Select Page

Bartlett Farms

LEARNING CENTER

How to Make Spicy Winter Kimchi

       This time of year, I’m always looking forward to curling up with a heavy blanket, a sauna, or hot soup. But, one of the best ways I warm up is by enjoying my homemade spicy kimchi with some fried eggs. Delicious! Of course, kimchi is perfect with more than just fried eggs: try it as a meat marinade or as a side to meat (try eating this with a roast!), in soup, with fish, or even by itself. Sometimes, I grab a fork and enjoy it as is.

       Recently, I made an extra tasty batch that is somewhat based on the Nourishing Traditions Korean Sauerkraut. I changed and added a few things to match my own preferences, and it’s exactly what I hoped for! Thanks to our local Grand Forks store called Toucan International Market, I’ve had the opportunity to explore a lot of new types of food, and I used two things from this store in my kimchi: Red Boat fish sauce and Korean red chili pepper powder. The chili powder comes in a big bag and is extremely cost-friendly.

       Anyway, back to the kimchi: it is such an easy recipe and takes less time to ferment than sauerkraut. Typically, I like my sauerkraut to ferment for 6 weeks before I’m happy with the flavor, but this kimchi fermented for about 1 week and it’s perfect. I hope you like it as much as I do:)

Diane’s Spicy Winter Kimchi (makes ½ gallon):

Ingredients:
2-3 tablespoons fresh grated turmeric root (or 1 tablespoon dried turmeric root)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 head medium green cabbage (or 1 napa cabbage)
2 bunches sliced green onions (or half a medium yellow/white onion)
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root (or ½ tablespoon ground dried ginger)
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
½ cup grated carrots
¼ cup Korean red chili pepper powder (substitute ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes)
1 packet starter culture dissolved in 2 tablespoons water (if not available, use 1 additional tablespoon of salt OR 4 tablespoons fresh whey)
Salt options–choose one:
1. 2 teaspoons sea salt AND 1 tablespoon fish sauce OR
2. 1 tablespoon sea salt

       Remove the outer cabbage leaves until you see no dirt. Then, reserve 1-2 additional whole leaves and set aside. Shred the cabbage and carrots into small pieces in a food processor (I prefer the smallest pieces my food processor can cut) or slice it by hand. Add the shredded carrot/cabbage mix to a large non-metal bowl. Grate turmeric and ginger. Slice green onions. Mince garlic. Add all ingredients to the large bowl. With clean hands, massage the ingredients together for 1-2 minutes. Add it all to a ½ gallon glass jar and press down. Add the reserved cabbage leaves to firmly cover the kimchi. I like to weigh everything down with a small jam jar or my glass fermentation weights. If the kimchi and cabbage leaves are not completely submerged under the brine, add extra brine until it is covered (extra brine recipe: 1 cup of water plus .5 tablespoons salt. Dissolve and add to kimchi as needed). Brine should be at least 1 inch above the vegetables. Either cover tightly and burp 2-3 times a day OR cover with an airlock. Place the kimchi in a dark warm space, such as a cupboard above your refrigerator. Important note: your jar might explode if you don’t burp it! Second important note: place your jar in a large bowl while it ferments in case brine leaks out while you’re burping it or it explodes/leaks. Third important note: if you do not use a starter culture or fresh whey, your ferment will probably take 2 weeks to ferment, but let your tastebuds decide. Without a starter, I’d let it sit for a minimum of 2-3 weeks before moving it to the fridge. The starter is just added to hurry the fermentation process. Enjoy!!

       There are many wholesome things to do when we are stuck indoors during the winter. Lately, my self-care focus has been reading, coloring, and researching. But…fermenting food can be therapeutic, too. It’s kind of like an indoor garden, except you’re growing beneficial bacteria, yeasts, and enzymes instead of plants. So get some cabbage juice under your fingernails and have some fun inventing new ferments! Cheers to a healthy winter. <3


Diane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.

She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and three children and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.

