Wednesday 15th April 2015

Fermenting at home

Fermentation is at last making a comeback having been forgotten during the heyday of the supermarket and the fridge.

At one time families had to make the most of each season’s harvest to ensure a good supply of food through hunger gaps and winter months. Fermentation was a huge part of winter preparation.

As a food ferments, natural bacteria feed on the sugars and starches in the food – a process called lacto-fermentation. This also creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics.

By adding fermented foods to your diet you are promoting the correct balance of gut flora, which can help your body absorb more vitamins from the foods we eat. If you want to know more about creating ferments at home, there’s a workshop at the International Macrobiotic School on 9th May 2015.

In the meantime, here is a simple recipe for making your own pickles at home:

Make a brine solution by adding two teaspoons of salt to one pint of warm water. Thinly chop carrots, cabbage and onions. Put the veg into a container or jar and cover with the salt water. Make sure the veg is submerged in the water by placing a stone or saucer on top. Leave for seven-10 days. When you try it, the raw taste should have been replaced by a slightly sour-sharp taste. Eating a small portion every day will boost your immune system, helping you to fend off the winter colds and tummy bugs.