We hold our hands up: we’re preserved food fans. If you’ve ever tried our sauerkraut you’ll know why! For texture, taste and nutrition, it’s hard to find a food that delivers so much in every bite.
Fermenting is our preservation method of choice. The beauty of lacto-fermenting (that’s tamping a foodstuff in salt and water, so that the salt-tolerant bacteria lactobacillus can flourish and convert the natural sugars into lactic acid) is that you boost the digestibility, flavour and nutritional value of the food while also lengthening its life, thereby reducing waste. Add the benefit of probiotic power into the mix and we are well and truly sold.
While kraut is king as far as we’re concerned, once you’re hooked on preserved food, you might want to switch it up occasionally. Here are a couple of easy ferments to try at home… go fermental!
Fermenting the golden good stuff is an excellent way to get a beautiful syrup that is packed with natural goodness. Super-boosted honey! Yes please. If a honey is raw, moisture and warmth are all the naturally present yeasts and enzymes need to begin fermentation. The addition of other foods can help kick-start the process by bringing in moisture that way, resulting in a beautifully symbiotic double-fermentation: of the honey and the moisture-bringer. We love garlic for this – the slightly thinned, complex-flavoured honey can be used to drizzle on salads and the preserved garlic is mellow enough to throw atop any dish as is, such is its sweetness.
- 1 ½ cups RAW honey
- 1 cup garlic cloves, crushed with the back of a knife
- Sterilised jar
- Crush garlic cloves with the back of a knife.
- Put crushed garlic cloves in a clean jar (big enough for your honey to double in size as it does its thing) and cover with your choice of RAW organic honey.
- Give your honey a little tip upside down and make sure all the garlic is coated and covered.
- Your honey is fermenting when it starts to bubble – congrats!
- ‘Burp’ your honey every day by opening the jar to let the carbon dioxide out.
- Once fermentation is nearing its end your honey will thin out and your garlic will sink.
- Fermented garlic honey is at its best after 3 months.
Fermenting beetroot brings out a whole new universe of flavour! We love a beetroot for its spectrum of earthy to sweet notes and fermenting makes this gorgeous ruby root even more interesting. Both the juice and the beet are delicious in a variety of dishes.
- 3l sterilised jar
- Beetroot – you can either use 4 bunches of baby beetroot (like this Great British Chefs recipe) or 3 larger beets sliced or chopped julienne-style, cubed or grated
- 20g sea salt (or go for a pink Himalayan salt for added goodness)
- 2l water
- Flavour notes – pick from bay leaves and fresh horseradish, garlic, dill, or how about a spoonful of RAW honey for sweetness!
- Mix your salt and water, put to one side
- Put all your ingredients into the jar
- Pour your salt water mixture in, right to the top
- Close the jar and store it at room temperature
- Burp the jar every few days
- The longer you leave the fermented beets the sourer they become, so do regularly check the flavour after a week of fermenting to make sure it’s to your taste. Once you’re happy you can store in the fridge to stop the process of fermentation.
Shh.. A Shortcut! ACV Pickles
While we love lacto-fermentation, there’s another preservation technique that produces iconic, tangy foods: vinegar pickling. However, traditional vinegar pickling, which involves boiling an acidic brine (usually vinegar, salt and spices) and pouring it over vegetables or other perishables, doesn’t have the same raw benefits as fermenting. Some of the naturally occurring enzymes and nutrients are lost in this process, and you don’t get the probiotic bonus.
If you like the benefits of fermented foods but are time-poor, we’ve got a super-quick shortcut so you can enjoy the pros of both. RAW Apple Cider Vinegar is already live and enzyme-rich and lends that sour flavour you want in a good pickle. You can recreate the crunch and tang of pickled cucumber and sneak in the nutrition benefits in a snap!
- cucumber, ends trimmed, cut in half widthways and spiralized or sliced into thick ribbons
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1 tbsp ACV
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- ½ tsp coriander seeds
- a small handful of dill, leaves picked
- Throw the cucumber ribbons in a colander with the salt for 15 minutes
- Gently squeeze out excess moisture with your hands and pat dry with kitchen paper
- Mix together remaining ingredients and stir in the cucumber
- Voila! Easy instant pickles to accompany your favourite vegan burger or grilled cheese
What’s your favourite thing to ferment? Do you have any special flavour combos you’d like to share? Tell us all about it on twitter, hit us up on Facebook or take a pic of your pickles for IG. See you there! #RAWpickles #fermentation #RAWvibrant