9 Ways To Stay Healthy This Winter

*This post does not contain any affiliate links.*

       Among the many festivities of Christmas and the New Year, there are many things that confirm winter is here in North Dakota; the freezing cold weather, the snow on the ground, ice on the roads, and countless advertisements and promotions for holiday shopping. But, one of the best signals of the changing seasons is the impossible-to-miss influenza vaccination campaign.

       “Get your flu shot for free here!” “It’s flu season; time to protect yourself and everyone else by getting your flu shot!” “Get a free t-shirt if you get your flu shot!” and even, “if you don’t get your flu shot, you’ll have to wear a mask!”

       Though we all hear these messages multiple times a day, one message we don’t hear enough is that influenza vaccines are not effective or even known to be safe. According to this CDC data, the 2018/2019 flu vaccine had an adjusted effectiveness rating of just 12 percent for those ages 50 and above, but the confidence interval was between negative 12 percent and positive 31 percent for ages 50 to 64 and a negative 29 to 41 in those over age 65. The negative confidence interval means the vaccine may actually make its recipient more susceptible to influenza infection. The 9 to 17-year group also had a confidence interval that dipped into the negative. The highest vaccine efficiency was seen in 6 months to 8-year-olds and was only 49%. Besides the fact that influenza vaccines are notoriously ineffective, they can even increase the spread of influenza itself (1, 2). To the majority of doctors, scientists, and laypeople, the term influenza is a series of symptoms that can be produced by a number of viruses (200 viruses, according to the Cochrane Library). But, to have actual influenza and not just one of the other 200 influenza-like viruses, you must be infected with the influenza virus. Very low percentages of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) are actually from the influenza virus. Being aware of these reports can ease the fear that the influenza vaccination campaign intends to spark in its customers.

       As for safety, “VAERS [our government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System] received 29,747 reports [of flu vaccine injury] after Hib vaccines [between 1990 and 2013]; 5179 (17%) were serious, including 896 reports of deaths. The median age was 6 months (range 0-1022 months). Sudden infant death syndrome was the stated cause of death in 384 (51%) of 749 death reports with autopsy/death certificate records. The most common nondeath serious AE categories were neurologic (80; 37%), other noninfectious (46; 22%) (comprising mainly constitutional signs and symptoms); and gastrointestinal (39; 18%) conditions” (3). If this wasn’t bad enough, the Harvard Pilgrim Study reports that only 1% of adverse effects are ever even reported to VAERS, which means that the devastation of influenza vaccine injuries/deaths are likely to be FAR more than what is written above, especially as influenza vaccines are pushed harder and harder with each consecutive year. This is all in addition to the complete lack of truly inert, saline placebo safety studies done on influenza vaccines. Though there are many ways to demonstrate that influenza vaccines are not safe, let’s cut to the chase and identify some ways that we can safely and effectively protect ourselves from getting sick this winter, and/or promote a fast recovery if sickness occurs.

1. If you or a loved one is over 1 year old, try taking fermented honey garlic or making homemade elderberry syrup. My family does both.

2. Try taking cod liver oil to maintain/increase vitamin D status during the darker winter months. We take this one. Did you know that adequate vitamin D status can prevent influenza virus infections (4, 5)? 

3. Eat foods high in preformed vitamin A, such as beef liver and cod liver oil. Vitamin A is critical for immune system function. 

4. Eat whole foods vitamin C, such as acerola cherries/powder, sauerkraut, camu camu powder, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

5. Stay hydrated for optimal lymphatic drainage, especially with warm liquids during cold months. The lymphatic system is heavily involved in the immune system.

6. Get some sleep! This is more easily said than done; however, it does wonders. I battle insomnia, but recently I’ve been using a “happy light” which is used to help regulate circadian rhythm and lessen Seasonal Affective Disorder. Though my sleep isn’t perfect, it is much improved as I now wake up only once a night versus 2+.

7. Of course, take your probiotics! These can be purchased in capsules or powders, but the best sources for diversity of probiotics and therapeutic doses of them can be found in homemade fermented foods and raw dairy. We make sure to drink plenty of raw milk, grapefruit kombucha, milk kefir, and/or eat sauerkraut on a daily basis.

