Last year, we were pleased to have Thomasa Meinnert, of Let’s Ferment, present a mini-class on fermenting foods as part of our Speaker Series. It was jam packed and filled with great information and countless tasty fermented treats. We asked her to write a post on the benefits of fermenting food and she even included a recipe you’re sure to enjoy:
I think it’s safe to assume that most people are becoming aware of the important role probiotics play in our health. The scientific proof is finally catching up with the knowledge of our ancestors.
While I’m sure they did understand some of the health benefits, I think what was most important to them was the way in which fermenting preserved their food. This was especially true for the indigenous populations living in areas where food may have been scarce during the winter months.
One of the best things about preserving your food with fermentation is that it can really help to stretch your food budget. One of our biggest expenses in our home, besides meat, is organic apples. My four kids ask for apples all day long. While it is great that they want to snack on apples instead of chips and candy, this can get quite pricey.
When money gets tight and I can see our apples won’t last until the next paycheck; I set a few aside so I can make fermented apple chutney. This way, the kids can still have their apple fix, but in a smaller portion.
Since the chutney is fermented, this smaller portion has increased vitamins along with the added bonus of being packed with probiotics.
Last week was one of those weeks, so I decided to try something new. The ingredients combined in my head sounded good, so I took a chance and what I came up with was a fermented apple and ginger chutney.
This recipe does call for a starter culture to “inoculate” the chutney with good bacteria. I use whey that is strained off of my yogurt, but if you are unable to use dairy you can also use kombucha, water kefir, or packets of starter can be purchased as well.
Fermented Apple & Ginger Chutney Recipe
Many fruit recipes need some help to get the fermenting process going, and Whey is easy to separate from your yogurt.
Place your yogurt in a tea towel or cheese cloth in a colander over a bowl. The whey that collects in the bowl can be used for this recipe and the rest can be stored in the fridge for quite some time. For fun, you can Google all the uses for whey.
3 organic apples, cored and chopped into small pieces
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 C of whey
1/2 C water (more if needed to cover fruit)
In a large bowl mix all ingredients together. Pack mixture into a glass quart jar, making sure that fruit is under the liquid, add more water if needed. Place a lid on loosely and move to a dark, warm spot for 3 days. Then move to the fridge and enjoy. This will keep in the fridge for about 2 months.
We really enjoy this as a topping to our yogurt and oatmeal but I think it is a wonderful compliment to many savory dishes as well.
Wasn’t that simple? When was the last time you made something you knew could stay safe in the fridge for two months?!
If you’d like to learn more on fermenting food techniques, and get more recipes; check out Thomasa’s website above or start following her on Facebook!
About the Author: Thomasa describes herself as “Just a girl with a serious passion for fermentation.” She is a wife and homeschooling mother of four fabulous children and a Co-Leader of her local Weston A Price Foundation Chapter.