An A – Z fermentation glossary – acronyms, tools, tips, containers, food, recipes, techniques, bacteria, cultures, gut-health + more
ACV – Apple Cider Vinegar
Do you buy apple cider vinegar or make your own recipe? (recipe – vinegar e-book).
Use apple cider vinegar that contains the mother (it has a cloudy appearance).
Traditionally, vinegar is produced by the fermentation of alcoholic liquids.
The mother of vinegar, an acetobacter (bacterial) culture, are introduced to the alcohol to initiate the fermentation.
If buying and consuming vinegar that still has the mother of vinegar present. We ingest the beneficial bacteria or could use it to ferment more vinegar.
ACTIVATE nuts and seeds – See NUTS below
ABSORB Food Better The gut is the pilot of our health. When our gut is happy the rest of our body just works. We are not what we eat, but what we absorb.
We can eat all the healthy food in the world, but if we do not digest and absorb, we will not be gaining what we hope from all our efforts! We will not require as many supplements and vitamins, and we will be absorbing more of the live nutrients in our food.
ALKALINE FORMING due to the abundant presence of vitamins and minerals. FERMENTED FOODS aid in replenishing vital mineral stores to aid in balancing systemic pH.
A salt solution used to ferment vegetables. The average brine calls for 1-3 tablespoons of salt per liter of water, depending on vegetable and temperature. Whether it is okra, beans, cucumber, zucchini, radishes, daikon, turnips, beetroot, parsnip, horseradish or chilies from the garden, grab a Fido jar, some quality salt and we are off.
Gosh what cannot be made sour and satisfying with a little time under the brine??
Okra, garlic, horseradish leaf, chili and mustard seeds or beetroot, ginger, turmeric and daikon for pink falafel pickles, but whatever you try they are sure to become oh so snack-able and delicious. And gut-loving good for you too! Grab your jar, some salt and we are off. Plenty of inspiration to let your creative wings fly in fermented vegetable e-book or follow along in The Gut Academy online course
We are talking old-fashioned brined lacto-fermented pickles. It is a mouthful, in more ways than one, but these are the pickles our great grandmothers made. They store for months, if prepared properly.
Butter Kefir butter + additions of fermented herbs, spices and preserved orange rind. We are confident that once you make your own butter, you will be hooked. In our kitchen, we have access to high-quality raw organic cream. (recipe feral milk e-book).
BEETROOTS are highly nutritious. In Russia beetroot is pickled by cleaning, slicing and placing in a container with salt.
Due to the high sucrose level, dextran’s are produced giving the product a slimy texture (Pedersen, 1979). Note: Our beetroot never has a slimy texture … grated beetroot can ferment too quickly in our tropical summer – nice combined with another veggie like turnip or daikon. Ferment chunks as opposed to grating and no sliminess will appear.
1/2 cup of beetroot kvass twice per day is a great blood tonic: promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalinizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones. Beetroot kvass makes a delicious salad dressing.
BEETROOT RELISH … recipe in fermented vegetables e-book
BEETROOT + CITRUS enjoy with fish, curry or as a pickly snack … Cube 2 beetroots, tangerine, lemonade, lime (cubed including rinds), dash of ginger, T Himalayan salt, leave for 1-2 weeks.
BASI is a sugar cane wine made in the Philippines by fermenting boiled, freshly extracted, sugar cane juice. A dried powdered starter is used to initiate the fermentation. The mixture can ferment for up to three months, and to age for up to one year. The final product is light brown in color and has a sweet and a sour flavor. A similar product called shoto sake is made in Japan (Steinkraus, 1996).
BABY When a batch of Kombucha grows a new SCOBY it is sometimes called a Baby. We refer to all our cultures as “babies”.
BONE BROTH The best way to heal the gut long term is to drink broths that are high in minerals that reduce gut inflammation and thicken and strengthen the integrity of the gut wall, leading to better absorption of nutrients from all foods.
In our kitchen, we cook our pre- soaked grains (rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat etc.) in a high-mineral broth. The gelatin in the broth will help the digestive process. In order to pull the precious minerals from the bone during cooking, add an acid, like apple cider vinegar, to the water before cooking. Recipe in healing gut book.
BORSCH is a traditional Russian soup, made with lactic acid fermented beetroots.
BEVERAGES have become such a detriment to modern health started out as health tonics.
That is why you would see soda fountains in pharmacies. The sodas were a way of harnessing the vitamins and minerals stored in the roots or other plant matter and putting them into a tasty drink. When we use the practice of fermentation to create fizzy drinks, we are not only pulling the vitamins and minerals from the plant material, we are also adding the healthy microorganisms that help our bodies break down and assimilate food. The fermentation process can also create new nutrients such as B vitamins. These beverages truly are a wonderful health tonic to add to your diet!
My family like to have small number of fermented beverages along with milk kefir and fermented and fresh veggies – NBC … N for nourishment B for Balance and C for cleanse.
BREWING KOMBUCHA is like making any other dish. EVERYONE will tell you something different. There are hundreds of variations and recipes out there, each one somebody’s favorite.
Everyone will swear doing this or that thing will make the beverage more healthful – and often the advice is contradictory. Relax, enjoy + Experiment, see what works for you.
Every brewing kitchen will have its unique preference or just a method or two that seems to work best, which is why trial, and error is your best companion in this process. It may seem a little intimidating at first but consider it a new science experiment with the kids and see what happens – most likely you will be pleasantly surprised with the tasty results! See tips in Kombucha e-book.
MASH The combination of water, grain and other ingredients from which beer is made.
WORT The liquid, which is strained from the mash, to which yeast is then added to make beer.
TRUB The spent grains, etc. after straining.
SPARGING Straining and washing the sugars from the mashed grains. PITCH to add yeast.
PRIME to add sugar in the secondary ferment, to add carbonation.
BUTTERMILK – feral milk e-book
BUBBLES … let the bubbles begin!!! Natural carbonation is the result of the fermentation process. CO2 and alcohol is produced during the stage when the yeast digests the sugar. Fermentation is yeast converting sugar into alcohol and Carbon Dioxide gas.
Sometimes the fermentation is so vigorous, it looks more like a gush of foam, rather than just bubbles. Sometimes the fermentation can be very slow and the bubbles will be hardly noticeable, but they are there.
CULTURED FOODS Around the world, traditional foods have been fermented for ages, for both preservation and for their health benefits. There is evidence of cultured milk products being produced as a food as long ago as 10,000 BC. With the increased incidence of gastrointestinal problems in the modern Western culture, often due to poor diet and a reliance on processed foods, interest in traditional foods and eating habits are regaining popularity.
Back as far as the time of Captain Cook, sailors always took a store of sauerkraut on their long voyages, as experience taught them that it was an effective prevention for scurvy.
Viili, piima, filmjolk, skyr – obscure mouthfuls of rolling foreign vowels – that mean but one thing: cultured milk. The Scandinavians, whose ill-tempered northern climate necessitates creative application of food preservation techniques, celebrate soured milks and cultured dairy foods in a manner unparalleled by even the MILK KEFIR -loving people of the Caucasus.
Indeed, they thrive on all manner of cultured and soured milks which are deeply ingrained into their culinary tradition and heritage, and from their undying love for wholesome, naturally soured milks we can all learn a lesson.
Viili is mildly sour, and in many respects faintly sweet by comparison to other cultured dairy foods and yoghurt, making it a good option for small children.
In cultured milk, the bacteria have broken down the casein and lactose into easily digestible forms, rendering it less allergenic.
CULTURED CREAM all-natural sour cream. Delicious additions to recipes in small amounts. Try making homemade crème fraiche. (recipe in feral milk e-book)
CHEESE Make cheese from kefir, by letting kefir ferment for 48 hours (but this can vary depending on the temperature), or until the curds and whey separate out and the curds become quite thick.
Symiots, Hunzakuts, Sardinians, and Campodimelani all eat traditionally fermented cheese made from sheep, goat, or cow milk. If you want to eat cheese, choose high-quality matured cheeses which have been made the traditional way, rather than processed cheese.
CHAL, or shubat, is fermented camel milk beverage.
COLONCHE is sweet, fizzy beverage produced in Mexico by fermenting the juice of the fruits of the prickly pear cacti – mainly Opuntia species. The procedure for preparing colonche is essentially the same as has been followed for centuries.
The cactus fruits are peeled and crushed to obtain the juice, which is boiled for 2-3 hours.
After cooling, the juice can ferment for a few days. Sometimes old colonche or water kefir may be added as a starter.
CHOCOLATE When cacao is harvested, the pods are cracked open, exposing the sweet fruit to the warm tropical air, which is teeming with airborne bacteria and yeasts. It was formerly believed that cocoa beans were fermented to remove the adhering pulp (Wood, 1990).
However, a good flavor in the final cocoa or chocolate is dependent on good fermentation. Fermentation is carried out in a variety of ways, but all depends on heaping a quantity of fresh beans with their pulp and allowing micro-organisms to produce heat (Beckett, 1988). Most beans are fermented in heaps although better results are obtained using boxes, which result in a more even fermentation.
Cacao is left in the boxes for up to a week. During this time, the naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria consume the sugars in the fruit, creating alcohols and other highly acidic compounds that seep into the seeds.
These acids break down the bitter compounds and give the resulting cacao beans a deep, nutty and sometimes fruity flavor.
Most cacao farmers never taste the result, the chocolate maker has little control over the fermentation process. Chocolate companies that pride in taste and quality have a great relationship with the producers to ensure the fermentation process is right for the chocolate flavor. If you have a cacao crop check out Nuts recipe e-book on how to ferment your own chocolate.
CHICHA is a fermented drink, that you can find just about anywhere in Peru .The earliest pottery from South America, dating back to ca. 5000 B.P., was likely intended for chicha’s, primarily made from corn but also manioc, wild fruits, cacti, and potatoes. Today, you can get corn, quinoa, yucca, pineapple, apple and many more.
Traditional chicha is a fermented drink that is typically made from corn, sometimes also from yuca or cassava root, rice, oats, among others, but there are other lighter and easier to make versions of chicha.
A variety of brine cucumber products are made around the world. Oi sobagi and oiji are made in Korea.
In Egypt cucumbers are pickled by soaking in brine to produce torshi khiar.
CLOUDINESS in fermented veggies. During fermentation, the brine becomes cloudy due to the growth of bacteria. The cloudiness in the fermentation is a good thing. It means that the good bacteria have made probiotics.
Slip the brine into smoothies, dips – any cold food that does not have heat, to introduce / sneak into kids and big kids’ food.
CROSS-CONTAMINATION It is thought that keeping different types of fermenting foods too close together during the fermentation period, causing airborne cross-contamination. (For instance, keeping a working milk kefir jar too close to a live sourdough or yoghurt jar.) Although, my dear Grandma produced a load of fermented food in a very small space with a lot of happy fizzing and bubbling.
CANDIDA The lactobacilli and other microbes convert the natural proteins, fats, sugars and starches in fruits, vegetables, and dairy and animal products into lactic acid. The lactic acid then goes on to preserve the food, enhance its digestibility, and encourage growth of good bacteria throughout the digestive tract while discouraging the bad. Finally, when consumed with other foods, the enzymes found in fermented foods improve digestion of the entire meal. This alone can help with conditions such as Candida, because keeping the large intestine acidic, favors the growth of the more beneficial microbes. Fermentation lowers the sugars and carbohydrates in foods.
CRAVINGS Fermented food help control cravings for starchy and sweet foods when consumed on a consistent basis! The veggies are “pre-digested” by the beneficial probiotic organisms. The lactic acid produced during the fermentation process aids in digesting all foods eaten along with them – especially proteins and starchy foods. A “living” food, teeming with beneficial microorganisms. These intelligent, little beings work hard to maintain your inner bio-system.
