[permaculture] Inulin and fermentation

ossi ossi at kulma.net
Mon Apr 7 10:05:56 EDT 2008

Oh yes, the recipe itself is very simple:

Mix grated sunchokes with any fermented vegetable or fermented juice and
make sure they stay under the liquid surface.

Let it stay for example in open bowl for at least 14 hours in room
temperature (I use bowl on the kitchen table, with plate as a lid).
Monitor the needed time by tasting it occasionally. In cool temperatures
it can take up to 5 days for sunchokes to turn sweet - so you need to
measure the time by yourself.

What I have actually done is a bit more complex thing:

I have used chopped perennial greens fermented in birch sap as the
fermented substance where the sunchokes are mixed. After the frosts have
melted I plan to put whole tubers into fermented liquid and see how long
it will take by starting with 2 days in warm room (taste) and then some
days to weeks in cool room (taste every day) and finally for a month in
the cold cellar (taste every day or week) ...

A sample recipe for the fermented perennial greens (you can actually steam
the vegetables first and not to chop them if you prefer):

1. Gather springshoots of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), cow parsnip
(heracleum sphondylundum & sibiricum) and fireweed (chamaenerium
angustifolium).  Cow parsnip's young shoots are light green and
attractive, while older leaves turn dark green and become later 
disattractive (and should not be used then). You can also try for example
ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria) and many others, for example shoots
of reedmace (Typha ssp.) less than 30 cm tall...

2. Chop 'em freshly in small quantities and immediately mash with wooden
pole so the cellstructure is crushed and pour that much liquid that they
stay under the surface (add some fermentation root or clean water mixed
with 5-15 grams of mineral/sea-salt per 1 liter of water)

(With a fermentation root I mean something like liquid from earlier
fermentations, fermented cabbage, liquid made from sprouted grains etc.)

3. Put the vegetables into a container (wooden (leafy trees), ceramic
(beware of low temperature glass, since that can kill you, prefer +1200
celsius ceramics), glass jar or plastic bucket suitable for foods)

4. (optional) mix with whole tree onions female flowers of willow (Salix
phylicifolia for example) which have not yet turned too fibrous, are light
green/blue and look like big maggots and/or unopened small dandelion flower
buds, and/or chopped wildroots (for example young vertical roots of
creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense), which are not yet woody) also
reedmace, burdock root etc.) if you wish ...

NOTE! Fermentation of Jerusalem artichoke results inulin to break down to
fructose, so you get it sweet and sour. Very tasty if juiced with other
stuff during the winter.

5. Pour fermented liquid diluted in water on them or salty water (5-15
grams per liter, 9 grams would be my suggestion) if needed...

6. Put a weight (cloth (hemp, nettle, flax etc.) and wooden block (birch,
oak etc.) and stone (granite or ceramic) or water filled plastic bags) on
the top so that vegetables stay about 2 cm or more under the liquid

7. Keep two days in temperature around +20 celsius degrees

8. Keep 10 days in temperature around +15-16 celsius degrees.

9. Move to cellar in temperature below +8 celsius degrees for a week or
for a year.

10. (optional) can into smaller jars (fill 'em full and pour liquid until
it touches the lid. Especially recommended if you use plastic container
(even though how certified for foods, they will leak substances which will
eventually be necessary to be detoxified from the body)

Please, contact me if you have questions or suggestions ...

:) Ossi Kakko,
ossi.kakko at kulma.net

> can you give a more specific recipe and process for fermenting the
> sunchokes?
> Paul
> On Apr 6, 2008, at 3:31 PM, Ossi Kakko wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I have fermented grated fresh sunchokes with stinging nettle and other
>> perennial greens and the result seems to be inulin conversion into
>> fructose. Very tasty but it shouldn't let get too acidic - I will
>> report
>> more after the winter is gone and I get my hands on them again...
>> We also have small plot of sunchockes growing with native alders, which
>> seems to result reasonable amount of good sized tubers in the wild
>> state
>> more than 10 years after planting...
>> Ossi Kakko, Fennoscandia
>> ossi.kakko at kulma.net
>>> It's been said that adding a bit of potato to beans decreases the
>>> incidence of "wind" (fart!).  Maybe that would work with sunchokes.
>>> If
>>> bacteria in our guts digest inulin, who is digesting them?  There
>>> must be
>>> some way to get more energy out of them, such as fermentation, other
>>> than
>>> cooking them forever.  Too many crops recommended by permaculturists
>>> require extra cooking, which means more fossil fuel or wood use.  This
>>> doesn't seem like a good solution for a staple food.

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