I enjoy a good adventure, especially an adventure in the kitchen.
It keeps things exciting. Fresh. Entertaining.
Mind you, some of these ‘adventures' turn out to be a horrible recipe or small kitchen fire, but an adventure they are none-the-less!
My friends, today we are venturing into one of these adventures. Its one of those times where we let go of all abandon and throw ourselves into a delightful recipe that we might otherwise have avoided.
Is it something new? Yes.
Is it out of our comfort zone? Perhaps.
Is it full of probiotic, lacto-fermented goodness? You know it!
So strap on your big-girl-pants and here we go – Lacto-fermented Fruit Kvass.
‘Kvass' is actually a Russian word that refers to a fermented grain & sweetener of some sort (think beer…), but regardless, ‘kvass' is what we will call it. And no, there is no alcohol in it.
You will need:
– 1 core fruit (ie: pear, apple, etc.) sliced
– A handful of berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) – and yes, you can use store-bought frozen ones! I used blueberries from our neighbors patch that I had previously frozen.
– 1 tablespoon of grated ginger (optional)
– 1/2 cup raw milk whey (remember this recipe?) If you don't want to make your own, check out your local health food store.
– Filtered water
Step One: Slice the core fruit and place in a quart size mason jar. Add in the berries & ginger.
Step Two: Pour the whey over the fruit.
Step Three: Top the jar off with filtered water.
Step Four: Place a loose plastic bag over the mouth of the jar and then, insert a pint sized jar into the quart jar opening. It's very important with lacto-fermenting that the fermenting fruit is completely submerged under the liquid. The pint sized jar is just the right size for submerging the fruit and making sure that air doesn't get into the jar, but just to be safe, let's rubberband the plastic bag around the large jar to ensure a nice & sealed vessel. There are a variety of creative ways that lacto-fermenters have learned to keep their fruit submerged and jars sealed, and by all means, get creative and find what works for you.
Step Five: Allow the jar to remain at room temperature for three days. During this period, the whey will begin the fermentation process. Healthy bacteria and probiotics will grow and flourish! I know, that's a hard one for people to get over. We tend to think of bacteria as a bad thing…but just think about how socially acceptable yogurt is! Same thing, different application.
Step Six: After the fermentation period is over, strain away the leftover fruit and store the jar in the fridge. As much as I hoped to have a completed photo of this lacto-fermented goodness, well…that just didn't happen. Forgive me.
Lacto-fermented fruit juice, or fruit kvass, is a wonderful treat for the kiddos. Not only is it a special treat (as juice normally is), but this juice feeds their little guts with wonderful goodness. As Sally Fallon points out:
The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti carcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.
And so there it is. A wonderful, inexpensive, delicious alternative to store-bought juice and soda. If you'd like to read a bit more on the benefits of lacto-fermentation and why we are continually incorporating more of them into our diet, HERE is a great article.
I like to dream of a time when people are enthusiastic about putting goodness into their body. A time when people get excited about the proliferation of lactobacilli and lactic acid. A time when Pepsi and Coca-Cola don't exist, but instead our children are downing kombucha, kefir, and fruit kvass.
Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.