CONTAINERS Barrels, crocks, pots, jars, expensive fancy bottles?
The idea of having a special crock for fermenting is a great one! In China, Korea and Germany they have been used for thousands of years. We love our Crock that does away with the formation of Kahm yeast, but our Fido and Le Parfait bottles are great for small garden gifts.
COCONUT WATER KEFIR Coconut kefir is the simple process of using young coconut water and fermenting it to a state that leaves it teeming with billions of beneficial microorganisms. These friendly bacteria help balance your inner ecosystem, which in turn facilitates digestion, nutrient absorption, and toxin removal.
CLEAN UP YOUR GUT … Bottom line, if you want to clean up your gut, repopulating it with beneficial bacteria is a requirement.
COCONUT MILK KEFIR (like milk kefir, without the dairy) is fermented coconut milk. It contains a host of probiotic cultures that support your intestinal system that are not found in yoghurt.
Coconut kefir helps to minimize sugar cravings and, because it is not made from animal milk, people with lactose intolerance can partake minus the nasty side effects. Enjoy it on its own or in a smoothie or make it into a dip similarly to how you would use yoghurt. Can also make with water kefir grain.
COCONUT YOGHURT Can omit the water kefir and add thawed organic berries for a delicious berry coconut yoghurt. Or add passionfruit in place of the berries or we often add fresh harvested sapote When our tree is producing fruit, for chocolate mousse.
COCONUT WATER VINEGAR an easy peasy recipe in vinegar e-book or in module 4
CITRUS organic fruits naturally have a bacterium on their skins that inhibits mould.
Do not wash until you are ready to use. Only use organic citrus for preserving as the nasty chem’s hide under the skin. Preserved citrus can be kept on the shelf indefinitely (like a year, at least) or in the fridge for even longer.
The only issue for oranges is that they are not as versatile as lemons, and limes when preserved, so it can be a bit tricky to get through a jar.
Although, orange is great to add to kombucha vinegar or past the tongue tasty stage water kefir for around the home cleaning.
CABBAGE LEAVES Roll up cabbage leaves and place on top of fermenting veggies to fill the remaining space and close container tightly. Let sit at room temperature (72F or higher) until they taste right.
Grandma would put a layer of whole cabbage leaves in the middle of the sauerkraut crock. Used for cabbage rolls.
Yum with a curry or an addition to pineapple salsa to top a bean burger or loaf.
1 cup coconut, 1/2 cup warm water, juice of 1 lime, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, dash of cumin and coriander and Himalayan salt.
Blend leave to ferment in an airtight bottle out of direct light for 2-4 days.
CHRISTMAS POMEGRANATE RELISH
1 orange (peeled and segmented)
1/3 cup unrefined sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
dash of cinnamon and vanilla powder
1/8 teaspoon cloves
Tablespoon grated fresh ginger, teaspoon Himalayan salt, 1 cup cranberries / peeled and seeded prickly pear, seeds of 1 pomegranate.
Whizz all together, except for pomegranate seeds.
Pulse to blend.
Stir in pomegranate seeds. over to the fermenting fairies. Check up to 3 days.
Grate 4 cups of organic carrot (orange + yellow) 1 tablespoon grated ginger + 2 tablespoons Himalayan salt and massage until you have heaps of juice to cover the carrots – if you prefer you can make a brine.
Leave for the fermenting fairies to do magic, at room temperature for 3 days.
To please the palate of any carrot-loving bunny … add to a raw nut / kefir smoothie … with sprouted or activated pecan butter or 1 1/4 cups activated pecans, part of a Ploughman’s lunch or a Sunset Soup will make a delicious starter.
CONTINUOUS BREWING Kombucha … the benefits of continuous brewing are both practical and nutritional.
A large container used to ferment kombucha. Fermented kombucha is drawn off in small amounts through a spigot at the bottom. Fresh sweet tea is then added to the top.
Once a ferment has ripened to your taste it goes into refrigeration … where it will continue to ferment but at a very slow rate.
Too often, I hear peeps say Sauerkraut and Kimchi served at our home tastes great, but when they try store bought, they think it does not taste nearly as good. I realized it is because the bought ones have not taken the time to ripen properly … some sauerkraut is basically coleslaw and not at all gut friendly.
Kimchi does not taste good at all when it is in the process of getting ripe. Our exchange student Khiam’s mum would say her mum called this time Kimchi Crazy time!
And you certainly do not want to eat kimchi when it is crazy!!
One clue is the appearance of the vegetables … properly fermented sauerkraut the good beasties will have changed the green cabbage to beige. Kimchi cabbage will look limp if they are further along in the fermentation process. Kimchi can be eaten straight away but is at its best about 2 weeks after refrigeration. See kimchi e-book or follow along in module 2.
The most delicious is made when fermented the old-fashioned way … sauerkraut in a crock, kombucha in an oak barrel, kimchi in a Korean clay jar. Made around the start of winter. Traditionally made to last through the hot season. According to research, when kimchi was traditionally buried in the ground, the temperature remains constant – at 32 – 35 F all winter long. At this temperature it takes about 20 days for the kimchi to fully ripen.
The clay pots are glazed to hold the moisture in but can also breathe which allows the right amount of air circulation to take away any heat production from the fermentation. It also keeps the airtight enough for the bacteria to not grow too fast which helps kimchi keep its peak flavor.
Since many do not have backyards to bury the jars, they have invented a kimchi refrigerator. I can only dream.
In the meantime, we can use our senses. When kimchi is not fully ripe you are able to smell and kind of taste the individual ingredients – garlic, ginger, cabbage, daikon, shallots, fish sauce, etc. … as they are yet to fully integrate with each other.
When sauerkraut and kimchi are fully ripened, the taste of the ingredients are well blended and there is full flavor embedded in each cabbage leaf or vegetable pieces. There is a slight sour taste with an added zing at the end.
You no longer smell the raw ingredients individually but rather have a combined, wonderful slightly stinky smell that is unique to fermentation. And trust me it leaves a fresh taste in your mouth.
CROCK the thing we ferment in when the garden harvest is ready, or we want to take advantage of the cool weather and stock up for when the weather is too hot!! Bottle are a great starting point and especially good to try different flavors.
CHEFS in the kitchen. Fermented foods are so simple to make. The healthy bacteria contained in them do all the work! Fermented food has its own distinct taste, so it is up to you to experiment and find which ones you enjoy best.
Once you learn how to mix them in … you will grow to love ‘em and they will love you in return!!!
According to Jeffrey Steingarten in his brilliant and hilarious book, The Man Who Ate Everything, it takes 8-10 interactions with a food to reverse a food aversion. Scientists tell us that aversions fade away when we eat moderate doses of hated foods at moderate intervals, especially if the food is complex and new to us.
DOUCHI is a fermented black bean used in China for making black bean sauce and is also used as a medicinal herb.
DOSAS are a thin pancake, like a crepe or tortilla, generally made using a combination of rice and lentils.
As is the case with most traditional foods, each home or region makes theirs just a bit differently.
Sometimes that difference is found in the type of rice or lentils used; other times it is the ratio of the two ingredients that is different.
DATE WINES are popular in Sudan and North Africa. They are made using a variety of methodologies.
Dakhai is produced by placing dates in a clean earthenware pot. For everyone volume of dates between two and four volumes of boiling water are added. This can cool and is then sealed for three days.
More warm water is then added, and the container sealed again for seven to ten days.
Many variations of date wine exist: El madfuna is produced by burying the earthenware pots underground. Benti merse is produced from a mixture of sorghum and dates. Nebit is produced from date syrup (Dirar,1992).
DEHYHYDRATOR Dry soaked nuts and seeds. Dry soaked oats for biscuit baking. Pop buckwheat for bliss balls, Kale chips, Grass-fed beef jerky. DIY Yoghurt, Rise bread and pizza dough. Make raw sprouted flour crackers and granola. Dry herbs and edible flowers from the garden. Dry kombucha SCOBY for dog treats (pig ears!!). Kombucha fruit leathers, and the list goes on and on.
For popped buckwheat: soak raw buckwheat grouts overnight / 12 hours in Kefir and dehydrate until crisp.
DIS-EASE Where Does Disease Begin? “All disease begins in the gut.” so said Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, centuries ago, describing the real “key” to good health.
It is an inside-job!
The trillions of friendly bacteria in the human gut form the basis of our health.
Digestive and Immune Systems depend on their protection against microbial and parasitic attack.
A healthy intestinal flora supports the barrier function of the intestinal mucous membrane against digested poisons and allergens, preventing such unwanted substances from entering the blood circulation.
A healthy gut has 3 prime functions…
Digestion of food
Absorption, manufacture and distribution of nutrients
Prevention of toxins from entering the body
DIGESTION Millions of people suffer day in and day out not knowing just how critical healing their gut truly is. Poor digestion can be a factor in symptoms such as attention deficit disorder, arthritis, asthma, chemical sensitivities, eczema, liver problems, autoimmune conditions and mood disorders.
Digestion is the process of changing food into a form that the body can absorb into the blood, nourish cells, and provide energy. Science tells us that without healthy gut function (flora), the digestive system can’t do this and we can become very sick because a) it isn’t working and b) it isn’t absorbing – meaning the rest of our body goes into meltdown.
DAILY PROBIOTICS What’s the big deal about eating a daily diet that is high in probiotics and exactly what it can do to help our body… Try to include at least 1-2 fermented foods in your food choices every day.
At the very least a few times a week. It can either be a small addition or condiment to your meal as with sauerkraut or the main part of your meal such as coconut milk kefir.
Besides the fact that they taste great and really grow on you, there are so many great reasons to start making and eating fermented foods.
Examples include water kefir, kombucha, kvass, sauerkraut, kimchee, vinegar, tempeh, miso, coconut yoghurt, milk kefir and fermented veggies and beverages to name a few.
EMOTIONS Our gut is our second brain and our Emotion Centre. Of all the bodily functions, digestion has the greatest influence on our mental state. Adding fermented foods to your diet, you will absolutely notice an amazing shift in health as your gut gets happy. It all makes me wonder if the trillions of bacteria that compose our own microbiomes control us in ways we cannot possibly imagine.
EGGPLANT – recipe in fermented vegetables e-book.
EGGSHELL will neutralize acidity of fermented drinks. One sterilized shell per 2 liters.
ENZYMES help with nutrient absorption
EXPERIMENT for yourself, because even though there may be good scientific evidence that a certain way is best, we still have unique and complex bodies. Hardly ever is there a one-size-fits-all kind of answer.
As with many things in life, we learn more each day.
The scientific research done on fermenting is ongoing, and so the way we ferment may keep changing, as we learn more about how it works. The key is to not resist change.
If there is a better way and someone can prove it, then why not help our gut the best way we know how?
We are in awe of the cleverness of people around the world in developing fermented foods.
The range of methods used is incredibly varied. There is no end to it.
Join us as we get creative and experiment!
THE ‘F’ WORD
FERMENTATION the word, has its roots in the Latin verb fervere meaning, “to boil,” and has the same origins as effervescence.
This bubbly action aptly describes the ferments that we make and the excitement that we share for them.
We like to eat many of our homemade fermented foods raw so that we get all that probiotic goodness in our Tummy (although an occasional chocolate sauerkraut cake is unavoidable).
Fermentation (synonymously, culturing) is the breakdown of carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and organic acids (such as alcohol and simple sugars), by bacteria and yeast.
The bacteria and yeast may be naturally occurring in the food, in the surrounding environment, or intentionally introduced (such as when making Kombucha tea).
Fermentation has been used for thousands of years for many reasons including, producing beer and wine, preservation of foods, as a leavening agent for bread and to enhance the digestibility and availability of the nutrients in foods.
FERMENTED FOODS have a lot of health benefits.
They are rich in enzymes, which help speed up digestion and absorption in our system.
