Recipe: Lacto-Fermented Rewilding Bean Dip

All the evidence from archaeology and anthropology seems to indicate that grains and legumes should not make up the bulk of a human diet. We simply did not evolve eating these foods in high quantity. However, there is a way we can remove the anti-nutrients and turn a bad food into a source of healthy probiotics with fermentation. The fact is, ancient man DID store and use these foods, especially during cold months. What he DID NOT do was cook and eat beans as-is. No, the best way to prepare these foods is through soaking, sprouting, and fermenting. These methods will break down anti-nutrients that damage your gut, make vitamins and minerals bio-available, and turn your food into a probiotic supplement.

There are about fifteen beneficial bacteria on just about everything around us. The problem is, we often kill them before we eat anything. Now that we understand gut health a little better, people are spending a fortune on probiotic supplements and raw sauerkraut from the health food store. Instead of spending money on another supplement, I choose to harness the bacteria already sitting on my food. My probiotic supplementation costs me about four dollars a month, the cost of a few heads of cabbage.

The secret is salt. Our ancestors discovered this amazing, low-tech method of preserving food by advantaging the beneficial lactobacillus against harmful bacteria in a salt rich environment. Then our bacteriological allies produce lactic acid as the fermentation process unfolds, which preserves our food. When we make sauerkraut at home, we sometimes get tens of trillions of bacteria per teaspoon. It’s literally like eating a bottle of probiotic supplements all at once when you eat a few spoons of fermented foods. Which reminds me, be cautious! The first few times you eat fermented foods might cause, well…gastric disturbances. Build up SLOWLY to a couple of teaspoons of fermented foods each day.

Why should you bother to do this? Well, you want to rewild yourself right? Did you know that you are mostly made up of bacteria? It’s a fact that bacteria outnumber your cells by a large margin. You need a healthy balance of bacteria to enjoy the good health of the rewilding lifestyle.

Well that’s probably more background information than you wanted to know. On with the recipe so we can rewild our gut bacteria!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups black beans
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 2 dried Anaheim peppers
  • 3 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp powdered garlic
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 lime
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 cup purified water
  • 1/2 cup liquid from previous sauerkraut ferment

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Preparation:

  • Soak black beans overnight, drain, add fresh water and 1/4 tsp salt, then soak another day
  • Rinse beans
  • Cook beans at least six hours, or until well done
  • While beans are cooking, prepare cilantro and chop up peppers in a food processor
  • Rinse and cool the beans to room temperature, place them in a large bowl and smash them (you MUST break open beans you plan to ferment)
  • Add water, spices, lime juice, peppers and salt to the bowl, stir well to combine
  • The last step before you transfer to your fermenter is to mix your sauerkraut juice well throughout your bean dip. This will ensure proper fermentation
  • IMPORTANT: make sure you have at least four inches of head space and that your beans are completely cooked

Fermentation:

I use a half gallon mason jar setup with an airlock similar to the instructions on Northwest Edible Life. I cannot recommend Erica’s blog enough for those of you interested in food preservation.

You want to place all your bean dip into your fermentation container and secure with an airlock. I would not recommend trying this recipe without an airlock. You need an oxygen free environment to ensure proper results. Place your ferment in a dark place at room temperature for two to four days. Use a clean spoon to check for flavor beginning on day two. When you like the taste, place your ferment in the refrigerator and enjoy with some sprouted grain tortilla chips. This dip should keep for up to a month if properly refrigerated.

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As you can see, the bean dip fits perfectly into a half gallon jar. It is ready to sit on the counter-top and ferment for a few days. Be sure to follow all the steps exactly and only use sauerkraut juice from a home ferment that you KNOW contains live lactic acid bacteria. How about some comments? Did you like this recipe?

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