Fun with Fermentation

I was really stuck on what to write about and would probably rather not spend time on the computer, but thought I should at least post something!  A friend of Scott’s said he’d be interested in what I’ve been fermenting, so that motivated me a bit. I’ve always been interested in nutrition and natural healing so, in 2011, when a neighbor asked me to go to a class called “Cooking for Well-being” at what used to be Tai Sophia Wellness in Columbia, MD, I jumped at the opportunity.  The class included lots of information about fermentation, we learned about the healthy bacteria and added nutrients in ferments as oppose to canning which kills the enzymes in food. We also made sauerkraut.

A couple years ago we had so many banana peppers I had to figure out something to do with them.  I remembered this class I’d taken and started looking up recipes for fermenting peppers. The last couple years I’ve fermented several quarts of banana peppers and jalapenos.  Sean and Scott love them on their sandwiches and we also use them on our pizza.  This past summer we didn’t have many pepper plants but a farm north of us in Smithsburg, Lewis Orchards, sold as many as would fit in a pint container for 50 cents!  So I was able to ferment banana peppers this year too.  I usually do lacto-fermentation which uses whey to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria, which give off lactic acid and inhibits the growth of unhealthy bacteria.

I made sauerkraut last year and have a cabbage in my fridge waiting to be made into sauerkraut.

My most recent fermentation was cranberry relish, which I started a day too late to have it ready on Thanksgiving but Sofia and I also made a cooked cranberry sauce. For the cranberry relish, I chopped cranberries up in a food processor with some orange peel, mixed it with honey and let it ferment for 3 days.  I stirred it every day.  The recipe was from a cook book called Can It and Ferment It.  They also had a recipe for whole cranberries fermented in honey which I’d like to try sometime.  Maybe when we have bees and LOTS of honey!  There’s also a fermented applesauce recipe in this book similar to one I found on a blog.  The first time I made it I used whey; I don’t remember if I did the second time.  It’s very simple and I really liked it.  Chop the apples in a food processor, add cinnamon, salt, optional whey and let ferment at room temperature for 3 days.  The kids didn’t like it as much as my regular cooked applesauce but I still made them take a bite for the probiotics!

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