Bleach your whites bright, dust off your red accessories, get your flag flying and stock up on those maple leaves themed party supplies. Summer has arrived and its officially Canada’s season to celebrate! With less than two weeks to go before our national holiday, now is the time to start preparing for your Canada Day Celebration. Whether you are enjoying the holiday at a backyard BBQ, camping in one of our pristine national parks, or packing an evening picnic downtown to take in the fireworks, I’ve created some gut-friendly fermented recipes that will add some extra zip to your festive feast. From sparkling sips to fermented dips, I’ve got you covered.
If you’re looking to skip the hangover this year, why not make Kombucha your brew of choice? Its got all the fizzy, bright flavours you could want in a summer refresher, with the added benefits of antioxidants and probiotics. If you’re hosting a party, setting up a self-serve Kombucha Bar is a unique and delicious non-alcoholic option to offer your guests some pop and sizzle, without the buzz. If you are feeling extra creative, set out an assortment of fresh cut fruit and herbs for guests to mix and match and create their own custom Kombucha cocktails.
Now, is there anything more Canadian than Maple Syrup? You might be thinking, “Hockey! Poutine! Beavers!” but you would be wrong! The mighty maple tree and its sweet, sweet sap will always win this argument. It is the centre of our country’s flag, after all. So in honour of this national treasure, I present you with Karma Culture’s Kombucha Recipe of the Week. I call it Maple Berry Booch.
Maple Berry Booch
You will need:
- 4 – 500mL swing-top sealable bottles
- 2L brewed Kombucha (approx 1/2 jar of Karma Cultures Kombucha)
- 1/2 cup frozen Saskatoon Berries, defrosted (if you can’t find Saskatoons, substitute blueberries)
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
- Remove your Scoby and half of your kombucha from your Karma Cultures jar, set aside. This should leave you with approx 2L of brewed kombucha.
- Stir in maple syrup until completely dissolved.
- Divide defrosted Saskatoon berries and juice among the swing-top bottles for the second brewing process.
- Pour kombucha into the bottles and seal.
- Thoroughly clean and rinse out your Karma Cultures jar before replacing your Scoby or starting a new batch.
- Allow sealed bottles to sit at room temperature for another 3-7 days.
- “Burp” the bottles occasionally to check on the carbonation level by slowly releasing the clasp to let excess gasses out of the bottle.
- When Kombucha has reached your preferred amount of fizziness, move to refrigerator to chill.
If you dress a hotdog with some nutrient-dense, probiotic-rich superfoods, does it make it healthy? This philosophical question is one my husband loves to debate, but his health claims aside – fermented condiments do add delicious and complex flavours to one of his favourite foods. No question about it.
The beauty of making your own homemade condiments is you can control what goes in them and customize flavours to suit your desire. You can also make them for a fraction of the cost of store bought and enjoy more nutritional benefits without all the extra processing needed to make them shelf-stable for stores. Also, let’s not forget about impressing your family and friends with your kitchen prowess!
Canada’s #1 condiment is mustard. So why not celebrate some Canadiana by creating your very own “heritage” mustard recipe for your family this holiday? The options for customizing your own unique blend are endless and you can select ingredients that reflect your personal taste. Are you more of a plain white vinegar person or more fancy champagne vinegar? Do you like a smooth texture or grainy? Sweet? Savory? Spicy? Or Herbaceous? Have fun with it, maybe even create a few signature flavours and make a “flight of Mustards” for guests to sample along with your Kombucha bar.
Probiotic Mustard Recipe
What you need:
- 3/4 cup ground mustard powder
- 1/4 cup hot mustard powder
- 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup kombucha
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Stir all ingredients together to form a smooth paste. Transfer into a sealable jar with 1 inch of headspace at the top. Let sit at room temperature for 3 days to ferment, then transfer into the refrigerator.
Variations could include adding raw honey, maple syrup, whole mustard seeds, garlic, shallots, paprika, chili, tarragon, dill, rosemary, smoked sea salt, red wine vinegar, and more!
For some extra tang and crunch for those dogs, making your own homemade sauerkraut is a snap. If you can shred cabbage, you can make sauerkraut! That’s all there is to it.
- Step 1: shred a head of cabbage
- Step 2: sprinkle with sea salt
- Step 3: massage cabbage until juices start releasing
- Step 4: pack into jars and wait a few days, done!
