Monday. Just place an order by 9 am Tuesday, and pick-up Friday. Every week is delicious and inventive. This week, we enjoyed a delicate plum tart with puff pastry, and a cherry clafootee (kla-foo-tee). As always, perfectly scrumptious!