They are also rich in good bacteria, specifically lactobacillus acidophilus, which is an extremely beneficial flora found in the gut.
Consuming the healthy bacteria found in fermented foods can restore and balance the flora in your gut leading to better vitamin and nutrient absorption.
Another plus is that fermented foods have a long shelf life, without containing harmful preservatives, so you can enjoy your food longer without spoilage.
Another bonus is we can always put a meal together on the fly.
Essentially, fermenting means converting a food as carbohydrates to alcohol (not the kind that gets you drunk).
Fermenting is an awesome way to get rid of your gardening success evidence – those over-producing vegetables.
FERMENTATION TIME – See Introduction to fermentation
FERMENTATION WEIGHT – keeps the produce in an anaerobic environment – covered in brine and all will be fine!!!
FILMJOLK has a mild cheesy taste. Perfect for baking or dips, sauces and in soup.
FLAT BREADS made from fermented grains have satisfied and nourished countless generations of traditional peoples.
They are wonderful with just about any meal, and make a great dessert, too.
Try spreading fermented butter and a bit of raw honey, fermented preserves, or cultured cream on one!
FISHing for a SCOBY!!! With the oceans being poisoned by plastic, healthy fish supplies are running low.
While many will feel disdain for the rubbery texture of the SCOBY, it is quite similar in texture to raw squid.
If you do not want to eat it straight, try adding a piece to your green smoothie or treats.
Increasing the amount of cellulose in your diet can help ease elimination and improve colon health.
FISH SAUCE The mother of all condiments is the fish sauce we find in Southeast Asian cuisine.
Classical Rome and Greece also used fish sauce, and the word for Americans favorite condiment, ketchup, comes from the Chinese word for fish sauce: ke-tsiap.
Recipe in Fermented Meat, Fish and Eggs e-book
FIRST FERMENT When you ferment a sweet liquid with SCOBY OR WATER KEFIR GRAINS – WKG (often referred to as sugar kefir grain – SKG) it is your first ferment.
When you strain the fermented liquid into a bottle, add flavouring, and let it sit until bubbly that is a second ferment.
FUN Mamma -Fermenting Day is fun to share.
Food that makes you feel connected to these invisible life forces, they connect us in a very tangible way to the bacteria that are all around and it is a lot of fun to try and share with like-minded peeps, in your kitchen.
I would encourage anybody to just give it a try … vegetables are the most straight forward and easiest ferments to try by yourself at home.
Essentially the way to ferment vegetables is to chop them up, salt them to taste, massage with heaps of love, and stuff them into a bottle so that they are submerged in their own juices. Join our gut-loving tribe
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FOOD Michael Pollan In Defence of Food. He writes: Instead of bite the hand that feeds you, shake the hand that feeds you.
Food is about a web of relationships.
One of those relationships is with the farmer. We need relationships with the animals, plants, and microbes around us.
We need to get our hands dirty in the soil and interact with the web of life daily.
Best to use organic, fresh fruit when fermenting. Fermentation from Fruit – vinegar, wine and cider. Green tomato pickles, tomato salsa, whole cherry tomato, green pawpaw, jackfruit, starfruit pickles, apple, pear and fuji fruit sauerkraut.
GARLIC can dramatically alter your inner ecology with its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties.
Quite simply, it helps safely remove all those little critters that are destroying your digestive system.
Fermented garlic takes from one month to a few months but so worth the wait. Depending on size of garlic and temperature. Recipes in Garlic and ginger e-book. Follow along with module 3 – The Kitchen WOW
GINGER … a staple in our kitchen.
Take a large knob of ginger and soak in cool water for at least 15 minutes.
With a spoon gently remove the fine papery skin.
Slice into fine slices with a few pieces of turmeric.
Cover with lime juice with Himalayan salt.
Add a few fresh lime leaves to top of fido jar.
Over to the fermenting fairies for 2 weeks.
Enjoy as yesterday’s chefs used finely cut parsley – on and in everything.
Sprinkle over food or add to smoothies, bliss balls, etc.
GUNDRUK is the fermentation of leafy vegetables in Nepal.
Served as a side dish with the main meal and used as an appetizer.
Gundruk is an important source of minerals particularly during the off-season when the diet consists of mostly starchy tubers and maize which tend to be low in minerals (Karki, 1986).
Problems occur when we are cruel to our grains.
When we process them into bran, germ and naked starch; when we mill them at high temperatures; when we extrude to make crunchy breakfast cereals; and when we consume without careful preparation.
Phytic acid blocks mineral absorption, including important minerals such as calcium, zinc and magnesium.
So, it is best to sprout, soak and/or ferment grains, nuts, seeds and legumes that contain phytic acid in order to reduce it prior to consumption.
In India, Idli bread and Dosas are prepared from rice and lentils, that have soaked for at least two days.
African natives soak coarsely ground corn overnight before using it in stews.
Sour porridge, called ogi is made from fermented corn and millet.
In Oriental and Latin American countries, they ferment rice for days before preparation.
Ethiopians ferment teff for several days to make injera bread. (recipe in bread book).
Mexicans corn cakes, called pozol, are fermented for up to two weeks in banana leaves.
GOCHUGARU Gochu means chili pepper and garu means powder in Korean.
An essential ingredient in Korean cuisine, gochugaru (or kochukaru) is a coarsely ground red pepper with a texture between flakes and powder.
Traditionally, gochugaru is made from sun-dried peppers, and versions that are prepared in this manner are still considered the best tasting.
The flavor is hot, sweet, and slightly smoky. Substitutes like crushed red pepper or cayenne just do not compare! Use it in Korean preparations for kimchi and tofu, or in any creation where you love a bit of fiery red heat.
GINGER BEER Traditional ginger beer uses a starter. Recipe in beverage e-book
GARDEN Many plants thrive in more acidic soil environments. Grind up or coarsely chop a SCOBY and add it to your soil mix. Adding extra SCOBYs to the compost pile is a great way to return the culture to the earth. We toss them in our worm bin and boy, do we have a lot of happy worms! and worm tea for the garden.
GRAPEFRUIT BITTERS a delicious element in drinks calling for tequila or rum. Recipe in Christmas + Beverage eBook
HOM-DONG … pickled red onions
HOMEMADE Unlike non-refrigerated, store-bought varieties, homemade ‘kraut has no chemical preservatives or added sugar or speed and greed starters.
INTRODUCTION TO FERMENTED FOOD …Start slowly!
Your body will need to adjust, especially if you have yeast imbalances.
Too much fermented food can irritate Candida and other yeast imbalances, so the key is to not overdo it.
I have read that ideally, you should try to eat something fermented every day, if not with every meal.
Fermented foods do not require to be eaten in large amounts, small amounts at each meal will suffice, and will help you digest your food.
For example, drink a small cup of miso before a meal, use fermented vegetables in a salad, add sauerkraut to salad, or have a glass of kombucha or kefir for an afternoon treat.
A great start is sauerkraut brine / kvass … recipe in Sexy Sauerkraut e-book or follow along in module 1
Try using fermented seed cheeses as a dip for raw vegetables, or as a spread for your favorite sprouted crackers.
After a couple of weeks of including these probiotic foods in your diet, you should hopefully notice improved digestion, and perhaps even strengthened immunity.
Supporting good bacteria will help strengthen your immune system, support the detoxification process, and improve digestion, allowing you to gain more nourishment from your food and assimilate more of those much-needed vitamins and minerals!
It will also help keep those nasty bacteria at bay, reducing the risk of developing Candida/yeast imbalances and yeast infections.
IMMUNITY something like 80% of our immunity, and conversely, where 80 % of things go wrong, starts in the gut.
It is perhaps the most important factor to consider when deciding to clean up our health.
JEWELS Kefir grains as Probiotic-Jewels… and the culture milk-product kefir as a Probiotic-Gem. Probiotic Pro = For, Biotic = Life Promoting as opposed to Antibiotic Anti = Against Biotic = Life
Kefir culture or “grains”, which are used to make kefir, look like white, semi-clear cauliflower florets.
The kefir culture is referred to as “grains”, though it should not be confused with the ordinary sort of “grain”, which usually comes to mind.
Kefir grains are a combination of yeasts and bacteria, in a symbiotic matrix of proteins, lipids and sugars, Kefir grains are not “made”, but rather grow as they are cultured.
JERKY from kombucha SCOBYs
JUN is a cousin of kombucha, that is prepared with honey rather than sugar.
The jun culture is more active at a lower temperature than kombucha.
Jackfruit / JACK FRUIT young green jack fruit in a salt brine for 8 – 10 days for a tasty fermented condiment.
Jack-fruit wine is an alcoholic beverage made by ethnic groups in the eastern hilly areas of India.
As its name suggests, it is produced from the pulp of jack fruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus).
Ripe fruit is peeled, and the skin discarded. The seeds are removed, and the pulp soaked in water. Use the seeds for a tasty snack – steamed, peeled and fry in coconut oil and curry leaves.
Using bamboo baskets, the pulp is ground to extract the juice, which is collected in earthenware pots.
A little water is added to the pots along with fermented wine inoculum from a previous fermentation.
The pots are covered with banana leaves and allowed to ferment at 18 to 30 C for about one week.
The liquid is then decanted and drunk.
During fermentation, the pH of the wine reaches a value of 3.5 to 3.8, suggesting that an acidic fermentation takes place at the same time as the alcoholic fermentation.
Final alcohol content is about 7 to 8% within a fortnight (Steinkraus, 1996).
KAPUSTA Russian natural dish, a mixture of white cabbage and sometimes … tomatoes, carrots, apples, pears, cucumbers and loads of herbs.
KAWAL is a strong-smelling Sudanese, protein-rich food prepared by fermenting the leaves of a wild African legume, Cassia obtusifolia and is usually cooked in stews and soups.
It is used as a meat replacer or a meat extender.
Its protein is of high quality, rich in sulphur amino acids which are usually obtained from either fish or meat (Dirar, 1992).
KRAKDUGI another gift from Korea – cubed Daikon radish with ginger, garlic, spring onions, red pepper flakes and fish sauce.
KHALPI is a cucumber pickle popular during the summer months in Nepal.
KANJI are Northern India and Pakistan carrots, especially a variety that is deep purple in color, are fermented to make a traditional ready to serve drink known as kanji.
Kanji is very popular and considered to have cooling and soothing properties and to be of high nutritional value. After thorough washing the carrots are finely grated. Each kilogram of grated carrot is mixed with 7 liters of water, 200g of salt, 40g of crushed mustard seed and 8g of hot chili powder.
The mixture is then placed in a glazed earthenware vessel, which is oxygen-free.
The mixture is then allowed to ferment for seven to ten days.
The type of fermentation that takes place is known as a lactic fermentation, which must be carried out in the absence of air.
Lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid which reduces the pH (i.e. increases the acidity) to a level that prevents the growth of food poisoning organisms.
The final product is slightly acidic in taste and has an attractive purple-red color. After fermentation, the drink is strained through fine muslin and is consumed within 3 or 4 days.
Each kg of grated carrot yields just over 7 liters of kanji (Berry, 1998), (Shah, 1986).
‘KRAUT MENU … recipes in Sexy Sauerkraut e-book … we will get your gut gorgeous!!!
How about this for a good reason to start eating and feeding your family sauerkraut, if you haven’t already: Dr. John Hay Terrill reduced the smallpox death rate of Civil War prisoners of war from 90% to 5% just by giving his patients traditional sauerkraut.
The good bacteria in fermented foods act as probiotics that keep bad germs from growing.
Our friendly flora is critical to life, LOVE the critters (the invisible organisms).
Grandma Matilda Augusta Stein, would put home-grown cabbage and salt in a crock and let it ferment for at least six weeks and voila!
The magic of fermentation. Sauerkraut … that is more than a condiment – a health tonic + a kick in the taste-buds.