Since sauerkraut is so basic, I’d like to encourage you to put a little twist on it. I found this beautifully blended kraut recipe over at Worden Farm to Table. It uses cabbage, beets, and carrots to make a pretty red coloured kraut that is perfect for a Canada Day themed event.
Canada Day (Red) Kraut Recipe
- 3 lbs cabbage (1 large head)
- 1 lbs carrots (2 large carrot)
- 1 lbs beets (4-5 medium beets)
- 4 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 – 2 qts distilled water
- Wash all containers and tools really well in hot soapy water, rinse with hot water, and allow to air dry.
- Preparing the veggies:
- Wash the cabbage really well in cold running water, remove and discard any discolored outer leaves, slice in half, remove the thick stem core, slice very thin using either a mandolin or chef knife, place in a large stainless steel bowl.
- Wash and scrub the carrots and beets very well, remove the leaf stem and any root, peel, run through a mandolin with the thinnest “julienne” tool if available or julienne with a chef’s knife, add to the cabbage in the stainless steel bowl.
- Add the salt, mix well with tongs (or with very clean or gloved hands).
- Cover with plastic wrap, press the plastic wrap onto the top of the veggie mixture; press firmly to remove as much air from the mixture, cover the bowl with a clean cloth hand towel.
Note: The following steps should be done at room temps between 60F and 70F, so a cool, dark place like a cupboard is preferable. Any lower and the fermentation slows to a crawl, stops altogether, or never begins. Any higher and the fermentation speeds up, not giving enough time to develop the sour or tangy flavor common to lacto-fermented foods.
- Day 1 through 3:
- Twice a day remove the plastic wrap, turn the mixture over several times with tongs, cover with plastic wrap once again, press down firmly to remove any air, place a heavy plate or saucer on top of the plastic wrap, cover the bowl with the hand towel.
- Day 4:
- Remove the mixture from the bowl and place in a smaller but taller and more narrow container like a stainless steel soup/stock pot, bain marie, or gallon glass jar, pour any liquid from the bowl into the new container with the mixture.
- Press the mixture down with a potato masher or gloved hands, pour enough distilled water to reach the top of the mixture, cover with plastic wrap once again, press down firmly to remove any air, place a heavy plate or saucer on top of the plastic wrap, cover the bowl with a lid or a hand towel.
- Day 5-7:
- Inspect the mixture once a day to make sure that the brine is still at the top level of the mixture. If not add more distilled water.
- Day 8 to ?: (We stop ours on day 10)
- The mixture should begin developing the sour flavor we love in sauerkraut. At this point, you may begin tasting the sauerkraut, continue the fermentation until you reach the level of sourness you prefer.
- When you have reached the flavor you prefer use tongs to remove the mixture and place it in plastic or glass storage containers, lightly pressing it down as you pack the storage containers.
- Pour the brine into the storage containers to just cover the kraut mixture, cover with a lid, store in the fridge for up to six months.
And what kind of party would be complete without some chips and dip? Or my personal favourite, chips, and salsa! If you are brand new to fermenting, lacto-fermented salsa is kind of like the gateway drug. Its easy, instant and you wouldn’t even know its fermented from the taste. It only needs to ferment for 1 day, so if you’re short on prep time, this can be your go-to ferment recipe and its a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Sparkling Salsa Recipe
- 2 large, vine ripe tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 1 jalapeño for medium, 2 for hot
- 1 garlic clove or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 lime, juiced
- handful cilantro
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 of the following:
- 1/4 cup Karma Cultures water kefir
- 1/4 live whey (liquid from greek yogurt separation or from making cheese)
- 1 capsule of probiotics, broken open
Dice all ingredients into the texture you prefer – the finer the texture, the faster the fermentation works. A chunky salsa can ferment for 1-3 days, whereas a smooth one would only need about 12-24 hrs. Give everything a good stir to incorporate ingredients and transfer into a sealable jar, leaving 1 inch of headspace at the top. Leave out at room temperature to ferment for your desired amount of time. To tell when its ready, just pop the lid off and look or listen for bubbling.
Fermenting salsa extends its refrigerated shelf-life from several weeks to several months so don’t be afraid to make a large batch!
I hope these recipes bring an extra special touch to your Canada Day activities. This is a day to reflect and celebrate our great nation; the diverse cultures and histories that make up the fabric of our country, the rights and freedoms we enjoy as citizens, our beautiful natural surroundings and the people and experiences in our lives that make us who we are. I’m very grateful to be part of your story and hope Karma Cultures can inspire good health, good moods and good times!