Sunday, 22 March 2015

In the Raw and a little Fermented!

I've been more than a little fascinated with the benefits of fermented foods for quite some time now. There have been a few attempts at making sauerkraut in the last year but the results have usually ended up being consumed by my best friend. But in recent months the whole fermenting fascination has been rekindled by chef Pete Evens 'Paleo Way'. I eagerly awaited the release of his culture for life fermenting kit only to find that it was a little out of my price bracket. So I decided to order some vegetable starter culture online at and go back to the good old fashioned way of fermenting in air lock preserving jars. 2 days after I received shipping notification for the starter culture an email appeared in my inbox from The Raw Chef, Russell James, offering the fermented vegetable module of his online Fermentation course at a ridiculous price... so I snapped it up.

The particular course I purchased offered 10 recipes plus access to a bonus 4. They include not only a downloadable pdf version of each recipe but also a video showing either Russell or his colleague Amy demonstrating how to make each one. The trick to creating fermented vegetables that don't grow mold is all in how you pack it into the jar! So simple yet so easy to mess up. Fortunately in my previous adventures I managed to create without mold but didn't have the confidence to eat it hence my best friend being my guinea pig. 

My first attempts in the last week were using Himalayan salt on it's own as a catalyst to ferment then later in the week after my starter culture arrived I started using that. The advantage of the starter culture is that it creates a ferment with a much higher pro biotic content than you would get using salt alone.

Here's some of what I've made so far. It's still all in the fermentation stage but I have sampled and it's already delish and  that's coming from someone whose taste buds previously found sauerkraut to be totally undesirable

The other thing that's happened as a result of this is that I've also rekindled my love of raw food eating and have taken the dehydrator out of the cupboard and started creating again. The Raw Chef has recipes on his blog and I've taken a few of these and run with them. So far this week I've created zucchini tortillas, buckwheat bread, marinated mushrooms, dried tomatoes, cashew mayonnaise and raw macadamia cheese.

Top left: zucchini wrap ready to dehydrate. Top right: assembling the wrap with grated
carrot, lettuce, marinted adn dehydrated mushrooms, macadamia cheese, dried tomatoes 
and cashew cheese. Bottom left and right:all wrapped up and ready to eat 

I'm still eating cooked foods but this has been reduced and I have to say I'm feeling better for it. I'd started eating more processed foods again and as a result my sugar cravings had come back. In the last week I've noticed a distinct decline in my sugar cravings. I'm hoping these will go completely once I start eating the fermented veg and krauts

If you want to experiment yourself and need a little inspiration or guidance the Raw Chef offers a free 10 Recipe eBook, there's a link in the side bar.

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