CROCK KRAUT … Cabbage and salt
CLASSIC KRAUT Green cabbage + caraway seed
APPLE AND RADICCHIO KRAUT
TURMERIC and fennel
Bitter Melon Curry Kraut … bitter melon, green cabbage, kale and curry spices.
Garlicky Greens … green cabbage, kale, garden picked greens (spinach, mustard, and a mixture of young green leaves) and wild garlic leaves
Bok n Brok … green cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, daikon radish, turmeric and shallot
Carrot + Ginger …cabbage, carrot and ginger and horseradish are a nice addition
Green papaya / gut loving bouquet … edible flowers / wild garlic leaves / foraged treasure
Turnip the Beet … cabbage, beetroot, turnip, parsnip, zucchini, fennel.
Beet … green cabbage and grated beetroot
Apple Kraut … green cabbage, radicchio, shallots, apple, juniper berry and allspice
Christmas Kraut … green and red cabbage, orange slices, cinnamon
APPLE … Red and green cabbage, apple, turmeric, ginger and slices of fuji fruit
RED … red cabbage, juniper berries
Pear + Goji … green cabbage, diced pear, goji berries
Love to feast on fermented cabbage and winter greens. Activated seed and nut dressings are ‘warming’ served over.
KOMBUCHA Made from fermented tea and organic sugar, the result is a fizzy drink.
Kombucha can be purchased at natural foods stores or best made at home.
Some individuals may need to build up a tolerance to kombucha; this can be accomplished by drinking small amounts daily for a few weeks.
Belly-soothing, antioxidant, fuzzy goodness … Kombucha, a tangy and bubbly beverage with a long history of use for immune-enhancement, joint and arthritic pain, digestive issues, skin conditions and general detoxification.
With proper care, and because of their ability to continually reproduce themselves, SCOBYs last indefinitely.
Kombucha spiders – scoop ice-cream into a tall glass (coconut / almond / cashew / organic dairy / kefir ice-cream) Pour Kombucha directly over ice-cream of choice and ENJOY.
Kombucha with 1/2 coconut milk, Blood Orange Kombujito Mocktail. Pina Mocktail … Mix 1-part Kombucha, 1 part coconut water and 1 part pineapple juice, mix and serve over ice.
KOMBUCHA TEA BREAD
KOMBUCHA OTHER USES: SOURDOUGH + FIRST AID KIT Sourdough starter with protective SCOBY superpowers!!! Quick pickled vegetables, salad dressing, frozen sorbet, fruit glazes for desserts, mustard and more!! Add to bath water to soften skin. Use as a facial cleanser and hair rinse. On smelly or sore feet – add 1/2 cup of baking soda and a couple of cups of Kombucha tea to your warm water foot soak. Also great for Athletes foot and fungus. Anti-fungal salve.
On rashes or stings, use either Kombucha tea on a cotton ball or an old culture (Scoby) and apply. Gargle straight Kombucha tea for a sore throat.
For a super antibacterial spray/hand wash: Use a small spray bottle with 1/2 and 1/2 Kombucha tea and pure water to clean hands.
Garlic, Turmeric Kombucha Mustard
Making your own Kombucha mustard is insanely simple, and sooo tasty!
Kick up Vinaigrettes, dips, bangers with mash and ‘kraut, eggs, avocado, rubbed under chicken skin before roasting and stirred into beef, lamb, goat or pork stew before the end of cooking. In Ancient Egypt, mustard was used as respiratory therapy and later, in the Middle Ages, asthma was treated with this pungent, Sulphur containing seed. Recipe in kombucha eBook
KVASS The historic Russian beverage kvass is traditionally made by fermenting rye bread, and often fruit, into an invigorating and effervescent drink.
Make kvass with a single fruit or a combination of fruits, peels and veggies and feel free to experiment with herbs.
KEFIR WHEY is believed to offer a wider array of bacteria and yeasts than other probiotic products; however, whey made from yoghurt, buttermilk, Viili and piima milk will also work and is more diverse than pasteurised sources.
KURMIS fermented mare milk.
KAHM YEAST a white surface growth of yeast or bacteria.
Sometimes a white, velvety or powdery looking yeast or scum develops on the surface.
If following the fermenting rules of 1. Choose quality (fresh organic food and air-free containers) 2. Keep it salty 3. Keep it submerged (smother it in liquid). Kahm yeast will not develop. Some say to skim it off the surface of the liquid and discard any solid matter. Gut Goddess Tip … the human’s role in fermentation is small – provide the right environment and the good beasties do the work without producing any rogue yeast / bacteria.
Kahm Yeast is likely to develop if:
It is insufficiently acid, especially in Phase 1. Not enough salt.
Many home ferments require anaerobic conditions. In other words, keep oxygen out. Keep foods underneath the brine, if using jars close tightly. When fermenting in jars, leave an inch of empty space at the top.
Fermentation goes faster in warmer temperatures.
If black or blue mould forms, toss. It usually smells horrible, and you would not want to eat it. Mould forms for the above reasons, and because there was not enough liquid – the solid matter is left exposed to the air and light, especially during the first few days before sufficient acidity builds up. In all our years of fermenting we have only come across Kahm Yeast once in a batch of beetroot Kvass.
KIDS IN THE KITCHEN Kids can be recruited to help, and in turn receive the nutrients they most desperately require. Even toddlers can peel carrots. Children can wash, chop and hug and massage veggies.
See who can grow the biggest muscles!!!
Bestow the goodness on them too; pass the tradition to the next generation so that fermenting and cooking does not become just another lost art.
Children LOVE Kombucha and SCOBYs are like a science experiment!
Kids LOVE YOUR GUT!!! Realize that many food preferences develop very early in life, so the sooner you can introduce fermented vegetables (sour foods) to your child, the better.
Today, parents must be so careful on what they bring for snacks or food sharing because many in the class has food sensitivity. In sports, asthma is becoming very common. There are so many creams on the market for eczema and psoriasis, doctors just keep prescribing a different one.
Why is this becoming the norm? Like Hippocrates said All disease begins in the gut.
Most of our immune system starts in the gut.
A baby is born with a sterile gut, beneficial gut bacteria from the vaginal tract are transferred during natural birth, increasing the production of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species.
Kimchi is Korea’s national dish. During South Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War its government requested America help to ensure that South Korean troops, reportedly “desperate” for the food, could obtain it in the field.
It was also sent to space on board Soyuz TMA-12 with Yi So-Yeon after a multi-million-dollar research effort to kill the bacteria and lessen the odour without affecting the taste
When Health magazine selected the five healthiest foods in the world, the shortlist included Kimchi.
In addition to being served as banchan, Korean side dishes presented as part of a meal.
The versatility of kimchi makes it great to use in everyday food prep. Korean red pepper powder or kochukaru is what gives kimchi spice. The Jeungbo allim gyeongjae, written in 1776, noted that there were 41 different kinds of kimchi, and the method to make kimchi was very similar to that of the modern-day.
LOVE Your Gut! Eat delicious, wholesome food for health and happiness – and as an expression of self-love.
Let us get healthy and happy together! Join our tribe and we can do it together
Explore what worked for countless generations before ours and put it to work.
Always remember that LOVE is the ultimate spice.
LAB Lactobacillus Bacteria
LABNE strained yoghurt and whey
LACTO Eating probiotics at every meal is making sure some element of the meal is fermented.
And we are not talking beer!!!
Lacto-fermentation is a broad category; it covers any food where lactic-acid producing bacteria or yeasts, preserving a food.
From the earliest times, lactic acid fermentation has played an important role in the history of mankind because of its health promoting, preserving, and restorative qualities.
Archaeological finds have shown that, even during the hunter-gatherer stage of our development, people fermented a plant like the cabbage.
LACTIC ACID can also replace the hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
This becomes crucial as we age.
As far back as the 1930s researchers found that hydrochloric acid diminishes as we age.
By the time we are in our 50s we can have as little as 50% and it continues to decrease.
People over the age of 60 have 1000 times fewer microbes in their gut so daily consumption of fermented foods becomes essential.
Humans have a particularly intimate relationship with, Lactic Acid bacteria.
It is generally regarded as the first bacteria that all human beings are exposed to during childbirth and they are totally essential to our ability to digest food, assimilate nutrients, and protect us from pathogenic bacteria.
The lactic acid producing bacteria used to create our fermented food lives everywhere, on our own skins and the skins of vegetables. It sounds a bit creepy, but all is good.
The lactic acid bacteria are a group of Gram-positive bacteria, non-respiring, non-spore forming, cocci or rods, which produce lactic acid as the major product of the fermentation of carbohydrates.
They are the most important bacteria in desirable food fermentations, being responsible for the fermentation of sour dough bread, sorghum beer, all fermented milks, cassava (to produce gari and fufu) and most “pickled” (fermented) vegetables.
Historically, bacteria from the genera Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc, Pediococcus and Streptococcus are the main species involved. Several more have been identified but play a minor role in lactic fermentations.
Lactic acid bacteria were reviewed by Axelsson (1998).
The process of lactic acid fermentation is part art and part science. The same beneficial organisms we find in good soil are on the surface of the vegetables we harvest.
Those beneficial organisms feast on the carbs in the veggies and produce organic acids as well as enzymes and beneficial bacteria. It is the acids produced – part lactic and part acetic – that form the brine that preserves the vegetables from spoilage.
This process must happen anaerobically, outside of the presence of oxygen, which is why vegetables are submerged. This is the most critical aspect of the fermentation process: vegetables always covered in brine and all will be fine!!!
Beyond that, the process is unbelievably easy. Let the bubbles begin!!!
When Life Gives You Lemons … make SIMA a fermented lemon drink from Finland, brewed in the Spring.
Probiotic Fermented Lemonade – a less sweet version of your typical lemonade.
Salt preserved lemons / limes – a delicious, treat despite the humble ingredients.
Made from organic Meyer lemons and salt. Spices can be added. Recipes in preserved citrus e-book.
Save it by making your own fermented foods and beverages.
Incorporating healthy foods into your diet can get expensive, but not so with fermented foods.
Drinks like Water Kefir and Kombucha can be made at home and cost only cents per serving.
Tomato Sauce – Blend FERMENTED SALSA and store in sauce bottles in the refrigerator.
HOT SAUCE Ferment chilies of choice and Himalayan salt in a liter jar.
Blend when sour and add to re-purposed sauce bottle and refrigerate. Adding these things to your diet can also cut down on the number of supplements you need, helping the budget further.
Milk Kefir … an ancient cultured dairy food high in amino acids, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Unlike yoghurt, kefir cultures at room temperature so it can easily be made at home with high quality (raw, if possible) milk and kefir grains.
If raw milk is unavailable, look for pasteurized but not homogenized milk or organic, grass-fed milk.
Kefir powder can be purchased at natural food stores or online; kefir grains (the best choice) can also be purchased online or look for those already making kefir as they will have some spare grains to share.
For optimum results, drink your yummy kefir each day, because traditional kefir prepared with loving care is a true brain-food.
Kefir helps to repopulate your gut with good bacteria/organisms. These good organisms will help promote balance and wellbeing within your digestive tract.
Rich in protein, calcium, B12, niacin and folic acid.
Full of digestive enzymes.
Helps to regulate bowel movements; eradicating diarrhea/constipation.
The grains feed off the lactose (milk sugars), converting it into healthy lactic acid.
For this reason, many people who are lactose intolerant can still successfully consume kefir.
Pasteurized dairy is harder to digest.
The pasteurization process destroys beneficial enzymes, bacteria and lactase.
Lactase is the enzyme that is necessary to break down milk sugar.
People who are lactose intolerant, have dairy allergies or are just sensitive to dairy, usually are unable to produce this enzyme. Therefore, people who are lactose intolerant are often able to digest raw dairy, because the lactase has not been destroyed by pasteurization.
