Fermenting Your Way to Delicious Sour Cream

By Kellene Bishop

sour creamHaving sufficient food for a weekend full of house guests may be a bit overwhelming. So when it comes to attempting to have a year’s supply of great food on hand, one might start thinking about taking psychiatric medications in order to measure up to the task. But I assure you, not only can a year’s supply be accomplished, but it can be accomplished with fabulous taste and most importantly, nutrition. Today’s article will just be a sneak peek into an example of how this can be achieved. I encourage you to also look up articles I’ve written previously on sprouting and zymurgy. You won’t believe how much more nutritious AND delicious a food can be with not much more than a little bit of patience.

Making homemade sour cream

sour cream

A couple of months ago I made a “sour cream” out of sunflower and flax seeds. I did it the “old fashioned way” of babysitting the mixture and using a mortar and pestle. Mind you, it turned out nicely, but boy howdy, it was a lot of work. Well, if you know me, you know that I claim to be the laziest prepper on the face of the planet and I was about to ruin that claim with a tasty condiment. So, I purchased a soy/almond milk making machine while I’ve been laid up and not supposed to do anything.

sour cream(Mwwaaahaaahaaa—since I’m a frequent buyer on Amazon all the info they need on me is already built into my account so I don’t even have to get out of bed to do some retail therapy. *grin*) And while I wasn’t “doing anything” I dumped a few items into my little machine and tried a new recipe from the book “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Ellix Katz and I was very happy with the results—especially since I wasn’t even out of bed long enough for my husband to even notice, thus I didn’t get in trouble. *double grin* So, I’m going to share the recipe with you here with a little bit of modification I made by using freeze-dried fare with the grains and seeds. Not only is this great for those who are lactose intolerant, but it’s also a great way to ensure that you get to THRIVE on your foods instead of just survive. Oh, and if you’re one of those kind of people who love to get a little bit of “wow, this is delicious” thrown at you at a dinner party, you’ll LOVE this little alternative to regular sour cream. People will think you’ve created some kind of secret, special sauce.

Enjoy—again and again.

Alternative Sour Cream

1 cup raw sunflower seeds (consider growing lots of these this year in your garden. It’s SO easy and fulfilling!)

1 T. raw flaxseed (yet another grain you can grow in your backyard)

sour cream4 T. cooked leftover grains (I use brown rice)

3 T. Olive oil (I highly recommend a basil infused olive oil—FABulous!)

1 t. raw honey

1 T. of reconstituted freeze-dried or dehydrated onions or chives (I prefer the chives)

¼ t. celery seed

1/3 cup of lemon juice (yup, from the green bottle is just fine)

1 T. kefir grains (You can easily use the reusable kefir grains, and with the right fine mesh strained, you’ll have no problem “finding them” so that you can use them again and again)

Soak the sunflower and flax seeds overnight (about 8 hours) in just enough water to cover them.

sour creamIn the morning, drain the remaining excess water and SET IT ASIDE—you’re going to use it again later as it’s got LOTS of yummy nutrients in it. Then puree the soaked seeds with all of the other ingredients EXCEPT for the kefir grains. (I just used my Vitamix blender but a food processor is fine as well. And both run just fine on my Humless Solar Generator)  Add your reserved water a little bit at a time until the mixture reaches a thick, creamy consistency.

Place the mixture in a clean jar or a glass bowl with the kefir grains. (Do not use plastic or metal.) Allow this mixture to ferment 1 to 3 days. (I did 2 days cause it took me that long to wait until the hubby left the house again so that I could “sneak” out of bed.

sour creamPour your mixture through a fine sieve so that you can remove your kefir grains. (If you can’t, it’s OK if you end up eating them. They are actually good for you.) This is the mixture that you’ll use just as you would any other sour cream for a savory dish such as on a baked potato or mixed with canned chicken and chopped water chestnuts or reconstituted celery—it’s great on crackers!!

If you’re able to save your kefir grains, just take care of them according to manufacturer’s instruction.

