So this is one of my first fermented recipes that I have posted so I thought I would chat a bit about fermentation. I recently purchased Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions and I have learned so much from her book already. This recipe is adapted from one of her berry preserves recipes. She talks a lot about the traditional way of food preparation. One of the traditional ways of preparing fruits and vegetables was fermenting. So just what is fermentation?
It has only been recently that refrigerators and freezers have been introduced to our societies. Many years ago, we did not have access to refrigerators and freezers and fruits and vegetables were preserved through a method called lacto-fermentation. According to Sally Fallon,
“Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits putrefying bacteria. Starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid by the many species of lactic-acid producing bacteria. These lactobacilli are ubiquitous, present on the surface of all living things…preservation of vegetables and fruits by the process of lacto-fermentation has numerous advantages beyond those of simple preservation. The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”
My first attempt at fermenting something was some homemade sauerkraut. I was shocked how easy it was to make and how amazing it taste. Better yet, it is good for me and helps aid in the digestion of my food and has many health benefits. After that first recipe…I was hooked! I have canned in the pass and still do. Canning is great but very time consuming and a lot of the beneficial vitamins can be loss in the heating process. Fermenting fruits and vegetables can easily be done without the heating of the fruits or vegetable what so ever. What could be more easier?
Fermenting is generally very similar across the board. You need your vegetables or fruits that you are fermenting, wide mouth mason jars and lids, wooden pounder or meat hammer, some liquid whey, filtered water, salt and spices of choice and a little time at room temperature. Liquid whey can be retrieved from straining your yogurt. The by product is liquid whey. There are many other ways you can get liquid whey. Raw milk naturally separates if left out at room temperature, producing liquid whey and clabbered milk. You can also get it from making homemade raw cream cheese, cheese, or raw sour cream to name a few. If liquid whey can not be found or made than you can add a bit more salt to create the right environment to ferment your vegetable, however fruits do require the presence of liquid whey. Powdered whey or concentrated commercial liquid whey does not work!
When fermenting, it is very important to use the freshest organic fruits and vegetables that you can find. It is equally important to use filtered water. When fermenting vegetables, you can store them in a cool dry place. In the traditional times, often times the fermented fruits and vegetable were stored in caves and later stored in cellars. Fruits typically need to be refrigerated and will last several months in the refrigerator.
I will post some more fermented recipes here in the future. This is a great recipe to start with. I love to use this sauce as a stir in into greek yogurt, on ice cream and on top of my pancakes and waffles. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
- 2 cups fresh red raspberries
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- 2 tsp unrefined sea salt
- 1/4 cup whey (you can strain some greek yogurt to get this whey)
- 1/4 cup sucanat
- 3/4-1 cup organic grade b maple syrup
- In a bowl mix together washed berries, sea salt, whey and sucanat.
- With a potato masher, meat hammer or wooden pounder mash the mixture into a liquid sauce.
- Place into a quart size jar and tightly securely fasten with a top. The jar will be about 3/4 the way full.
- Leave on the counter, at room temperature to ferment for 2 days. Do not open the jar while on the counter top. Exposing the item to oxygen will destroy the fermentation process.
- After 2 days, stir in the 3/4-1 cup grade b maple syrup.
- Store in refrigerator for up to 2 months.