Casein is the primary protein in milk and some opponents of dairy claim it is hard to digest. Casein is the primary protein in breast milk as well. Casein is only hard to digest if you have gut dysbiosis. If a person cannot digest casein, that person should heal their gut.
Kefir adds rich flavour (like buttermilk), tenderness (like yoghurt), and super fluffiness (like nothing else): because kefir is carbonated, it practically rises itself. While kefir is delicious when consumed on its own, it also makes a brilliant base for flavoured milkshakes or lassi-style beverages.
Have fun with kefir; it is an awesome ingredient that will change the way you eat!
In place of sour cream, spoon thickened kefir onto a baked potato / sweet potato for a probiotic boost.
Serve alongside, pancakes and apple sauce.
Top with chives and serve with a grilled organic steak or fish and ‘kraut salad.
Stir in a quarter cup of kefir to your favourite cream soup – just before serving – for a touch of appetizing tartness. Top a savory lamb stew with creamy kefir.
Serve with a slice of fresh baked sour dough crusty bread.
For a perfectly tenderized steak, marinate your choicest cut in half a cup of kefir overnight. Season to taste and grill.
Gluten-free bread and pancakes with milk kefir, without a sourdough starter …
Soak buckwheat groats (raw, not toasted) in diluted milk kefir for 24 hours.
Strain buckwheat, discard liquid (feed to your plants) and blend soaked buckwheat with fresh milk kefir.
Add a dash of Himalayan salt and for real German style sourdough taste – add a dash of Sauerkraut (optional).
Pour into a bar tin and let rise for at least 12 hours and bake.
Pancakes … soak 1 cup raw buckwheat groats at room temperature, overnight in 2 cups kefir.
Strain and blend with approx. 1 cup fresh kefir (depending on thickness).
Add 2 beaten egg yolks, (beat the egg whites in a different bowl and set aside).
Add dash of vanilla powder and Himalayan salt
Fold in the beaten egg whites.
If batter looks too thick, add more kefir.
Add to well heated bubbling oil pan.
Allow pancakes to cook almost all the way through before flipping.
We cook in coconut oil and serve with seasonal fruit or berries.
In our kitchen we also love kombucha pancakes … so light and fluffy.
MOTHER Name for the gelatinous glob that forms in raw vinegar. Also used to describe the SCOBY for Kombucha.
MOV Mother of vinegar, a.k.a. mycoderma aceti. It is acetic acid bacteria suspended in cellulose.
To make a MOV, take your corked or leftover wine and add a splash of ACV. Re-cork and put somewhere dark and warm to encourage the bacteria to attack residual sugar in the wine and start the fermentation process. Many recipes and tips in vinegar e-book. Play along in module 4
MALTASH Hunzakuts enjoy maltash, a fermented butter which is wrapped in birch bark and buried underground for years or even decades and served at weddings, funerals, and births.
MATZONI (Madzoon) or Caspian Sea Yoghurt. The Abkhasia’s include a fermented beverage called Matzoni, made from cow, goat or shee milk., has a gluey consistency.
MESOPHILI Yoghurt cultures that work at room temperature.
MURATINA is an alcoholic drink made from sugar cane and muratina fruit in Kenya. The fruit is cut in half, sun dried and boiled in water. The water is removed, and the fruit is again sun dried. The fruit is added to a small amount of sugar cane juice and incubated in a warm place for 24 hours, after which it is removed and sun dried. The dried fruit is then added to a barrel of sugar cane juice which can ferment for between one and four days.
The final product has a sour alcoholic taste (Steinkraus, 1996).
MEAT corned beef, salami, chorizo and fish sauce are all traditionally fermented products. Recipes in Meat and Egg e-book.
MISO is a thick paste made from fermented soybeans that is a great source of manganese and zinc … two important mineral antioxidants.
Miso contains healthy bacteria that supports intestinal microflora, the amino acid tryptophan which is important for sleep and is a great source of dietary fibre.
During the soybean fermentation process, grains like barley, rice, or buckwheat may be added to achieve a certain flavour, but in most cases, soybeans serve as the basis.
Miso can be used to add flavour to soups, sauces, gravy, marinades, salad dressings or vegetables dishes.
To make miso soup, just add a dollop to boiling water, along with some favourite vegetables, like spring onions, bok choy, or mushrooms. Recipe to make your own miso is in Fermented Bean book
MUSTARD macerating the seeds in kombucha vinegar. When the fermenting fairies have produced a nice soft mustard seed. Grind into a smooth paste, adding herbs and spices such as tarragon, turmeric, garlic, pepper, paprika or any others that you prefer to give your homemade mustard its own unique taste. Recipe in Fermenting Beans e-book
MICROFLORA The ancient Greeks understood that important chemical changes took place during fermentation, calling it alchemy.
As with dairy products, preservation of vegetables and fruits by the process of lacto-fermentation has many advantages beyond simply maintaining the edibility of fresh food.
In the process of fermentation, starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid, which is a natural preservative because it inhibits the bacteria that cause foods to rot and putrefy.
Empirical research has identified a long list of health conditions that may be helped by consuming foods containing lactic acid bacteria, including colitis, constipation, diarrhea, gas, gastric reflux, heartburn, Crohn’s disease, gum disease and high cholesterol.
Recent studies have even shown a positive effect of probiotics on autism obesity, Parkinson’s, diabetes.
MICROORGANISMS Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host (Hill et al.,2014)
MICROBES What you eat determines what kinds of microbes live in your gut.
Pathogenic and disease/dysbiosis causing microbes prefer sugar and processed foods so the foundation of a healthy gut and immune system depends on eating whole foods – they are the only source of nutrition.
WHOLE FOOD proteins, carbohydrates, and good fats from animal foods, vegetables, nuts and seeds are the perfect food for our microflora as processed foods increase the formation and colonization of infectious bacteria, which leads to the disease process.
NAW-MAI-DONG … pickled bamboo shoots
NO COST GIFTS Water Kefir grains, Milk Kefir grains, Kombucha SCOBY, sourdough starter … The food we can pass onto our children and grandchildren, and so on until time ends – just amazing!!
NUTS Unlike grains, nuts contain smaller amounts of phytic acid. Their real issue for us is having high amounts of enzyme inhibitors. These enzymes are useful to seeds and nuts because it prevents them from sprouting prematurely.
But they can really strain your digestive system.
There is some evidence to suggest that soaking nuts for twelve hours before eating otherwise known as activating improves their nutrient availability and absorption within the body.
Activated almonds are delicious in salads, they become swollen and take on a nice soft but chunky texture.
Activated organic Brazil nuts (great form of Selenium) are tasty grated for a parmesan replacement.
Walnuts are tasty teamed with cacao for bliss balls.
If you choose to try consuming anything in the soaked state, make little batches and store them in the refrigerator.
Usually everything that is soaked is dried in a dehydrator or oven on the lowest possible setting for 24 – 48 hours to remove all moisture.
You do not need to dehydrate nuts if you do not want to. Just soak enough to eat over the next couple of days, then rinse and refrigerate. Or purchase activated nuts from your local organic store or bulk food store.
NATURAL COLOURING ‘Kraut, kvass and pickle juice make great natural non-toxic food colouring in fun and food creations.
NUKADOKO fermented rice bran used to ferment pickles in Japan. Recipe in The Gift of Fermentation book.
NUKAZUKE Japanese vegetable and fruit pickles fermented in rice bran (Nuka = bran and zuke = pickle)
NUTRIENT DENSE = LONGEVITY Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins.
Robbins describes the lifestyles and dietary patterns of the long-lived cultures of the Abkhasia of Southern Russia, the Vicalbamba Indians of the Ecuadorian Andes and the Hunzas of North Pakistan.
Then we have Okinawa in Japan where females over 70 are the longest-lived population in the world.
The mountainous highlands of inner Sardinia with the world highest concentration of male centenarians.
Aegean Island with one of the lowest rates of middle age mortality and the lowest rates of dementia.
Robbins found that the percentage of calories they obtained daily was between 69-73% carbohydrates, 15-18% from fat and 10-13% from protein.
Low amounts of salt, zero sugar or processed food, and had no incidence of obesity and other common diseases.
The Okinawa, who, though eating a more animal-based diet, had a similar lifestyle.
ORANGEADE + JAFFA DRINK … the original smoothie … recipe in fermented beverages e-book
Table olives are one of the main fermented vegetables in the world. Olives can be fermented when green or black.
A black olive is simply a ripe olive.
Ripe olives are gradually fermented in brine (salt water) to leach out their bitter taste.
Fermentation takes eight to ten months.
OMBOLO WA KOBA In Zaire cassava leaves are fermented to produce ombolo wa koba which is traditionally eaten with boiled cassava and plantain bananas.
Cassava leaves can wilt and turn black.
This takes about three to four days.
The cassava leaves are then chopped up and placed in a pot of boiling water for about one hour.
During this processing stage, a water-soluble extract of ash is produced by placing the ash of burnt dried banana skins and palm tree flowers in a strainer and pouring water through it.
The extract is then added to the boiled cassava leaves.
The extract is alkaline and neutralises the cyanhydric acid liberated when the leaves are chopped up (Jones et al, 1996). Salt and dried fish or meat is also added.
After allowing the cassava leaf mixture to cool a little, acid palm oil is then added. This reacts with the excess alkali and neutralises it. The product is now ready to be eaten (Menea and Bishosha).
POUNDER … grandma would say the best pounder is your fist … clench it tight and press down hard on the vegetables covered in brine so there is not air left … tight is the go!! A rolling pin also does the trick, or you can buy a special pounder.
PHASES There are three phases in the process of vegetable lacto fermentation.
In the first phase, anaerobic bacteria begin producing an acidic environment, and in the second phase the acid levels become too high for some bacteria but allow “friendly” bacteria to become dominant.
In the third phase, various types of Lactobacillus bacteria are greatly increased and continue to ferment any remaining sugars, lowering the overall pH.
These lactobacilli are present on the surface of all living things, and are especially numerous on leaves, roots, and plants growing in or near the ground, and their numbers are greatly increased in this process.
If you are like me, you will like it at every stage of its development.
If you taste the food throughout the development, you are ingesting lots of different kinds of bacteria because it is a long process where you get flourishing populations of different bacteria as it progresses.
If you are looking to maximize biodiversity inside your gut, ingesting it throughout the different stages of development is probably the best thing you can do.
Do not open a jar of sauerkraut in the first stage – 3-5 days … give the good beasties time to establish.
PHYTIC ACID The increased vitamin and micronutrient levels in fermented foods are significant factors in the promotion of health.
Depending on the strains of bacteria present, fermented dairy products have increased levels of folic acid, pyroxidine, B vitamins, riboflavin, and biotin.
Fermenting vegetables and fruits increase the bioavailability of amino acids, particularly lysine and methionine, and the anaerobic environment of the fermentation process preserves the vitamin C content of the foods.
When grains are fermented, the activity of phytic acid is decreased.
Phytic acid is an “anti-nutrient” that binds minerals, particularly zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium, preventing their full absorption in the intestines.
Since fermenting grains reduces the phytic acid content, it enables the body to absorb more minerals.
PELLICLE is the skin that forms on top of some ferments (excess water kefir can be stored in a glass bottle for cleaning and beauty cleansing + hair rinse and will often form a SCOBY looking creature – a pellicle) made by bacteria and nothing of concern. Old sourdough starter can form a pellicle if you forget to feed it.
PIT FERMENTATIONS are an ancient method of preserving starchy food such as banana, plantain, breadfruit, cassava, taro, sweet potato, arrowroot and yams.
The products undergo an acid fermentation, to produce a paste with good keeping qualities. It is usually pounded with a little sugar, coconut cream or fresh coconut and boiled or baked to make a type of pudding.
Root crops and bananas are peeled before being placed in the pit, while breadfruit is scraped and pierced.
