I gotta say – I love yeast and bacteria…and as one past fermentation workshop participant mentioned “your passion for yeast and bacteria is infectious!” hmmm good thing it is a beneficial bacteria considering it’s infectious…
Kefir and Kombucha are two of my favourite foods, with sauerkraut in the running too. I love how good they make my stomach feel, I love the taste, I love the way such a simple form of life can turn a food so quickly into something completely different!
I’ve learned how to ferment from friends and books alike. Folks who are avid fermenters for the health benefits, for the deliciousness factor. It’s an age old process that Sandor Katz talks thoroughly about in his amazing resourceful book “Wild Fermentation”. People have been using fermentation processes for hundreds of years, keeping bounties of foods healthful and nutritious all the way into the winter months or the off seasons.
I recently made a batch of sauerkraut in my home here in Victoria and here’s how I made it happen:
-I chopped up 2 cabbages, one purple one green, and slowly sprinkled it with sea salt as I massaged it until juices were noticeable.
-I added a sprinkling of caraway seed. I then pushed it down into a clean old peanut butter plastic bucket (you can use any big glass jar or food grade plastic bucket).
-On top of the kraut I placed a plate that fit just right into the bucket, and I weighed down the plate with a giant mason jar filled with brown rice, so that the juices slowly rise above the cabbage.
-I let it sit on my counter for two whole weeks, tasting it after one week, and packing it into jars tightly after two weeks and now store them in the fridge. It may get smelly and bubbly, but that’s normal! It’s important to push down on the weighted plate to encourage the gases to bubble out.
-Depending on how sour you like your ferments and also depending on the temperature of your house, you may take more or less time than two weeks to ferment your kraut!
It’s deliciously crunchy and slightly sour, a beautiful purple colour and full of probiotics to nourish my digestive system. I like to have a couple spoonfulls every day, it’s a wonderful
addition to a healthy meal.
Below, I’ve shared the how of fermenting two of my other favourite things: Kefir and Kombucha. If you are interested in getting fermenting for the health of your digestive system, for the delicious zingy taste, to create alternative barter economies (the yeast and bacteria re-produce-you can have oodles of fun trading it with other folks who wish to start fermenting!), or just for the fun of it, check out the little zine that I crafted up as a handout at the workshop.
And do let me know if you need some Kefir Grains to get started or a SCOBY for Kombucha – I will happily trade with you.
Check out Kayla’s blog for more great posts!