8. Avoid sugar as much as possible…be careful with all those pies and cookies! 🙂

9. Exercise! Did you know that exercise can improve immune competency across the lifespan?

       There are many ways to maintain health during the winter, but in my opinion, these are the very basics that will hopefully keep all of our bases covered. Especially as family get-togethers are coming quickly, we need to prepare ourselves for potential sickness! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been sick plenty of times immediately after meeting with loved ones for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, if you choose to get an influenza vaccine, you can still use these methods to maintain a strong immune response. Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food, as Hippocrates said. Have a gorgeous, safe, healthy day, friends!

Diane Stanislowski is a wife, mother, and researcher with the goal of restoring the practice of traditional holistic approaches to wellness and sharing evidence-based information with the public.

She lives in Grand Forks North Dakota with her husband and three children and receives raw milk and pastured meats from Bartlett Farms.


The Fail-Proof Way to Prepare Your Pastured Thanksgiving Turkey

*There are no affiliate links in this post.*       

       Have you ever taken on the challenge of preparing a Thanksgiving Turkey? With travel-worn friends and relatives gathered together to break bread, it’s no doubt that cooking the main dish for Thanksgiving dinner can be stressful.

       Because our family has not yet hosted Thanksgiving, we haven’t had the privilege of providing turkey for everyone. However, that doesn’t mean that we won’t be prepared for future Thanksgivings!

       One intimidating aspect of preparing a Thanksgiving Turkey is picking the best recipe. Obviously, your recipe choice could either make or break your main dish. On top of that, many people don’t know how to cook a turkey, let alone properly shop for and prepare a pastured turkey, which is a completely different bird. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! In this article, we’ll show you the exact steps to a perfect holiday turkey:

  1. Check for local sources, such as your local grocery store. Even better, order from Bartlett Farms to have your turkey delivered right to your doorstep.
  2. Order well in advance: turkeys are in high demand during this time of the year, so it’s important to order ahead of time to get the quality turkey that you’re looking for.
  3. Thaw your bird or have it delivered fresh: thawing your turkey slowly over a period of hours/days in your refrigerator or in cold water is the best idea if it’s frozen, but a faster idea is to have it delivered fresh.
  4. Prepare your recipe: I’ve put three recipes from trusted sources at the end of this article. The blogger Sarah Pope recommends wet-brining pastured turkeys beforehand, as they tend to be dryer than conventionally raised (and brine-injected) turkeys. Here is how to do it. 
  5. Cook your bird in time for your guests: in addition to thawing time for a frozen turkey and using optional marinates/dry-rubs, planning a well-timed roast (or grilled!) turkey is essential as some recipes require many hours of cooking.
  6. Carve it properly and save the gravy: How to properly carve a turkey can be found here.
  7. Serve it hot with all your favorite holiday side dishes…and don’t forget homemade ice cream to go along with homemade pie at the end! PS– I love chocolate, so I add ¼ cup cocoa powder and a pinch of salt to my Nourishing Traditions Vanilla Ice Cream recipe on page 550. It is INCREDIBLE. My husband likes to add marshmallows to his. 🙂
  8. Don’t forget to save the bones and any scraps to make bone broth and have turkey soups and sandwiches in the following days…yum!

Here are 3 recipes that I’d use if I were making this year’s turkey:
1.The first (gluten free) recipe is from Nourished Kitchen.
2.The second recipe, called Maple Brined Turkey with Citrus and Herbs, is also from Nourished Kitchen.
3.The third recipe with stuffing is from Nourishing Traditions.

       It is a blessing to have friends and family, especially around the holidays. Always with several options for Thanksgiving dinners every year, it has been a gift to spend time with people I love and to taste many different kinds of turkey dinners. One of my favorites was done by my uncle in Moorhead, MN; he made an incredibly juicy roast turkey with a dry-rub beforehand. In the coming years, I hope to provide a dish just as delicious for those same people that have so generously loved and served me throughout my life. There really is a lot to be thankful for! As long as we plan far ahead of time (a week minimum) with the recipe, thawing, and marinade/dry-rub times, I’m sure we all can put smiles on the faces of our loved ones come Thanksgiving. Happy planning and stay warm, friends!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving turkey recipe?