Food is left to ferment for three to six weeks, after which time it becomes soft, has a strong odour and a paste-like consistency. During fermentation, carbon dioxide builds up in the pit, creating an anaerobic atmosphere.
As a result of bacterial activity, the temperature rises much higher than the ambient temperature. The pH of the fruit within the pit decreases from 6.7 to 3.7 within about four weeks.
Inoculation of the fruit in the pit with lactic acid bacteria greatly speeds up the process.
The fermented paste can be left in the pit and removed as required. Usually, it is removed and replaced with a second batch of fresh food to ferment. The fermented food is washed, and fibrous material removed.
It is then dried in the sun for several hours to remove the volatile odours and pounded into a paste.
Grated coconut or coconut cream and sugar may be added, and the mixture is wrapped in banana leaves and either baked or boiled (Steinkraus, 1996).
POO What’s in poop? Clinical Laboratory Stool DNA Testing which can reveal your very own microbial profile, telling what and how many favorable organisms you have, and any pathogenic organisms that may be present such as yeast, parasites and bacteria.
Many thinks only the large intestine has probiotics in it. This certainly is not the case. Both the large and small intestine contains multiple strains. It is estimated there are 500 to 600 good bacteria in the intestines.
These are an important part of the immune system. Something like 80% of the immune system is within the intestinal tract.
The small intestine has mainly the acidophilus cultures and the large intestine has mainly the bifidus strains.
PORRIDGE traditional porridge was made from oatmeal that had been soaked for 12 hours or so.
Soaked oatmeal (porridge), is very simple to soak and cook like usual in the morning or transform into raw bircher muesli.
In our kitchen we love to soak right before going to bed, it makes our early morning rush go so much better when breakfast is planned. Use whatever oats you have on hand unless it is the quick cooking kind. Works with other grains, such as steel cut oats, grits, quinoa flakes, rolled amaranth, kamut, spelt, rye or teff, etc.
PROBIOTIC PILLS/POWDERS/SUPPLEMENTS Lactic acid fermented foods contain about 200 billion organisms per gram. How much does your probiotic supplement cost and how many capsules equal a gram of fermented foods?
PROBIOTICS Eating fermented foods and drinking fermented drinks like Kefir and Kombucha will introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system and help the balance of bacteria in your digestive system.
Probiotics have also been shown to help slow or reverse some diseases, improve bowel health, aid digestion, and improve immunity!
But also present in your gut are the bad guys, who are believed to play a role in the development of inflammation, obesity and many chronic diseases – which is precisely why it is important to your long-term health to keep gut flora, both good and bad, on an even keel.
Enjoy a delicious bowl of probiotics, with a side of prebiotics
Show your microbiome some love by feeding it with probiotic foods, like good, old-fashioned, fermented foods (preferably organic).
These fermented goodies like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and fermented veggies encourage the growth of good bacteria.
Add to that some pre-biotic foods, those non-digestible short-chain fatty acids that help your good bacteria flourish.
To get your dose, try eating more whole grains, Veggies – especially, artichokes, garlic, beans, onions, leek and asparagus. Fruit (especially green bananas … flour added to raw food) Legumes, Nuts and seeds.
Other quality sources include spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass and barley grass.
PROBIOTIC FLORA continues their relationship with us by moving into the large intestine and by establishing colonies, aiding in the elimination process.
They also produce vitamins such as B1, B2, B12, and Vitamin K.
PRESERVES food easily. Homemade salsa only lasts a few days in the fridge. Fermented homemade salsa lasts months! The same goes for sauerkraut, pickles, beetroot, carrots and other garden foods.
Lacto-fermentation allows you to store these foods for longer periods of time without losing the nutrients like you would with traditional canning.
Bring on the Bacteria!
America’s modern-day use of the pickle was the result of a Jewish innovation that later became a staple of the American diet.
As the butcher’s did not pre-kosher the meat the Jewish settlers took home the meat to kosher-ise it.
What to do with all this salt? Kosher pickles were born.
The technique done by Jewish peeps that emigrated to New York and they bought that with them from Europe.
Unlike some techniques where vinegar is used to preserve the main ingredient, they used a kosher salt for the brine instead.
Using sugar and vinegar are not really the most nutritious method of keeping them but lacto-fermenting with the good bacteria and great taste.
Very fresh-picked thin and small whole cucumber or mini – as many cucumbers as can fit in the bottle ( if you do not have a garden of fresh cukes soak in ice water.
fine Himalayan salt / kosher salt for traditional Jewish pickle (2 – 3 tablespoons per litre)
1 to 2 tablespoons pickling spice – (peppercorns, mustard seeds and fennel seeds)
2 – 5 unpeeled garlic cloves
Pierce the ends of cucumbers several times with a skewer so the brine will penetrate.
Place in a Fido jar, tall enough to stand the cucumbers up vertically, inserting garlic cloves, dill as you go.
Sprinkle over pickling spice.
Now tuck the grape leaves over cucumbers, make sure the tops of the cucumbers are fully submerged in the brine. Leave at room temperature for at least 2-4 weeks.
PUMPKIN Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pumpkin Pickles (Lacto-Fermented of course)
PUMPKIN RELISH – recipe in fermented vegetables e-book
PRE-DIGEST Fermenting is the perfect way to pre-digest plant foods and get the benefits without the anti-nutrients. Pre-digestion, nutritional enhancement or augmentation, detoxification and live culture replenishment.
Pre-digestion is when all foods during their fermentation get at least partially digested by the fermentation organisms themselves.
So, basically fermentation acts like an outside gut.
PLANT FOODS by their nature are very difficult for humans to digest.
Cell walls made of fibre, are unable to digest
Enzyme inhibitors, such as trypsin, interferes with the absorption of protein
Phytic Acid, contained in grains, beans, nuts and seeds – binds minerals, preventing their uptake by the intestine
Oxalic acid, contained in many foods especially spinach, chard and rhubarb also bind minerals, preventing their uptake by the intestine
Phyto-endocrine disruptors, such as the phyto-estrogens in soy foods, which can lead to hormonal imbalances.
Goitrogens in kale and the Brassica family. These decrease the uptake of iodine, critical to the optimal functioning of every endocrine gland in the body.
The answer = we ferment ’em to be easy on the digestion.
PAK-GARD-DONG is a fermented mustard leaf (Brassica juncea) product made in Thailand.
The mustard leaves are washed, wilted in the sun, mixed with salt, packed into containers for 12 hours.
The water is then drained, and a 3% sugar solution added.
They are again allowed to ferment for three to five days at room temperature.
Micro-organisms associated with the fermentation include Lactobacillus brevis, Pediococcus cerevisiae and Lactobacillus plantarum (Boon-Long, 1992).
Hum choy is made in the South of China.
This is produced by fermenting a local leafy vegetable. The leaves are washed and drained.
They are then covered in salt and hung on racks to dry in the sun.
The wilted leaves are placed in earthenware pots and covered with rice water, obtained after washing rice grains. The pots are sealed, and the leaves allowed to ferment for four days. The product can be stored for up to two months if the seal is not broken (Steinkraus, 1996).
POTATOES ferment potatoes to make them more digestible and lower in starch? Brined potato – and then cook them.
PIIMA has a nutty, mid flavour. It is one of the thinnest of room-temperature cultured milks.
Hailing from Scandinavia. With a lovely fermented history along side sourdough breads to pickled herring.
Originally from Finland. Piima cultures well in colder climates. In tropical temperature piima will culture faster, moving into curds and whey stage much sooner than other cultured dairy varieties.
PLAY ….. Fun and inexpensive, play around with fermented wine making, bread and cheese making. Recipes in our beverage, bread and milk e-books.
PUTTING IT ALL-TOGETHER We will share examples of delicious nutrient dense meals that are prepared in 10 minutes or less. Module 7
PETS All animals benefit from a healthy diet and digestive system.
Animals can also reap the health benefits of Sauerkraut, Kombucha and Kefir.
We give our dog Sauerkraut, garlic, ginger, Kombucha and kefir in her food every day. She has a shiny coat, healthy skin and nails (despite having come to us with a bad case of mange and tummy problems) and very regular elimination.
We feed our cats, fresh meat balls, held together with milk Kefir + a few water kefir grains for a treat. Our chooks enjoy fermented feed, a treat of water kefir grains and kombucha added to fresh water.
QUICK BREAD In our kitchen for quick breads we have used Sauerkraut – gives a great sour taste and the veggies are delish throughout the bread.
Milk kefir to soak grains (flour) overnight and bake in bread maker, makes for a tasty loaf.
Experimented with water-kefir and this one is a real winner.
1 cup each of 2nd ferment water kefir + we used 1 cup whole kamut flour (freshly ground) could use any flour or freshly ground grain of choice.
Leave overnight or prepare in the morning and by night you could make scones, biscuits or pizza.
No need to refrigerate – use 1 litre air-lock jar – pull out what you need and add more flour / kefir and leave on shelf for-ever.
QUESO BLANCO goats milk cheese and other simple variations, meaning “white cheese” in Spanish, is a Latin American cheese.
The flavour is milky, creamy and lemon-fresh.
Heats well and maintains creamy texture.
Great to cook with when making stuffed capsicum, enchiladas, burritos, and stuffed meats like chicken breasts.
Also, good to crumble on top of dishes … bruschetta
QWESCO FRESCO Translates to “fresh cheese” The most popular cheese in Mexico.
Texture is crumbly with little acidic flavour.
Great as a crumble on top of beans, salads, and grains.
Often called a “regional” cheese with some producers grinding cheese curds on a metate and hand pressing into moulds.
Great for stuffing capsicum, baking, grilling, and for quesadillas.
QUESO SUERO meaning “whey cheese” Sometimes called “Hispanic Ricotta,” good for desserts and salads.
Made by fermenting whey, then heating to near boiling to force precipitation of more curd.
The Cheese bible; Los Quesos Genuinos Mexicanos by Fernando Cervantes Escoto.
QUARK or Quarg (‘kvarg”)
Quark is made by warming soured milk until it curdles (when the milk proteins denature and come apart).
Lactic acid bacteria are added. Then strained in a cheesecloth resulting in a product that is firm yet creamy in texture.
Recipes in cheese e-book
RADISH Several fermented radish products are produced in Korea. These include: kaktugi, tongchimi,chonggak-kimchi, seokbakji, yolmu-kimchi dan moogi kach doo ki gactuki and mootsanji.
REJUVELAC Ann Wigmore is famous for her detoxification diet using rejuvelac, a beverage made from fermented sprouted grains.
SCRAP VINEGAR Transform fruit waste into vinegar to spice up winter foods. You will not regret it. Recipe in vinegar e-book.
SUNKI is a non-salted and fermented vegetable prepared from the leaves of “Otaki-turnip” in Kiso district, Nagano prefecture, Japan.
Sunki is eaten with rice and in miso soup. The Otaki-turnip is boiled, inoculated with “Zumi” (a wild small apple) dried Sunki from the previous year and allowed to ferment for one to two months.
Sunki is produced under low temperature (in winter season).
Micro-organisms involved include Lactobacillus plantarum, L. Brevis, Bacillus coagulans and Pediococcus pentosaceus (Makayama,1957).
SOURDOUGH bread is fermented with the help of wild yeasts (rather than through the aid of instant yeasts and other leavening agents).
Mixing mother culture into flour and water to make bread will create bubbles that cause the bread to rise and give the bread a characteristic sour taste. Leavened by a natural fermentation process. Recipe in Motherhood Bread e-book.
SOAKING it is easy to be intimidated by soaking grains, nuts, seeds and beans. Start slow, so it is not overwhelming. Soaking a bean, grain, or seed causes the outer hull to be broken down by probiotics – fermented – which enables the sprouting process. Foods treated in this way have higher, more easily absorbed nutrient contents.
