If you have been interested in or eating raw food for a while you may have come across fermented foods. Yes I know, the idea of eating something that has been effectivey “growing” on your windowsill or in your airing cupboard doesn’t exactly sound appetising but stick with me here. Fermented foods are extremely nutritious and beneficial for the body. The process of fermenting foods preserves them and makes them more digestible. Check out my post “8 Reasons to eat cultured vegetables”
When I saw that Amy Levin and Jo Balfe were holding a master class in fermenting foods, I instantly decided that I needed to go as this is an area that up until recently I hadn’t really delved into. I have been eating these foods but not making them and figured this class was exactly what I needed to give me all the goods!
Even I need inspiring every now and then which is exactly what this class did for me. It revved up my excitement about raw food again and by the end of the class I was itching to get home to get making my very own nut cheeses (which I had made before but slightly differently), raw sauerkraut, kimchi, chutneys, kefirs and kombuchas!
So far, my favourite thing to make has been kefir. I made a delicious kefir which I have named Ginger Ale as it tastes just like the real thing. From one batch of basic kefir I made 2 different flavours – the second was blackberry sour. (see above). I took it to a group dinner at my friend Katherine’s house and it went down very well indeed. Water Kefir contains millions of beneficial bacteria and probiotic microorganisms, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. You can also make kefir from two other foods: coconuts (which I have tried but trying to source young thai coconuts and then opening them is messy, expensive and time consuming) and milk (not being a fan of milk because it promotes cancer growth, so I won’t be participating in this..)
The above picture is the beautiful cheese plate that was made with raw almond cheese, macademia cheese and cashew cheese which we also got to devour as part of our lunch. I’m going to be blogging some new raw cheese recipes soon so keep your eyes peeled! Below is a picture of…no it’s not an alien or a placenta (although I do refer to it as this when showing family members what is growing in my fridge which totally freaks them out!). This is a kombucha starter culture (otherwise known as a SCOBY – Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast and refers exclusively to the mat formed by living kombucha cultures during the fermentation process)
Yes it is a little scary and even as I made my first kombucha this morning and had to handle the said placenta I was slighly concerned that it was going to transform into an unknown creature and suck the blood from my veins but fortunately for you I survived to tell the tale! (I jest – it’s not that bad!)
If you are interested in fermenting foods, there is lots of info on the internet and plenty of books about it so dive in as it’s all super healthy for you and pretty easy to make once you know how!
We made so much, I learnt a lot and much fun was had. All in all it was a truly fab class and one that I would recommend. For more info, visit Amy’s website. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some kerfir flavouring to do…
Have you ever made kombucha or kefir before? If so, did you find it easy?