Focus on fermenting

Fiery, colourful kimchi. Crunchy, tangy sauerkraut. Probiotic-rich kefir. Fermented food is the health trend that’s here to stay. If it’s still new and strange to you, fear not. We’re here to tell you what fermentation is, what it does for your health and how you can start doing it at home!

The Basics: What is Fermentation?

There’s nothing new about the practice of fermenting food. Long before home fridges, it was used as a natural method of preservation. And it’s hung around ever since. In fact, many of the foods we eat every day have undergone some kind of fermentation. Think sourdough bread, soy sauce, yoghurt and, of course, beer and wine.

At its most basic, fermentation involves packing food – like fresh vegetables – into an airtight container with lots of salt. Microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast, and fungi, break down the food and start to transform the properties, taste and texture.

Why Ferment Your Food?

Fermentation not only enhances the taste and shelf-life of your food, but also offers a myriad of benefits for your health, wallet and the planet.

  • Boost Your Health: Fermented foods are teeming with beneficial probiotics that aid digestion and boost your immune system. Kimchi and kefir are rich in enzymes, vitamins, and essential amino acids. One of the key benefits of making your own fermented foods is that it won’t be pasteurised, a process used by large manufacturers that destroys most of the beneficial bacteria.

  • Financially Savvy: Once you’ve got the hang of fermenting and a taste for the tangy treat, you’ll want it to be part of your weekly routine. Making it at home is substantially cheaper than buying it in store. Plus, you have the advantage of customising the flavour to your preference!

  • Limit Waste: With fermentation, you can transform ingredients that are slightly past their prime. This is a great way to reduce food waste. Got an extra head of cabbage or some surplus milk? Sauerkraut and kefir to the rescue!

How Do You Ferment Food?

If you’ve perfected pickling and mastered jam-making, you might feel ready for a new challenge. But even for those of you who’ve never preserved anything before, fermenting is an easy way to start using up vegetables and enjoying a wide range of delicious condiments and accompaniments.

Perhaps you’ve been put off by the thought of complicated equipment, foul-smelling concoctions, or jars that explode all over the kitchen? Well, fear not. Our specially designed kit means that no matter how you ferment your food or what recipe you follow, the chances of something going pear-shaped are slim to none!

Start with Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a dish for those of us who appreciate cooking simplicity. With just cabbage and salt, this delicacy is the cornerstone of home fermentation. Try out our easy sauerkraut recipe and unlock the tangy goodness.

It doesn’t take long to make your own batch of sauerkraut. It’s a satisfying and hands-on process with delicious results. You’ll need a sharp knife (don’t be tempted to use a grater or your cabbage will lack crunch), a decent chopping board and a large mixing bowl.

Once you’ve packed the cabbage into a glass jar, you need only wait for about three days. It’ll be ready to eat by then, but the longer you leave it, the more the tangy flavour develops.

The Marvel of Kimchi

Kimchi, a fiery Korean export, is an aromatic blend of textures and tastes that’s totally addictive. The recipe for making kimchi at home is a bit more complex than sauerkraut. You can add a carrot peeler and large colander to your equipment list, and one of our specially designed Fermentation Jars.

These jars have a one-way valve that allows built-up gas from the fermenting process to escape. So there’s no need to mess around with muslin cloths, ‘burp’ your jar and certainly no kimchi explosions! Plus, these jars also prevent contamination from outside, which could make your food go mouldy.

The Creamy Elixir: Kefir

Kefir, aka “the Champagne of dairy”, has its origins nestled in the Caucasus Mountains, where locals cherished it for its rejuvenating properties. Its creamy consistency and sour taste make for a unique drinking experience.

To make your own kefir, you’ll need to make sure your equipped with the right straining equipment. It doesn’t need to be more sophisticated than you’re trusty kitchen sieve as you’re only fishing out the small kefir grains.

These are what you mix with fresh milk to start the fermentation process. You can set the grains aside and use them for future batches. Your kefir will be ready 12-48 hours sitting at room temperature. It would be wise to have a wide funnel to hand too, as spilling this pungent milk would be something to cry over!

Once you’ve fermented your milk to probiotic-perfection, you’ll be off on a culinary adventure. You can use kefir to make fluffy health-boosting pancakes, or even sweet spelt bread.

Each of these fermented marvels brings its own story, flavour profile, and health benefits. With a bit of patience and the right equipment, you can effortlessly introduce the wonders of fermentation to your home.