Do you ferment your own foods? Or are you looking to ferment some of your own foods?
I am so pleased with the release of my friend Wardeh from Gnowfglins newly published book, The Complete Idiots Guide To Fermenting Foods. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was so much more than I thought it would be. I know this will be a resource I will refer to for the rest of my life.
So, who is this book for?
Before I get into the book itself, I want to get into who this book is for. Those of you following a Traditional Diet, it’s a no brainer. You already know about the health benefits of fermented foods, and the benefits of building a healthy gut.
But what about the rest of the folks out there that don’t follow a Traditional Diet? There’s plenty in the book to entice those just getting into whole foods, like homemade ketchup, but also great recipes that will help you make healthy recipes that keep for several weeks and taste delicious.
If you follow a raw diet this is really fun too, because there are all kinds of chutneys, relishes, and preserved vegetables and fruits that are preserved through the fermentation process rather than traditional canning methods, using heat.
(I love that I can even use up veggies and fruit that are on their last legs in the fridge and give them a new extended life. No more wasted food!)
True to all “Idiots Guides,” this book is for newbies (experts will find this a useful resource too, so stay tuned if this is you). I know almost next to nothing about preserving through fermentation. But in one week I’ve already successfully made (that’s the most important) a batch of the yummiest smelling and tasting Carrot Chutney and Rhubarb Chutney ever.
For the beginner there are plenty of non-intimidating recipes and also ones that will enhance your cooking skills.
For those that have been already preserving for awhile, there are a ton of adventurous recipes to test your limits, everything from making beer to fermenting meats!
I just love that there’s so much here for me as I grow. She also covers how to create your own recipes and make changes to suit your tastes. It really is such an amazing resource.
But if you think fermenting is limited to relish, pickles and condiments such as rhubarb, you’re in for a big surprise! This book covers almost everything under the sun you can imagine preserving in this healthful, organic way.
In her 300 page book she covers a lot of information and hundreds of recipes. I won’t be able to cover them all so I’ll highlight a few to give you an idea.
In the Beginning
The first few chapters are all about introducing the newbie to the science of fermented foods, but also what to expect, what’s normal, what’s not, tools and theory. Very cool.
From the section on:
Fermenting Fruits of The Vine
This is the stuff you would expect, salsa, pickles, chutneys but the recipe range from traditional to unique. Try your hand at Kim-chi or Costa Rican Chilero if you want to venture into the exotic.
This is a yummy section full of tasty preserves like Raspberry Mint Preserve, condiments like Mango Butter, and household staples such as Apple Sauce and Preserved Lemons (one of our favorites!)
If you’re ready to give up those nasty store bought sauces full of additives, then you’ll get excited about making ketchup, fermented honey, a variety of mustard’s, and even Spinach dip (yum).
Make homemade sodas and kvass, coconut water (which you pay a lot for at your health food store) but also Snappy Tomato Juice and Lemonade that the kids will love.
Here you can learn how to make healthy beer (yes, healthy, do I have your attention now?) such as Czech Porter, Scottish Ale or venture to the more adventurous and make Chocolate Lavender Ale and Nettle Lemon Beer.
Beans and Grains
There’s a section on beans. I would have never thought to use the fermentation process to make delicious dips, but there they are. There’s a section on Grains, otherwise referred to as sourdough. You can pay a lot just to learn how to make sourdough and this is just yet another one of the super helpful sections. Recipes here include (but not limited to) Breads, Crepes, Waffles, Decadent Brownies, Pizza Crust and Crackers. I forgot to mention decadent chocolate sourdough cake….
This sections covers everything from Butter and Sour Cream to Kefir and Villi Yogurt.
This is the section I’m most excited about. I can’t wait to make Cream Cheese, Feta or Middle Eastern Hard, Fresh Cheese. She even supplements the cheese section with almost a dozen recipes for using the cheese (if you needed ideas!).
Lastly she covers fermented meats. I still need some time to get cozy with that, but if you’re ready for it, then there is a ton of information.
Today chutney, tomorrow cheese and sometime in the future meat. Just because I’m not super confident, I’d be lying if I said the recipes didn’t totally sound yummy. She has sausage recipes, some for fish and a bunch for things like corned beef.
Ready to start fermenting your own foods?
If you’ve been intrigued by fermenting foods (I know a lot of the websites out there are talking about it), or are just getting started, this is an invaluable resource. In true Idiots Guide fashion, everything you need to learn about fermentation is in one place, using simple language to make learning something new as easy as possible.
I’m going to share Wardeh’s, super simple Carrot Chutney that smells so good that if you ever had doubts about letting food ferment to create delicious tasting food, this will change your mind.
I made a few adjustments simply because I didn’t have a few of the ingredients, but I also don’t want to give away all her delicious recipes…so for the original you’ll have to invest in this fab resource.
(20 minutes prep time)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups of tightly packed grated carrot
- 1 chopped apple (original recipe calls for cranberries)
- 1/2 chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup whey
- pinch of all spice
- 1 inch ginger root, shredded
- 2 Tbsp unrefined sugar
In a small bowl, combine raisins with enough water to cover. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then drain and squeeze out any excess water.
Combine raisins, carrots, apples, walnuts, salt, whey, all spice, ginger, and sugar in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher to release the carrot juices. Transfer to a wide-mouth jar, or other fermenting container. Pack down to at least 1 ” below the rim of the container. Cover tightly with lid or airlock. Leave at room temperature for 3 to 5 day. Burp the jar once a day. Transfer to cool storage.
For the Giveaway
Wardeh has generously donated one copy of her new book, The Complete Idiots Guide To Fermenting Foods, to giveaway to you guys! We are not using Rafflecopter again because it doesn’t seem to like to work with our site So we’re going to be kicking it old school!
There are 4 ways to enter, and the more you do the more entries you get, up to a total of 4!
The 4 ways to enter are:
Leave a comment in the comment section saying what entries you have completed and we will enter your name into the draw. We will be using random.org to make the draw. This draw is open to anyone in Canada or the US. The giveaway ends at 11:59pm on Friday June 29th, 2012. The winner will be announced on Sunday, July 1st.
Here’s the form to sign up for our blog updates:
Can’t wait for the giveaway? Click here to grab your copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Fermenting Foods!
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I’m sharing this with Mangia Mondays, Monday Mania, My Meatless Mondays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, A Little Birdie Told Me, Fat Tuesday, This Chick Cooks, Cast Party Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, The Tasty Alternative, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Food Flicks, Fight Back Friday, and Foodie Friday.