Fermented Cabbage & Golden Beet Sauerkraut

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While working in a small upscale French restaurant 10-15 years ago, someone accidentally ordered 4 litres of pre-peeled garlic. It promptly started to go off from a lack of use, and stink up the walk-in, and I remember worrying about the smell attacking the rest of our mise en place and fruit, cheese etc. A fellow cook who I worked with had spent a few years working in South Korea, and she was the only one embracing the fermented garlic cooler-stench wafting around our small kitchen. She had eaten her fill of (intentionally) fermented foods while there, and loved it enough for some rotten garlic in our walk-in to be causing her nostalgia. I found this hilarious yet oddly intriguing at the time, and have never forgotten it. Little did I know….

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Fermented is now the new green, which is great for people like myself, (enthusiastic, but needs to see it happening to fully understand it, as opposed to reading about it in great black and white detail a trillion times while absorbing nothing) because there are now plenty of colourful pictures and videos out there happily spinning our right-brained minds into action.

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Soup-Greening (Pea & Spinach Soup)

More of a concept than a recipe, this post is paying homage to the green smoothie and all of its chlorophyll-ific powers, by lending the same concept to a different dish. Meet the green smoothie’s lower glycemic, gently cooked cousin: green soup. Greens soup. Green smoothie soup…I’m still working on it.

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You can start with any soup, much like a green smoothie can have any fruity base. If you want the vibrant green, use lighter coloured, low acid vegetables as the base (onion, leek, sun chokes, artichoke). Know that if you use a tomato soup base (much like using a berry base in a smoothie) you will wind up with something delicious, that could possibly resemble swamp water. Although I do think that the ‘you eat with your eyes’ concept applies less to the person cooking the food (if you know what went into it, and that it is going to taste delicious, it will, even if it’s not pretty, right?) if you are cooking for someone else who may be feeling under the weather and doesn’t feel much like eating, it will be harder to coax them in with swamp water-looking delicious food, than with delicious-looking delicious food. Trust me.

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Any greens will work, although spinach will get the smoothest, especially if you don’t have a high-powered blender. It is also quite bland, which can work in your favor. The up-side of making a green soup rather than a green smoothie, is if there are green bits that won’t blend in smoothly in your sad-ish blender, they will still steam and mellow into the soup. Anyone ever try to blend kale into their smoothie while on vacation using a blender from the 80’s? It feels like you are eating lawn trimmings. Like a cow. Again, you won’t have that problem here, give kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, and collards a try. Just keep in mind, they will impart their flavour into the soup.

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Sprouted Lentil Hummus

Every time the little tails start to grow out of the sides of soaked beans, I am amazed. Each time, I think it might not happen, but somehow, miraculously, it always does. How can something that is so dry and sold in the bulk section, actually come to life and turn into an enzyme-rich vegetable? So cool.

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Although it takes a little more planning, soaking and sprouting your legumes (chick peas, lentils, black beans, mung beans etc.) is more than worthwhile. You can eat them raw, once sprouted, or simmer them the same way you would have after soaking, but they will require less time. There are several benefits to sprouting your legumes before cooking them: they will retain more enzymes and therefore be easier to digest (ahem, less gas), increased protein and lower glycemic -all good things for cancer crushers and the average Joe who is focused on prevention.

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Adding a piece of kombu to the legume’s cooking water while cooking (in this case, beluga lentils) will also help with digestion (prevent gas) while adding its sea vegetable super powers.

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Turmeric & Ginger Tea

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When you give up or cut back on coffee, it can feel as though that rich and peaceful time in the morning becomes as watered down as you peppermint tea. There are some interesting and appropriate substitutes out there: green tea is a great option for crushing cancer and dandelion root tea can fill the dark and mysterious void while supporting the liver. The following recipe is another option, and is what I like to think of as a ‘breakfast cocktail’ as it requires a bit of bartending and I would pay someone to make it for me every single morning. PS -It works wonders if you feel a cold coming on.

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Fresh ginger is known to help with nausea, and have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Fresh turmeric is one of the best-known cancer fighting foods and a substance derived from it, called curcumin, is found in natural supplement form for people fighting cancer (or other inflammation-based diseases/disorders).

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