If you’re going to make this in a yogurt maker or the soy/almond milk maker, the ingredients will be the same, but you’ll simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions as well.

Oh, and do I really have to tell you to “enjoy?!”

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Comments

OH Kellene. Thanks SO much for this.

I have to chuckle at your sneakiness. I am sure your husband COMPLETELY knows you and you can't get anything by him....but it sure is funny. Hope you are feeling better and I just can't say thanks enough for sharing all your little "experiments" with us. Now I am off in search of Kefir Grains. Hope they are close by here somewhere.

Kellene, what is in those yummy looking jars at the top? Looks like spinach and something else.

collard greens and tofu. Nope. I didn't make it. I'm not tofu person and can't even pretend to like it except for one dish which is a mock egg salad, but now that I can have REAL eggs in my egg salad, who needs the tofu? :-)

Kellene,
Your version of sour cream intrigues me. The only problem is with the fermentation - I have a memory like a sieve and would set it aside to ferment and then come back 2 or 3 weeks or even MONTHS later! EEEK - that might not be too pretty! We don't use that much sour cream, so I think the dehydrated version will suffice for us.

I definitely like the idea of THRIVE, not just survive. My hubby and I are starting to do more with our long term storage items beyond using the dried carrots, celery, etc. in soups or eating the dehydrated fruit for snacks. We definitely want to be comfortable with what we have before we NEED to be.

Thanks for your blog and for sharing your information, it's been a big help for me! (Hubby was already 85% prepper before we met - he always had extra canned goods, etc. on the shelf - "just in case".)

Hope you are feeling better!

That's what these fancy new cell phones are GREAT for. I'm totally a bit of an absent minded professor type myself, but set alarms for everything--taking my nutrients, flipping my eggs, remembering to water my plants, drain my sprouts, etc.

Yep - those fancy new cell phones are great, if you have one of them. The other problem is that if there's an EMP and you haven't anticipated it by putting your phone and electronics in a Faraday cage, you've lost the alarms and all the other bells and whistles anyway and the fermenting might turn into the "blob that ate Phoenix".

well you know you wouldn't give a hoot about a cell phone after and EMP anyway, right? There will be no cell towers working, so until then, we can use our cell phones to help us remember thinks like fermentation and rotation of foods.

Good article. I want to give some of this a try! BUT........my big question right now is "WHATS IN THAT JAR?" that's at the top of the article on fermenting!??!
It looks delicious! I think I recognize spinach.........but what else is that in there? I didn't find anything in the article that identified it. Did I miss something?

Do you have any suggestions on removing sunflower seeds from the husks quickly and painlessly ?

Do you ferment at room temperature or does it need a heating pad set on low, as in making yogurt?

Kellene,
I can't remember whether you said you are able to get raw milk or not, but there is a great article here about the uses for raw milk when it goes sour:

http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/maximize-your-real-milk-and-cream

Unlike pasteurized milk which turns deadly when soured, raw milk naturally separates and ferments instead. Like most of us, I grew up sniffing the milk jug to see if it was "bad" so I was brainwashed into gagging at the slightest whiff of sour.
I am now a changed woman! I have been fortunate enough to be able to get raw Jersey milk and cream for a few years now, and am now finally finding out the joys of real soured cream and whey, and want to highly recommend it to anyone interested in fermentation. My favorite drink now is half a glass of decaf iced tea (with a little stevia in it) topped off with some of the fermented whey of a jar of raw milk that has been left to separate on the counter for 3 days!

I love the book Wild Fermentation but I have found that some of the recipes don't work for me. I usually end up comparing them to the recipes in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Sometimes she has an extra ingredient or another (or different) step than Sandor Katz... but between the two I am able to create delicious awesomeness!

Thank you for this article, it led me to looking up Kefir Grains and buying some of the Water Kefir Grains type. It's great fun, I'm making all kinds of neat probiotic drinks! I'm dairy sensitive, so it was neat to find that there was a non-dairy option.

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