Sprouting reduces the content of anti-nutrients, such as phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of minerals such as iron and zinc. Soaking grains, beans, nuts, and seeds is very easy – it is just a matter of getting into a habit. You can soak before leaving for work. Or soak before you go to bed. Kefir helps dephytinized grains, cereals, nuts and seeds.
SAUERKRAUT (meaning sour cabbage in German) is simply fermented cabbage. It is typically made with just two ingredients: salt and cabbage. Korea has a version of sauerkraut called KIMCHI, which is fermented spiced cabbage. Sauerkraut and kimchee contain beneficial bacteria that help with the digestive process and are a great way to naturally cure yeast infections. There is also research linking kimchee with high antibiotic potency and longevity. Sauerkraut and kimchee can be used as a garnish or added to salads and sandwiches. The taste may not be for everyone, but the health benefits are! However, we will share many ways to get the wings of your plane into your diet. Join us for Sauerkraut + more veggie ferments
SIZE does matter!!!
The smaller the pieces, the quicker the vegetables will ferment. The size of the pieces is really a personal preference. Some ferments are traditionally done with larger chunks such as turnip kimchi, or smaller grated pieces such as in a traditional cabbage kraut.
Larger pieces will generally take a longer time to ferment and create a less sour product.
SALT Sucks!!! Traditionally vegetables have been fermented with lots of salt.
In addition to pulling water from the vegetables (sucks) , salt hardens pectin in veggies, making them crunchier.
It also discourages the growth of bacteria other than lactobacilli. By inhibiting competing bacteria, salt enables the vegetables to ferment and to be stored for longer periods of time. Since preservation has historically been one of the important motivations for fermentation, ferments have tended to be quite salty, but for health-conscious people interested primarily in flavour and nutrition, less salt can be better.
Salt lightly, to taste.
It is easier to add salt than to take it away, but if you over-salt, you can dilute by adding water, and/or more vegetables.
As a general guideline, about three tablespoons of salt per 4.2 kilos of vegetables is a good place to start. Avoid iodized or other processed salt. In our kitchen, we choose to use Himalayan salt.
More salt will slow the fermentation process (aww we love a long, slow ferment); less will speed it up.
Ferments with less salt may be more prone to surface moulds. Always be sure the vegetables stay submerged in liquid.
SAFETY Is it safe to eat fermented vegetables that have been left un-refrigerated for weeks / months?
Leaving foods un-refrigerated for two weeks or more can be disturbing to those who were not raised with this traditional food.
But research says that properly fermented vegetables are safer than raw vegetables, which might have been exposed to pathogens like E. coli on the farm.
The lactic acid bacteria that carry out the fermentation are effective killers of “bad” bacteria.
There are no documented cases of food-borne illness in fermented food and they are considered safer for novices to make than canned vegetables. Sterilizing jars for sauerkraut or pickles is optional. It is fine to simply wash the jars in hot, soapy water. Just make sure that the fruits and vegetables stay completely submerged in the brine.
If the vegetables remain submerged, they are protected in an anaerobic environment.
STORAGE Refrigerating cultured vegetables drastically slows down the fermentation.
They will keep for many months this way, continuing to mature very slowly over time.
When refrigerated kraut is young, you can eat it over time and enjoy its evolving flavour.
The juice is a wonderful digestive tonic and can be eaten by the very young to the sage.
Each time you remove some of the kraut and juice, make sure you repack the rest carefully and that the mixture stays submerged below the brine.
STARTER CULTURE A ferment should progress through many phases of bacterial and yeast life.
No need to add any brine from a previous ferment as it is like planting native trees in the burn area. Those trees are not supposed to be there yet, they were supposed to come in after other shrubs and herbs prepared the soil for the trees.
It may turn out just fine, but you may get an imbalanced ecosystem.
Adding whey / starter culture is like planting non-native trees in that same burned landscape.
They are not supposed to be there now, and they aren’t supposed to be there later.
You may end up with a really diverse and interesting landscape, like a suburban neighbourhood with a mix of native trees and non-native ornamental and fruit trees, but you may also get a really off-balance ecosystem.
SCOBY A spongy membrane made of bacteria (SCOBY) is an acronym that is short for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.
It forms over the tea to protect and act as a seal. It not a deep-sea creature after all! It is also known as a biofilm, pellicle, zooglea (living skin), yeast mat or near lichen.
The SCOBY is a protective layer built by the bacteria most often Acetobacter xylinium but could also be any of several other strains to prevent other non-friendly or pathogenic bacteria from entering their food source while serving to reduce evaporation.
The bacteria and yeast and healthy acids are all present in the Kombucha tea itself.
The SCOBY is bacterial cellulose and it is great for animals of all kinds human or otherwise!
We add blended SCOBY to cold beverages. Similar to putting spinach into a smoothie; you know it’s there but there is hardly any taste from the SCOBY but the health benefits are still there. Only cold beverages, if the drink is hot, the culture will die.
Koji refers to the culture starter made of fermented rice and/or soybeans that is used to produce familiar Japanese fermented products like miso, sake and mirin. When koji is mixed with soybeans and salt, we get miso. When it is added to a mixture of rice, water and yeast, we get sake (rice wine). In the case of shio koji, the starter is added to salt (shio). And the result is fermented salt that oozes natural umami without the addition of any MSG. Resembling a thick rice porridge, shio koji is used as a salt substitute and hence, can be used in a wide variety of food.
SKIN It is important to remember your skin is the largest organ of your body, and nearly everything you put on it is readily absorbed.
Many do not realize this, but the health and quality of your skin is strongly linked to the health of your gut.
Fermented vegetables are ideal for promoting the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
Signals from these gut microorganisms are sent throughout your bod.
They even interact with organisms in your skin. Researchers are now looking into how these interactions can help with a wide variety of skin conditions, including dryness and poor collagen production.
Normalizing your gut microflora has been shown to help against skin irritations and chronic skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.
FACE-MASK Place a fresh kombucha culture (SCOBY) onto your face.
Allow the culture to rest on your face for up to 15 minutes, using a towel to catch any drips. You may notice some redness on your skin, but it will quickly fade. If you are sensitive, always test first on a small section of skin.
The culture pulls circulation to the surface of the skin which regenerates the skin cells
The pH of the culture has the effect of a mild and all-natural acid peel which sloughs dead skin cells and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth.
SKIN AND HAIR CARE WITH KEFIR
You will find Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) in most trendy skin care products these days. It helps to expose more radiant skin by dissolving the lipids that hold old skin cells together. You will also find AHA in kefir! Alpha hydroxy acid is in the form of lactic acid.
Fruit acids naturally harmonize with the slight acidity of our skin and hair. More in bacterial beauty e-book.
STRAWBERRY A cup or two of fresh picked or frozen, organic sliced strawberries in second ferment of water kefir. Water kefir jellies. Raw treats and desserts. Fresh organic strawberries with raw cultured cream for breakfast or dessert. Add some tang to your morning by enjoying a wholesome bowl of muesli topped with strawberry-flavoured kefir.
Cultured strawberry ice-cream, water kefir slushies, Salsa, balsamic strawberry vinegar on a salad, a sauce over pancakes.
1 cup strawberries or thawed seasonal berries. 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 1 tablespoon water kefir (2nd ferment strawberry) sweetener of choice like raw honey. Mash berries with a fork or pulse in blender. Mix in Chia, water kefir and honey. Cover and place in ‘fridge while it set, 30 minutes. Chia seeds taste like seeds in jam. Grind Chia if preferred to remove this texture.
SWEET POTATO My grandma would often add left-over potato in layers to ‘kraut. I am more of a sweet potato fan and have added cooked mashed sweet potato to a cabbage mix. Make sure you have a thick layer of ‘kraut on top of the sweet potato, so that when you push down to bring up the juices, the ‘kraut and potato do not mix.
SELF-BRINING When fermenting vegetables – like chopped cabbage- it is common to use a dry brine, or self brine, which uses salt to pull water out of the vegetable itself.
TRADITIONAL PEOPLES Comparing modern fermentation to that of traditional peoples is that traditional peoples had a PERFECT gut and their toxin load was practically ZERO. They did not have gut dysbiosis as a starting point. Our digestive tracts have taken quite a beating over the last generations, due to the over-prescribing of antibiotics, vaccination, use of birth control pills, dental amalgam, consumption of refined and processed food, HFCS, antibacterial soap, chemical cleaners, and chlorinated water as well as the simple fact that we don`t consume fermented foods anymore. When a course of antibiotics is taken, they indiscriminately kill all the gut bacteria, both good and bad. Throughout history we have fermented and cultured almost everything!!!
The Ancients knew something we seem to have forgotten Einstein
Not all fermented foods contain live cultures. Sourdough bread is fermented for a short period of time, then goes into a hot oven to bake, where organisms are then destroyed. Now I am not bringing that up to say that bread is bad for that reason, but just to illustrate that certain foods do not lend themselves to live culture consumption.
THERMOPHILIC Yogurt cultures that must be held at a warm temperature to ferment.
TEPACHE is a light, refreshing beverage prepared and consumed throughout Mexico. In the past, tepache was prepared from maize, today various fruits such as pineapple, apple and orange are used. The pulp and juice of the fruit can ferment for one or two days in water with some added unrefined sugar.
The mixture is contained in a lidless wooden barrel called a tepachera, which is covered with cheese cloth.
After a day or two, the tepache is a sweet and refreshing beverage.
If fermentation can proceed longer, it turns into an alcoholic beverage and later into vinegar. The microorganisms associated with the product include Bacillus subtilis, B. graveolus and the yeasts, Torulopsis insconspicna, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida queretana (Aidoo, 1986).
TEMPEH is made from cooked and fermented soybeans that have been formed into a patty.
Like tofu, in that it absorbs whatever its marinated in, tempeh is great to barbecue or add to skewers.
Try using it as a yummy substitute for bacon in BLTs. Try flavouring organic tempeh with some tamari / coconut aminos then add to a sourdough sandwich with fermented TOMATO SALSA and lettuce.
Or eat it tossed in a bowl of steamed veggies with a kimchi topping.
TEMPOYAK is the fermented pulp of a durian fruit. With the distinctive durian smell and a creamy yellow colour. Made by mixing durian pulp with salt and placing in a sealed container. Fermentation takes about seven days.
The chili pods are harvested, ground into a paste and placed in a container with salt.
The hot and fiery sauce develops.
TEA In the production of tea, there is a process referred to as fermentation. However microbial activity is not involved in the so-called fermentation of tea. The chemical changes are affected by enzymes alone.
Fermentation rooms are used where moisture and temperature can be controlled. During fermentation even further darkening of the leaf occurs and the typical aroma develops. By subjective judgement of the aroma’s intensity the period necessary for completion is gauged (Carr, 1985).
In South East Asia, tea leaves (Camellia sinensis) are fermented to make a sour-tasting snack. In Myanmar the product is called leppet-so, in Thailand it is known as miang.
Lahpet thoke, Burmese tea leaf salad … recipe in Fermentation the oldest culture on earth e-book.
TODDY, or palm wine, is an alcoholic drink produced from fermented saps of various species of palm trees.
It should not be confused with hot toddy. Unlike other wines, toddy does not require lengthy fermentation.
Palm saps are so susceptible to spontaneous fermentation that the process begins the moment the sweet juices ooze out of the tree. Within two hours, fresh palm juices would ferment into a milky white sweet wine containing up to 4% alcohol.
TAPAI is commonly eaten in such places as Indonesia and Malaysia, tapai starter called ragi can be readily bought from stores. To make glutinous rice tapai, the rice is first cooked and left to cool. Powdered ragi is then mixed into the rice with sugar, wrapped up in banana leaves and allowed to ferment for about two days.
