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Fermented foods - where to start?

(13 Posts)
WifeofDarth Mon 12-Mar-18 21:27:55

I've been reading how good fermented foods are for our gut bacteria so I wanted to give some a go. However I'm not sure where to start.
Natural live yoghurt is an obvious one, and I already eat that.
But I don't know much about other things that come up.
I know I like miso, but if I buy a paste will it have been pasteurised?
What about sauerkraut - it sounds acidic and bitter, but what does it taste like? And again, if I buy it, will it be prebiotic or will it have had all the good stuff boiled out of it? Do I have to make my own?
I'm interested to hear your ideas & suggestions and to hear of any other timid eaters who have found stuff they like.

welshgirlwannabe Mon 12-Mar-18 22:49:14

Sauerkraut is good. It's salty and mildly lactic I'd say rather than acidic. It's dead easy to make and if you make it yourself you can determine how sour you want it to be.

All you do is shred a cabbage into a big bowl. Then take about 2 teaspoons of salt and massage it into the cabbage until it starts to break down and give liquid. Then pack the cabbage into a clean jar as tightly as you can. You will see more water come out. You want to press down until the cabbage is all covered with the water. You can weight it something. The water is brine and the cabbage will ferment. Just leave it loosely covered somewhere in your kitchen for about a week. Taste every couple of days. When it tastes good to you cover the jar, put it in the fridge to stop fermentation and that's it. Easy healthy and tasty.

phoolani Mon 12-Mar-18 22:56:52

Unpasteurised cheese is good, kombocha (which you can make yourself), kefir (mostly made with pasteurised milk with kefir cultures then added. My fave is kimchi which I keep threatening to make myself but never quite get round to it.

WifeofDarth Mon 12-Mar-18 23:33:22

Thanks for that info. I'm going to give the sauerkraut a go, it sounds really fun. Do I need a huge jar? I have a 1l screw top. Will that do?

cdtaylornats Tue 13-Mar-18 07:08:31

Before you rush off and make sauerkraut - maybe buy some and try it.

Apart from anything else then you'll know it's supposed to taste like crap - sour crap.

Ifailed Tue 13-Mar-18 07:14:36

I suggest you get hold of a copy of Giulia Enders' excellent book Gut and read up about how it works before rushing off fermenting stuff left, right and centre.

WifeofDarth Tue 13-Mar-18 07:53:48

I would buy the sk cd but I'm not sure that it will still have its bacteria if commercially produced. But even if it tastes awful after all that it will be a fun experiment for dc

TeddyIsaHe Tue 13-Mar-18 07:56:51

You need to buy unpasteurised sauerkraut, the big jars won’t have any of the bacteria left. Ocado sell tubs of it, they’ve also got kefir which is delicious, and I think kombucha. So you could add them to your weekly shop and go from there.

I would start with making sauerkraut if you’re up for fermenting at home as it’s so easy. Just the waiting that takes the time!

kateandme Tue 13-Mar-18 10:00:02

because of the process sk is usually easy to have fresh and without the added stuff because the whole pickling preserve etc to these products mean they last longer.
it goes great in a polish stew with kielbasa sausage
and into a potato cheese bake with bacon and brcoli

MothershipG Tue 13-Mar-18 10:07:18

If you love an excuse to spend money at Lakeland wink they sell jars for fermenting with a valve in the lid, I got one for my brother (and one for me) and we've both made kimchi, he likes his seriously hot, I make mine much milder.

I got some live sauerkraut in a health food shop, it's very mild, not sour at at all. I'm going to try making my own next.

WeirdnessOfDoom Wed 14-Mar-18 17:34:49

Mothership, any chance of a recipe for kimchi please?

MothershipG Wed 14-Mar-18 20:12:40

I googled and adapted, I couldn't find Chinese leaves so I used pak choi, but surprisingly Morrisons sell the Korean chilli paste you need, I'll try and find the link but I think it's one of those things where every family has its own version and everyone thinks their Granny's version is the definitive one. 😄

WeirdnessOfDoom Wed 14-Mar-18 22:01:16

Thank you very much. As for chinese leaf- they sell it at Tesco smile

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