Lately, one of my favorite “quick” meals has been an organic, nitrate-free hot dog, a gluten-free bun, some dijon mustard, and sour kraut. Why do I love this so much? Well besides the fact that it takes .2 second to throw together, I also love the good-for-my-gut fermentiness (Yes, I just made that word up) that the kraut provides.
So what’s the big deal about fermentation?
Well my friend Alex Lewin answers this in his book “Real Food Fermentation,” which I recently got the pleasure of reading in preparation of this little blog tour. Check out his reasons for loving all things “ferment-y” below: (all quotes are directly from the book)
- Fermentation is a FABULOUS food preservation technique.
- The fermentation process is very forgiving: “Fermentation can succeed even when there’s variation in times, temperatures, and ingredient ratios.”
- Fermentation is often one of the cheapest real food techniques. “Many fermentation recipes rely on on vegetables, salt, a knife, and jars.” …which means less money on fancy equipment and less worry for you!
- Fermentation builds upon itself. As I’ve experienced in my endeavors with making water kefir, fermentation is often “self-perpetuating.” The process itself creates the ingredients you’ll need in the future.
- Fermentation is good. for. your. belly. It’s true. Fermented foods help balance gut bacteria (increasing the healthy stuff), as well as “create enzymes and vitamins, break down difficult-to-digest food components, and make minerals more available for your body to assimilate.”
- Fermented foods taste good! It might seem needless to say for those of us that have experienced the tasty glory of fermentation… but many might find the idea of fermented foods a little “gross.” And trust me, they are anything but. To give you a taste of how delicious fermenty foods can be… Try the recipe below. Words can’t describe how happy I am that the wonderful Alex Lewin gave me permission to share this with you directly from “Real Food Fermentation.” Your tastebuds will die… and go to heaven
Peach and Plum Chutney with Preserved Lime
- several peaches and plums (approximately 1.5 lbs)
- a few wedges preserved lime
- half a handful chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon mixed spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons yogurt whey
- large cutting board
- large knife
- large mixing bowl
- 1-quart mason jar
- Chop the peaches and plums to the desired size, removing the pits.
- Mince the preserved lime.
- Place all the ingredients into the bowl and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture into the jar and pack down. If the juices are insufficient to cover the chutney, add non-chlorinated water until everything is covered, leaving 1 inch of headroom.
- Close the jar lid tightly, and store at room temperature. Open the jar a couple of times a day to relieve pressure.
- After 2 to 3 days, when the product is slightly fizzy, put it in the refrigerator.
Alex even included some “lab notes” in the recipe to help any newbies with any questions they might have (such a fun touch that my inner nerd really loves):
- Pressure can build up, so be a little bit careful when opening the jar. You may wand to do it over the sink!
- Many variations are possible. One option is to cut apples, pears, or Asian pears into cubes, and use those instead of the softer fruit.
- The chutney will keep in the refrigerator for a month or more.
Love this recipe and want to see more of “Real Food Fermentation“? Check out Unmistakably Food tomorrow for another post in Real Food Fermentation‘s blog tour. Also, Alex and his team are giving away a copy of the book to TWO lucky Honest to Goodness Living readers!!! Enter to win via Rafflecopter below If you just can’t wait, or would like to purchase a copy for a friend for Christmas (and hold out on the giveaway for yourself!) – You can purchase this lovely piece of eye candy – er, I mean recipe book – here.