Winter Salads

One of the great pleasures of growing vegetables is to be able to harvest fresh salad in the cooler months,the flavor seems fresher and more welcome through autumn and Winter

its important to use varieties that are adapted to growing in these cooler conditions

The varieties that work for me are Continue reading Winter Salads

Cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar recipe

The apple quantities are very approximate. The more you use for each litre of liquid the stronger the flavor and if you have any Cider apples these can work as well

You’ll need a container with a wide mouth to make this in. A bowl or fermenting bucket or just a new normal bucket from a DIY outlet. You can buy special vinegar making containers if you wish. What is important is that you maximise the surface area exposed to the air.The larger the surface area the easier it is for the acetobacter to colonise the juice.

These quantities are for 1 litre of vinegar, just pro rata them for what you have to hand.

Ingredients

IMG_08676-12 apples, windfalls and damaged apples are brilliant for this. It uses them up and the damage is more likely to be colonised by natural yeasts and useful bacteria. Wash them if they are muddy dirty under a running tap

1 litre of water

100g of sugar (I use normal white granulated)

Method

Chop the apples roughly into 2-3cm pieces into your container. Use the skin, cores, pips, everything.

Dissolve the sugar in the water. I use some heat to do this. Allow the sugar solution to cool to about room temperature, if it’s too hot you could kill your natural yeasts.

Pour the sugar solution over the apples and give it a good stir. Weight the apples down with a plate, bowl or something else to keep them in the solution.

Cover the container with muslin or a clean tea towel secured with an elastic band. This will keep dust and bugs out, while the acetobacter will be able to pass between the weave. Leave the container in a warm place.

apple-scraps-1Monitor daily and give a stir. Very quickly you’ll notice bubbles which is the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation. The apples will start to smell like cider.

After 7-10 days the apples will have done their work and you can strain them off the solution with a sieve or colander lined with muslin or a new teatowel

Put the solution back in to your container and cover.

At this point start tasting. You should notice the rough cider flavour being transformed into an acid one. Leave for 10-14 days until you are happy with the flavour.

Strain again and then pour into sterilised bottles and seal. If you want, keep the film that appears on the top of the vinegar. This is ‘Mother of Vinegar’ which you can use to start another batch without needing to resort to chance colonisation by acetobacter.

Geek facts

Acetobacter is a genus of acetic acid bacteria characterized by the ability to convert ethanol to acetic acid in the presence of oxygen. Several species are in this genus, and other bacteria are capable of forming acetic acid under various conditions, but all of the Acetobacter species are known by this characteristic ability.

Acetobacter is of particular importance commercially, because some species are used in the production of vinegar and is the reason all air has to be excluded from wine

It really is worth making for great dressing for Salads

I make gallons as I add it to the Horse feed for its health benefits for them as well

research by Dr James Brown from Aston University has shown  positives of having cider vinegar in you diet

“But those consuming cider vinegar saw an average 13% reduction in total cholesterol, with a strikingly large reduction in triglycerides (a form of fat). And this was a particularly impressive finding because our volunteers were all healthy at the start, with normal cholesterol levels.

“Bringing cholesterol levels down like this”, Dr Brown told me, “can significantly reduce your chances of having a heart attack in the future. So we were really excited to see that finding.”

 

 

Growing Spring Cabbage

Spring cabbage  are the cabbages  we grow through the Winter to have available the following spring, they also can be used to produce  Spring greens  which are really just no heading cabbage.

The great thing about growing Spring cabbage is they are spaced  at equidistant spacing and the thinnings in the Spring are used in the kitchen when we need to give more room to the growing cabbage

You can sow Spring cabbage till end of September and plant out till end of October so its perfect for the Autumn

Remember the wider the spacing Continue reading Growing Spring Cabbage

Teaching you how to grow your own vegetables and fruit