By Rory Linehan
Fermented foods provide a plethora of benefits to our body. Not only do the beneficial bacteria make their way into our GI tract, they help make the nutrients in the food they ferment more bio-available (easier to digest!). Pretty nifty right?
In an earlier post I discussed the tangible benefits I experienced from fermented foods, including improved skin, better bowel movements (I know, I know, it’s a recipe post, I won’t elaborate…), improved mood and sleep. But beware of overdoing fermented foods, I reactivated a histamine intolerance from over-consumption, which I’m still working on stabilising. To be safe, try a teaspoon of your favourite fermented food, increase it with each subsequent meal gradually and monitor for adverse effects.
Finding a decent store-bought ferment can be tough, not only can they be loaded with preservatives and nightshades (for those following the AIP) they can be pretty expensive. I was purchasing a jar of at fermented carrots and ginger at $8 a jar! Going through a jar a week certainly made my wallet lighter.
So I devised a way to ensure ingredient purity while avoiding the cost – I made my own! I don’t like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I’d prefer to be outside, in the gym or even writing a blog post. So it was imperative that the recipe was hassle-free and quick to make.
If you follow the steps below you can have the carrots and ginger fermenting within 10 minutes of starting preparation. Sounds good? Read on.
- 10 minutes
- 2lbs/900grams of rainbow carrots (for the Americans out there, you can find these at WholeFoods).
- 3″/7cm slice of ginger (remove the skin if needed version, my ginger came without skin)
- 4 x tsp himalayan pink salt (sea salt will also work)
- Water, as required
- Food processor with a “shred disk”
- Large mixing bowl
- 2 x 8 oz/225g wide mouth mason jars (alternatively, use any mason jars available to you and distribute the mixture accordingly)
- Place carrots and ginger into the food processor. You may need to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your food processor
- Add two teaspoons of salt and shred the carrots
- Place mixture in a large mixing bowl
- Add the remaining salt and squeeze/massage the mixture until you’ve extracted enough liquid to at least partially cover the mixture in the mason jars
- Distribute the mixture between the mason jars, making sure to leave some space at the top
- Push the mixture firmly into the jars, at this stage the mixture’s own liquid should almost cover it completely
- Add water to the mason jars as necessary, making sure the liquid completely covers the mixture. For best results use filtered water
- Cover the mason jars with a paper towel or tea towel, place jars in a bowl (just in case any of the liquid bubbles over) and place it in a warm dark sport (I used the cupboard above my oven)
- Check the mason jars every 2 – 3 days and taste test the mixture to see if complete. The mixture should turn sour. You will know when it’s ready when it’s sour to the taste you would like. My mixture took 5 days to achieve my optimum taste
- Place lids on mason jars and place in the fridge until ready to serve