I feel as if I have a baby or actually a few.
My scoby (Symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is growing at an alarming rate. In fact I have nightmares that when I wake in the morning, it will have grown to such an extent that it will resemble something from a horror movie. ‘The Revenge of the Scoby’.
My bottles need to be burped!
There is constant feeding and bottle washing.
My tray of fermented foods is like a baby crib that requires vigilant scrutiny.
I would like to quickly digress and tell you the purpose of My Cultured Kitchen. The health benefits of cultured and fermented foods are very well documented. It is my mission to impress upon as many people as possible just how simple it is to be healthy. We all have the ability to take control of our wellbeing and in fact improve upon it. Most importantly, I want you to see how much fun can be had! Fun health, can you ask for anything more?
It is not my intention to share with you how to go about making the various basic ferments but simply to illustrate to you how much fun it is. There are many courses and sites that you can follow that will support you in your endevours.
I do however expect ‘My Cultured kitchen’, to take on the form of my bubbly and frothy charges and it will evolve into something that no longer resembles what I started with. So interesting recipes will soon be shared and other bibs and bobs. Please feel free to share your experiences and recipes in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to my kitchen shenanigans by signing up by email.
So, back to the nursery, sorry Kitchen!
If you have never seen a scoby, this is it. Yip that thing floating on the top is the culture and oh boy, just like a baby, if it is happy, it grows and grows. ‘Feed me Seymour, Feed me.’ – Little Shop of Horrors.
This is a Jun scoby (similar to Kombucha). No not gin, don’t get excited. The Boston Tea Party has nothing on my kitchen. Copious amounts of green tea and honey bubble under the scoby.
After this stage it is bottled and left for the second ferment. I usually add a bit of flavouring at this stage. My best being ginger. I have also flavoured with peach, lemon and apple. You really can be very inventive at this stage.
When is it ready to drink? Well when it is fizzy of course. The test being that if you lose your fizz, you have vinegar!
I leave my scoby to rest and mutiply in the hotel. Cultured lingo for a jar full of sweet tea and many scobys.
I move onto ginger beer. This one I am really looking forward to. The never ending feeding of my ginger bug has resulted in a bubbly, yeasty concoction.
I make my wort, add the bug, bottle it and hold my thumbs. My bug is now going to rest in the fridge until I need it again. I have taken a course, so I can talk foreign!
My first burping does not go well and my ceiling now has bits of ginger and sugar stuck to it. Do you understand the baby analogy now? Slowly does it, is my new mantra!
I get the fizz right and I have to admit that my ginger beer tastes incredible! I am sure that I must be the envy of all other fermenters. There is nothing more to do now other than enjoy my spoils.
I have not attempted water kefir yet!
Kvass and Rejuvelac, yes I know, foreign lingo again, are two relatively easy ferments to make but with the same health benefits. I rather enjoy the earthy taste of both of them. If you want to start fermenting but are nervous, this is a good place to start.
Health tip -Probiotic sodas aid digestion and gut health. It is naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast. Improves digestion, fights candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth. Improves mental clarity and mood stability.
Kombucha and Jun – Fermented tea that has been consumed for years. Said to have originated in China. It is made from tea, sugar or honey a starter and a scoby.
Ginger beer – Many different ways to make ginger beer. I use a ginger bug which is made from ginger, sugar and water. It is lacto fermented and contains many beneficial bacteria and enzymes.
Kvass – It is lacto fermented and originates in Russia. Traditionally made with beetroot. It may be slightly effervescent.
Rejuvelac – Made from partially sprouted seeds such as wheat, rye or quinoa. Rich in friendly bacteria, enzymes and B vitamins. Commonly known as ‘Earth Juice’.
Water kefir – Dairy free alternative to milk kefir. Very refreshing effervescent drink.