UNUSUAL FERMENT Kaester Hakarl or Hakarl for short, is the name of an Icelandic dish made of cured shark meat. The fermentation process involves burying the meat of Greenland or basking shark in sand and gravel and pressed with stones for up to twelve weeks.
The shrivelled meat is then cut up and left to dry for another four to five months.
The late Anthony Bourdain once described “the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing” that he had ever eaten, and Gordon Ramsey would not even … F!!!!!! swallow it! However, it is an unusual meal but rooted in history and tradition.
The meat is sold in most Icelandic grocery stores and is traditionally eaten at Porrablot, a celebration that takes place in midwinter.
Umeboshi … Japanese sour salted plums. Umeboshi, if stored well, never go bad!
5 kg sour plums (ume)
400 g fine Himalayan salt
Place ume in a bucket and fill with cold clean water
Dump the water and transfer ume to a large wooden or ceramic container, make sure not to burst the fruit with your fingernails
Place a clean muslin cloth across the surface, lay a lid on top of the sheet with weights (clean river rocks) equaling the weight of the ume.
Store in a cool spot away from direct light.
Check at 2-3 days to see if the brine has surfaced.
If not massage any residual salt up to the top fruit.
Keep covered in brine for several weeks.
After brining for 3 weeks (2 weeks for small ume)
Dry for 3 days in the bright sunlight on rattan mats stretched across a wooden frame for good air circulation.
At night return ume to pickling pot.
On the last day of drying, strain the brine left over through a fine mesh strainer and store in a clean jar.
This is UME PLUM VINEGAR
Pack the dried ume (UMEBOSHI) in resealable freezer bags.
Umeboshi keep indefinitely at room temperature.
Even sucking the pit in the middle can help with a sick tummy!!
Serve whole with rice or mince the umeboshi before adding some as a briny seasoning to dishes.
Let us take our hearts for a walk in the forest and listen to the magic whispers of old trees …
U cannot buy the right atmosphere or a sense of togetherness.
U cannot hygge if you are in a hurry or stressed out.
And the art of creating intimacy cannot be bought by anything but time, interest and engagement in the people around U.
The word hygge hails from Norway. It is translated loosely meant well-being.
The Danish adopted the word as their own and they embody the hygge lifestyle. Danes are among the happiest peeps and they attribute their happiness in part to hygge.
How do you describe it in short …? It is an outlook on life that focuses on simple pleasures and taking the time to cultivate more of them in your life.
It is when you give your body, mind and spirit a rest and enjoy the good things in life, like a sunrise or sunset, reading a book in front of a crackling fire, taking the time to savor a delicious mug of gourmet tea, and spending time with good food, friends and family around a table without tech disruptions.
A way of life that makes sure U live your life in a way that brings deep contentment to your soul.
Sometimes the outer things in life (money, power, success) are not what will make us happy.
Encouraging US to discard what does not bring JOY.
Finding the balance between getting things done and learning to schedule downtime is what we all need to live happy-centered days.
VITAMINS Probiotic flora also continue their relationship with us by moving into the large intestine and by establishing colonies, aid in the elimination process.
They also produce vitamins such as B1, B2, B12, and Vitamin K.
Pretty much across the board, foods which have been fermented have higher levels of D vitamins than the original agricultural products that you begin with.
Essentially this has to do with an accumulation of microbodies living in the plant matter.
VEGETABLE fermentation happens through an anaerobic system in which the naturally occurring lactobacilli of the food create lactic acid. This acid then preserves the food because what is known as bad bacteria cannot exist in an acidic environment.
The simple key to successful vegetable fermentation is to make sure your vegetables are submerged in liquid. That is it, the big secret.
Typically, when fresh vegetables are chopped in preparation for fermentation -which creates greater surface area -salting pulls out the vegetable juices via osmosis, and massaging / pounding the vegetables breaks down cell walls to further release juices, so no additional water is required. Some veggies that cannot be coaxed to provide moisture require a brine.
You can ferment any vegetable. Give your imagination free rein.
Vinegar is the product of a mixed fermentation of yeast followed by acetic acid bacteria. Vinegar, literally translated as sour wine, is one of the oldest products of fermentation used by man. It is the acetic acid produced by the fermentation of alcohol (ethanol) which gives the characteristic flavor and aroma to vinegar.
It can be made from almost any fermentable carbohydrate source, for example fruits, vegetables, syrups and wine. The basic requirement for vinegar production is a raw material that will undergo an alcoholic fermentation.
Apples, pears, grapes, honey, syrups, cereals, hydrolyzed starches, beer and wine are all ideal substrates to produce vinegar.
To produce a high-quality product, it is essential that the raw material is mature, clean and in good condition.
Indigenous vinegars can be made quite simply by the spontaneous fermentation of a fruit or alcohol. All that is necessary is an alcoholic substrate, strains of acetic acid forming bacteria (acetobacter) and oxygen to enable the oxidation of alcohol. However, this process is very slow, and vinegars produced by this method tend to be of inferior quality. Controlled fermentation conditions produce a more acceptable product. A wide range of raw materials can be made into vinegar. Recipes in Vinegar book
If you do not have very old Kombucha fermenting away, Kombucha vinegar is easy to make.
Simply allow a batch of Kombucha to ferment until all the sugar is consumed. You will know that all the sugar has been converted when the Kombucha tastes sour. Once it has turned to vinegar, then use it according to recipes or as you would use vinegar for cleaning and cooking.
Past the tongue tasty stage water kefir – add orange peels
VINEGAR OF FIRE In our kitchen we have a glass bottle of our own fermented ACV with a handful of dried chilies, fermented garlic cloves, a good-sized thumb of ginger and turmeric, grated horseradish and chili.
A small amount in a shot-glass, probably no more than a third full. Fill up the shot-glass, the rest of the way with water, and drink it down. Especially good if you feel a cold coming on (although ole ‘Kraut juice is good for this, too!) The fire is strong but quick! Fire vinegar also tastes GREAT on wilted greens or as the vinegar in a BBQ sauce.
The strained goodies keep for ever in a glass jar refrigerated, add to roast veggies and blitzed added to dips and dressings. (the fire cider does not require refrigeration). Recipe for fire cider in vinegar e-book of follow along in module 4
Vanilla is produced by fermenting the pods of the orchids of the genus vanilla. The pods are first sun dried for 24 to 36 hours and then blanched in hot water (65 C) for two to three minutes. The pods are then fermented in boxes and dried again.
VANILLA BITTERS … recipe in Fermented Beverages e- book
VIILI (vee-lee-ya) It is thick and mild with a big creamy taste.
Not as sour as Kefir.
Water kefir is thought to have originated in Mexico, originally fermented with the juice of the Prickly Pear Cactus. Water Kefir grains are also known as Tibicos, Tibi, Sugar Kefir Grains, Graines Vivantes, Japanese Water Crystals and California Bees. Water kefir, like milk kefir, consists of bacteria and yeast existing in a complex symbiotic relationship.
Water kefir beverages are live, raw drinks made from sugar-water / coconut water and fermented with a culture called water kefir grains which is flavored with fruit, herbs and spices. The water kefir grains feed on the sugar and minerals, creating beneficial micro-nutrients which result in healthy, tasty and refreshing beverages rich in probiotics, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids.
Water kefir (SKG) is loaded with probiotics that colonize the entire digestive tract. Allow for the fermentation of sugar water or coconut water to create a carbonated beverage. Making it a great substitute for soft drink!
Incredibly easy to brew, the starter culture can create a new batch of kefir every 48 hours.
Can be flavored after brewing to make a variety of delicious drinks. Water kefir supplies your body with billions of healthy bacteria and yeast strains. Some store-bought probiotic foods or supplements can help, but they are not as potent, and do not contain the beneficial yeasts usually (just bacteria).
Use excess water kefir in slushies, jellies, facial cleanser, hair rinse, soak dried fruit and nuts etc. Check out recipe for the best fruit cake in Water Kefir book.
Soak 1 cup of flour +1 cup water kefir and leave in a fido-type jar for quick breakfast dairy-free pancakes – top up as required.
MUST The pulp or combination of basic ingredients from which a wine is made, usually contained in a bucket before transferring to a fermenting container.
LEES The deposit of spent yeast and solids formed during fermentation of wine.
WASTE BITS …watermelon rind pickles, fermented citrus rind, weed ‘Kraut, Scrap Kvass, pickled grape leaves, scrap vinegar and wine – apple peels and cores / pineapple skins / Achacha skins and pips / cherry seeds / weeds, left-over wine.
Foraging and fermenting WILD food. … recipes in Bush Food and foraging and fermenting e-books.
Love being able to transform goodies to make them tastier, healthier, and keep longer and to re-purpose the scraps, all at the same time
Bok ‘n Broc … The tasty stalks from Broccoli and Bok Choy, fermented in a brine and ready for a probiotic snack or toss through a salad.
We love to make a drink with the watermelon juicy innards, use half pureed watermelon and half brine (Himalayan salt added to water, to taste like a salty soup). Ferment on shelf for a couple of days and it is ready to drink. Not sweet but very refreshing, especially nice topped with fizzy mineral water and ice cubes with added fresh mint leaves. The watermelon rind fermented with banana skins and cabbage.
WHOLE FOODS are foods that are closest to their natural state … more a product of nature than a product of industry.
Did mother earth make it or a factory?
WISDOM Fermented veggies feel like wise old friends. It is never my intention to preach – what is right or wrong.
Are we really blessed with such wisdom? After many years following many fads the answer is in our HEART.
Choose food that we LOVE and in return LOVE us, and those foods that we LOVE to prepare without going to extremes.
Life is Priceless but every day we put it at risk with unloving choices – build choices on LOVE through COMMUNICATION!! You are the only one who knows your own body.
For our precious children – we cannot change the world, but we can change what we do in our own kitchen.
WHEY wash wounds with whey. The beneficial bacteria reside in plentiful numbers in the whey.
X-TRAORDINARY fermented foods that give results! Probiotics can help provide immune enhancing benefits at all ages. It is never too early or too late to restore balance to your gut.
XMAS GIFTS Why not give the gift of fermentation to our loved ones? A tasty treat + the gift of healing all rolled into one. What better Christmas gift could we ask for? The power of Giving!!
Christmas e-book has plenty of Gift of Fermentation recipes.
YEAST is the most used leavened in bread baking and the secret to great bread making lies in its fermentation, or the metabolic action of yeast. It is the magical process that allows a dense mass of dough to become well risen and a flavorful loaf. For the fermentation to take place, all yeasts need food, moisture and a controlled warm environment. Recipes in Motherhood Bread e-book.
Good quality natural yoghurt is milk fermented by a culture of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria strains of bacteria. Yoghurt is super easy to find in any of the supermarkets, just read the ingredients list to become familiar with what brands of yoghurt are the most beneficial. The ingredients list should only contain full fat milk (not low fat), milk solids and live active cultures.
DIY As we use raw milk in our kitchen, this is how we make a Quick Yoghurt … Raw milk take out 2 tablespoons, then add 2 tablespoons of starter. Shake in bottle and place in glass jar. Pop in the dehydrator for 12 hours at 108 degrees. Voila! Can strain out some of the whey to make it thicker.
YOGHURT CHEESE is what is left when you drain the liquid (known as whey) from yoghurt. Do not throw the whey away! Season with salt, pepper, fresh chopped herbs, and lemon zest, or use your imagination and add some of your favorite seasonings. You can now spread this cheese on sandwiches, on sprouted crackers, or even on warm toasted bread topped with salsa. To make a sweet version of this cheese, instead of the savoury seasonings, add some raw honey and chopped fresh mint. Spread this sweetened cheese on toasted bread and top with sliced fruit or berries for a delicious snack or breakfast treat.
ZOOGLEA LIVING BAND-AIDS … SCOBY first aid kit
ZESTY HERBS … Catch and store the seasons herbs.