Pickled cucumbers with dill.

Fermented foods

Fermented foods contain beneficial probiotics, which can improve digestion, immunity and even weight loss.

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  • 16 Sep

    Recipe: Fermented foods

    Preserving crops is a long-time tradition, enabling us to enjoy delicious seasonal foods all year round. Obviously places like supermarkets ship foods from all over the world to meet this modern demand, but it’s time to revert back to the traditional ways to help us reduce the impact this has on our planet.

    Below are a few recipes showing you how easy it is to ferment or pickle your produce. Fermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria, so by consuming fermented foods you are adding beneficial bacteria and enzymes to your overall intestinal flora, increasing the health of your gut microbiome and digestive system and enhancing your immune system.

    We’ve created these recipes as part of our Cool Food project to help people make simple changes to their lives and reduce the amount of carbon in their diets.

    Could you take the Cool Food challenge and cut carbon, while saving the planet and your diet?

    Chrain

    This Jewish-Russian condiment of fermented beetroot and horseradish is beautiful alongside smoked fish or as a standalone sandwich filler with lots of crunchy vegetables.

     

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Ferment time: 5 days

    Ingredients

    • 2 medium beetroot, peeled and finely grated
    • 4-inch piece of fresh horseradish, peeled and finely grated
    • Salt

    Method

    1. Weigh the beetroot and horseradish, then measure out 2% of the total weight in salt.
    2. Mix all 3 ingredients and put them into a 500g sterilised jar.
    3. Push the vegetables down so their juices rise above the veg.
    4. Close the lid and leave to ferment in a warm place, away from direct sunlight.

    After 5 days the Charin will have taken on a sour fermented flavour, at which point it’s ready to eat. Keep in the fridge to stop the fermentation process.

    Celeriac, apple and mustard seed sauerkraut

    A delicious way of making the most of the celeriac harvest. This brilliant alternative to sauerkraut makes the most of autumnal British ingredients.

     

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Ferment time: up to 2 weeks

    Ingredients

    • 1 celeriac, sliced on a mandolin
    • 1 apple, sliced on a mandolin
    • 1 tbsp. mustard seed
    • 1 tbsp. salt

    Method

    1. Toss the celeriac, apple, mustard seed and salt, massaging through to help release the water.
    2. Decant into a clean sterilised jar, pushing the ingredients down as tightly as possible to submerge the celeriac and apple into the brine.
    3. Seal the jar and store at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
    4. Check after 2 days to make sure that enough liquid has been produced. If the celeriac and apple aren’t submerged in brine, top up with a little salted filtered water.

    The ferment should be ready in 2 weeks if it does form some white fluffy mould, remove with a spoon, the goods in the brine will be good to consume, and full of health-boosting living bacteria.

    Pickled cucumbers

    Hold on to those summer garden favourites with a bit of pickling magic. Once cooled this delightful pickle can be stored for up to 6 months.

     

    Prep time: 1 hour

    Pickling time: Ready after 4 days

    Ingredients

    • 2 cucumbers, cut in half and then into wedges
    • 2 shallots, finely diced
    • 2 tsp mustard seed
    • ½ tsp ground turmeric
    • 2 star anise
    • 125g caster sugar
    • 300ml white wine vinegar
    • 300ml water

    Method

    1. Place the cucumbers into a colander and sprinkle with 2 tsp’s of salt, gently massage in the salt and leave for 45 minutes.
    2. Combine all of the other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil, remove from the heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
    3. Place the cucumbers into a clean and sterilised jar. Pour in the hot pickling liquid and put the lid on.
    4. Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight.

    Once opened, keep in the fridge.