Are you looking for some easy and tasty ferments to make? Then these two will be right up your street. No fuss with keeping cultures alive and fed and all you need is a jar, water, sugar, salt and fruit or veg.
Kvass is a traditional Slavic and Baltic beverage which used to be made from stale rye bread. Nowadays kvass made from beets or fruit is more popular but just as nutritious. It is a great source of probiotics, Vitamin B12 and manganese.
It has an earthy, salty taste and is surprisingly refreshing. It used to be enjoyed by peasant and czars alike and to this day you will find it fermenting in great big barrels all over Russia.
You will need a 1 litre jar, salt, unchlorinated water and beetroot.
If you are using organic beets then there is no need to peel them, simply wash and cut into cubes. If you cannot get hold of organic beetroot, then peel first.
Fill your jar about 1/3 with the cubed beets. Top up with the water and be sure to make a note of the amount of water used. You want to use 1% salt of the weight of the water. So, 1 Litre of water equals 1 Kilogram, if you use 1 litre of water that would be 10 grams of salt. Got it?
Dissolve the salt in a little water and add to the jar.
Cover with a lid and ferment at room temperature for about 7 to 10 days. Strain off the liquid and refrigerate. Cook or eat the beets.
Don’t like the taste? Add a bit of mint while fermenting. You can also use this method with any fruit of your choice.
Problems you may encounter – If it is too salty, then leave to ferment for a longer period. You can sometimes get a white flakey substance on the top of the water. This is Kahm yeast and is harmless. Mop it off with kitchen towel. When you put the kvass into the fridge, use a narrow-necked bottle or the kahm yeast will keep coming back.
Drink chilled and enjoy!
Tepache is a pedestrian drink in Mexico served by street vendors. It is made by fermenting pineapple skin with water, sugar and spices. It is traditionally made with piloncillo which is a raw whole cane sugar. You can use brown sugar instead.
Let’s make 2 litres as it is so delicious, you will definitely want a lot.
Boil 2 litres of water and add 230 grams of brown sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, take it off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Scrub a pineapple. Peel into strips. Cut the flesh off the core. You are only going to use the core and skin, so you can eat the flesh. Place the skin and core in the sugar water. Add a cinnamon stick and some cloves.
Cover with cheesecloth and leave at room temperature. It should start to bubble after a few days. Taste it and if you like the taste, then bottle it and refrigerate.
Serve with chunks of fresh fruit and mint or a squeeze of lime. Add a beer just before serving, makes a delicious drink to serve on a hot summers day!
Fermenting really can be fun and of course tasty and the bonus is that it is good for you!
If you would like to learn more about fermenting, then take a look at the upcoming workshops. Remember that you can also host a workshop.
If you don’t have time to make your own ferments, then have a look at the shop.
Any questions? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org