Updated: Apr 14, 2021
Fermented foods have been part of our lives for ten years. I had never heard of fermented foods before then.
My awareness of them came through a cookbook I got from the library. Nourishing Traditions was on the shelf at a time when I was borrowing cookbooks as a way to explore new recipes and cooking ideas. The book looked interesting.
Once I started to read and explore the book my whole thinking of nutrition and grocery store foods was turned upside down. I am a curious person so I can appreciate new ideas. This new information lead to a new way to shop for food and how to prepare food. I'll save that journey in a separate post.
Back to fermented foods, they are a foods that are naturally preserved in a way that generates probiotics which are good for gut health and have immune system benefits. Feel free to web search if you are interested.
My main fermented food is kefir. I have been culturing raw milk for years. We are blessed to live in a state where raw milk sales are legal (some states raw milk sales are illegal). I buy raw milk from a local farmer and also at my local Co-Op.
I make lacto-fermented foods, mainly sauerkraut. My other main ferments are red onions, pickles (not my favorite - Whiskey likes these), garlic cloves, and sliced ginger. In addition, I do make beet kvass from time to time, but not regularly.
On the counter is beet kvass and sauerkraut in the initial ferment phase.
Kefir is simple to ferment. However, it is a living being and needs constant care like a pet. So it is a commitment. I have been caring for my kefir grains for many years. I've shared grains with others that want to start their own kefir.
This is the kefir in the process of straining out the culture which is a grain that looks like cauliflower. The grains then go back into the jar and filled with new raw milk. For those in states where raw milk is illegal, buy the best organic non-ultra-pasteurized milk available.
We drink kefir almost every day. Dogs have it everyday poured over their food. They love it.
Here is an example of eating the ferments. Red onions and pickles on burgers served with a side of sauerkraut. I make laco-fermented mayo, and I put that on my burger. Whiskey is not a fan of mayo on burgers.
Thanks to a friend we learned about Dave's Killer Bread and buns. 21 Whole Grains & Seeds Burger Buns — Dave's Killer Bread They freeze well so I can pop buns out of the freezer when needed.
Other ways I use the ferments is to add kefir to dips, guacamole, and homemade creamy salad dressings like this Sweet Onion Poppyseed Dressing (thenourishinggourmet.com).
I put fermented garlic in my homemade balsamic vinegar and oil dressing.
I use cream cheese and kefir to make a dip. I add in fermented onions and garlic, and herbs that I have on hand such as chives, parsley, and cilantro.
I definitely do not always serve dip with veggies! Whiskey can devour a bag of pretzels when served with dip. I'm a potato chip lover, I try not to have chips on hand otherwise I will eat them.
This is my go-to potato chip: Our Products – Boulder Canyon
This is my go-to pretzels: Pretzel "Splits" | Unique Pretzel Bakery (uniquepretzels.com)
Well, if you made it through this whole post thank you! I kind of have a passion for this fermented food thing. I think my grandmothers would think this this is all pretty cool. I think of them often as I am working in the kitchen. Both of them had big gardens and spent hours in the kitchen.