Chances are, many of the foods you buy and consume today are fermented, whether you realize it or not. Coffee, chocolate, salami? All fermented. Although many people enjoy fermented foods like sauerkraut, cheese, and yogurt, they’ve lost the knowledge and desire to prepare it themselves.
But DIY ferments are a great way to go because they take very little time, provide excellent health benefits, and can be made at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay in the store. Plus, they can be made in larger quantities with little concern of going bad. Fermented foods are making quite a comeback, and that’s good for the sake of our health, ancestral reconnection, and bank accounts!
A good place to start when deciding what to DIY-instead-of-buy is to think about what you consume frequently. Next, decide if it’s something that would be more economical to make yourself. Then, you’ll need to determine how time-consuming it will be to DIY and decide if it’s worth your time. Ease in. Master one or two before adding another to your repertoire.
Here are 4 simple ferments to make at home:
KRAUTCHI: Krautchi, a term coined by fermentation guru, Sandor Katz, is a hybrid of two very culturally different styles of fermented vegetables– Korean kimchi, and German sauerkraut. Krautchi follows the process of fermentation whereby beneficial bacteria found on the surface of the vegetables, particularly lactobacillus, converts sugars in the brine to lactic acid. Making krautchi is as simple as chopping vegetables, squeezing to pull out water (becomes brine), salting, and packing into a jar. 3-10 days later, you have a delicious ferment that contains as much probiotic as a bowl of yogurt. Krautchi is excellent as a topping on eggs, soups, and straight up.
KEFIR: Kefir “grains” are a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast that can be added to either sugar water or milk to produce two different kinds of probiotic beverages. Milk kefir grains are used to culture milk into a tangy probiotic drink, similar to thin yogurt. Water kefir grains, when added to sugar water, consumes the sugar and converts it into lactic acid. The product is a light fizzy beverage that is an alternative to soda. Add some fruit juice, cap for secondary fermentation, and voila!
YOGURT: Yogurt is one of those things that arguably can be purchased relatively inexpensive at the supermarket. However, there’s something different about homemade yogurt especially if you can get your hands on some fresh milk. Save a small amount from the previous batch to culture the next one. Add to milk, let ferment overnight, and the next day, you have yogurt. All for the cost of some milk!
KOMBUCHA: At $4 a bottle or more from the store, why not make your own? Kombucha is made by adding a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) to sweet tea and allowing fermentation to take place. The final product is a probiotic beverage that aids in digestion and promotes overall health. Add fruit and/or herbs in the secondary fermentation and behold an effervescent, tummy-taming, refreshing drink.
Let Fifth Season be your source for everything you need to start your own simple ferments at home! From scobys to specialty bottles, jars, and cultures, we have what you need to get started! You’ll find it to be incredibly easy, rewarding, and a benefit to your health.