Sunday, 6 April 2014

My First Foray Into Fermentation

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I love my sauerkraut, dill pickles and kim chi and they all happen to be fermented foods.  So in my mind, fermented foods = yum.  And another equation to add to this is:  fermented foods = convenience = veggies in a jar which stays fresh for weeks and weeks on end!  My fridge is full of spoiling vegetables which I go to grab to make something out of only to be disappointed that what was once a crisp produce has liquified to mush because I didn't get to it quickly enough.  Well I don't suffer from that sort of disappointment with fermented veggies!

What I didn't discover until recently was the health benefits of fermented foods.  I bought the Sarah Wilson, I Quit Sugar For Life, wellness code and cookbook in which she introduced the concepts of fermentation. It's like a whole new world has opened up for me.  I thoroughly recommend Sarah's blog and her books, particularly the bits on fermentation, the benefits and how to go about it.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to report back on my first fermenting experience - and I'll get to the point right now.  I dutifully followed Sarah's guidelines.  I made my own whey from taking a tub of organic full fat yoghurt, wrapping it in a towel and hanging the yoghurt so that the whey drips down into the receiving bowl.  The whey I used to start my fermenting project.

I chose to ferment purple Dutch carrots because I found their colour to be irresistible.  Surely a veggie so vibrant in colour is full of goodness?  The whole "eat your colours", blather? The hard thing about fermenting carrots was that they were, um hard, really hard.  It was really difficult to pound them hard enough to extract enough juice to cover them.  So I ended up adding copious amounts of water to cover them which I then countered by adding more salt.  They eventually looked like they were suspended in some briny soup which didn't look anything like the fermented veggies photos on Sarah's blog.  Umph!  But I'm hoping the health benefits would all be there even though mine were a bit waterlogged. I also threw in a clove or two and half a star anise in each jar for flavour.  I left them out for four days on the kitchen and they were ready to eat/go in the fridge thereafter.

How did they taste?  Well they didn't taste carroty.  It was slightly briny and clovey.  It wasn't as salty as I expected given the amount of salt I threw in. The texture was a bit like sauerkraut.  There was a slight yoghurty taste which I may be imagining because I'm aware it's got whey in it. I have been having a tablespoon or two of this with my dinner and treat it like one of the side veggies.

I enjoyed making it (there is an element of mad scientist to it and science is fun!) and am currently brainstorming the next thing to ferment.

Until next time...

This post is shared at Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop

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