Looking for the perfect dish to bring to your holiday gathering? Try something a little different this year and introduce your family and friends to the probiotic goodness of fermentation.
(Thanks to my children, all sorts of evergreens and pinecones have been entering our home recently… why shouldn’t you get to enjoy seeing them too? 😉 )
When most people think of fermented foods, they think it must taste nasty. I often defend fermentation by reminding folks that if they’ve ever eaten yogurt, they’ve eaten fermented milk. Sounds gross, but tastes yummy, right?
It is true, however, that fermented fruits and vegetables are often an acquired taste. That’s why its best to try them in small amounts, or mixed into another recipe. I’ve made several of the ferments I’m going to share with you today, and found many of them to be newbie-friendly- or even hardly noticeable when added to other recipes.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you are fermenting for the first time:
- Use the right salt. Iodine and anti-caking agents can inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria during fermentation. I typically use this Himalayan salt, but you can also use sea salt or any other unrefined salt.
- Make sure your ferments aren’t exposed to air and be sure to release the gases produced during the process. I love my handy-dandy fermenting kit from Fermentools for this purpose, but you can make do without. Check the individual recipes for more details.
- Be sure not to heat your ferments thoroughly, as this kills all the beneficial bacteria you worked so hard to develop. Add fermented vegetables to a dish just before serving so they are only warmed through- not cooked.
If you’re fermenting for Christmas or New Years, now is the time to get started to ensure that the food is ready by the holiday. Here are some delicious recipes for you to try!
New Ways with Fruit
- How to Make Fermented Cranberries
- Lacto-Fermented Cranberry-Apple Butternut Relish
- Lacto-Fermented Cranberry Relish (A perfect newbie recipe, especially if you use sweetened dried cranberries.)
- Fermented Peach Chutney
- Pineapple Papaya Chutney (Maybe for a holiday ham?)
Probiotic Holiday Veggies
- Lacto-Fermented Pumpkin
- Fermented Bell Peppers (Try adding these to roasted veggies at the end of cooking. You likely won’t notice them.)
- Lacto-Fermented Green Tomato “Olives”
- Fermented Sauerkraut (Try it alongside pork!)
Drinks for All Ages
Condiments & Spreads
Many thanks to the bloggers who shared these recipes. Which will you try first?