donderdag 9 oktober 2014

Fermented beans, 'haute cuisine'.

Hendrik is an inventor. He combines seemingly dissimilar things together, makes cross-references and is always looking for a logical and practical application, which makes our life more fun. This time he let his mind on the question: "How do we get enough protein in our daily food?".

We eat no meat, for many years now. Also because we cannot digest it very well. At a certain point we wondered why we still ate meat at all. Occasionally we sometimes eat fish. But to be forced to eat fish just about every day... it seemed all so senseless. What remains are; milk and eggs and of course beans, lentils and peas. But even the beans started to bore us, though there are so many types of beans... "Beans everyday?"

So some while ago, Hendrik got the idea to ferment cooked dry beans with buttermilk, to be able to digest them better. For this he was referring to making curd, where the protein in milk is consumed by lactic acid bacteria, witch makes milk into curd.... Here something new arises.
When you let these lactic acid bacteria dissolve the protein from beans, it will create a "predigested" bean product. The taste and aroma of the beans change. They taste great!

So (for almost a year now) we eat fermented beans at our hot meal, almost every day. And? The taste does not bore us and we tolerate it perfectly.

You can make many dishes with it. From super simple to very laborious; 'haute cuisine'. It behaves like a ragout. You can make tortillas or spring rolls with it, or create a beauty of a bean sauce. You can add anything to it, in it and or on it: Fresh herbs, spices, onions, garlic, nuts.

You can even make it sweet with honey. It can be a bread spread, or be put on pancakes. Make a cake with it, or simply eat it with rice.

For our daily fare we keep it super simple. We bake the beans ragout, in a ceramic frying pan in some olive or sunflower oil, add some Tamari and leave a crispy crust formed. We eat it with all kinds of vegetables, herbs and spices, together with Basmati rice or buckwheat or Quinoa.

How it works.

1.) Preparation:

In this example we use 500 grams of dried red beans.

Do not use soybeans. Our body does not see soybeans as a food and wants to get rid it as soon as possible. This fermentation process also, will not be sufficient to eliminate this problem, we know by experience. The only fermentation process that makes soybeans digestible is the process where Tamari (a one year fermented soybean sauce) is produced.

Soak the beans for 12 hours, then drain and wash them.
Cook the beans well, over low heat, with salt to taste. (In no more water than 2 cm. water above the level of the beans.)

2.) Allow the beans to cool until they are about 25 degrees. Mash the beans well with a pestle, or use a mixer:

If you think there still is too much cooking water on the beans, then pour of all the liquid. The mashing is easier when there is little moisture. You can always add it back later.
Know that the moisture tastes saltier than the beans.

3.) Add one cup of buttermilk (lactic acid bacterium) and mix all well:

Do not use yogurt. Yogurt requires higher temperatures in order to bring a fermentation process in motion, so this bean process will then fail. Furthermore, our liver has trouble digesting the yogurt bacteria, despite all the stories about healthy yogurts in commercials.

4.) Add two cups of (tender) oatmeal and mix all well. Depending on what you want to cook with your bean ragout later, you add more or less oatmeal.

Oatmeal gives body to the ragout. You can not miss it, because otherwise it will get limp and tacky. It should be firm and a bit thick. For making a sauce you need not so much oatmeal. For making rolls or a hamburger you need more.

The oatmeal will soak during the fermentation process, with which it will sufficiently bind the ragout.

Do not use flour instead of oatmeal. The flour will not have sufficient time to cook tender, during later preparations. Do not to use tougher cereal flakes, such as corn or wheat.

5.) Let this bean, buttermilk, oatmeal (salt) mixture ferment for 12 hours. At room temperature. (between 20 to 30 degrees).

6.) You can keep the fermented beans in the fridge or freeze it in portions.

And only now your culinary creativity comes to the test :)



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