Fermenting Stuff To Eat

On the weekend I went to a fermentation workshop to learn the art of making my own Sourdough Bread, Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Fruit Wine.  It was such a great day, and I learnt a lot! The lady who ran our workshop was Elisabeth from Permaculture Real Foods, based on the Sunshine Coast.

To me, the fermentation previously sounded kind of gross as it conjurs up thoughts of food that is off and mouldy and going rancid. After the workshop, I got an insight into the health benefits and non-off-ness of the foods you can ferment. I had it completely wrong!

First we learnt how to make sourdough bread and pikletes. Yum!

Making our sourdough bread

I can’t eat gluten, but tried some of this as there is a high possibility that someone who is gluten-intolerant can eat sourdough as the grain has been broken down during the fermentation process, and therefore easier to digest. Hmmm. This didn’t exactly work for me and about 30 minutes after having a piece I was headachy, lethargic, battling to keep my eye lids open, and then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening crampy and bloated. It took 2 days to calm down. I guess at least I can enjoy making it for others, but not eating it for myself!

Making our morning tea

Fruit wine making came next – you can make wine out of any kind of fruit, although some fruits are not as tasty as others. Our workshop leader said that a good indicator on what flavours you may experience in your wine is to try and imagine what the fruit would taste like without the sugar flavour in it. That is pretty much how it will taste as a wine. Strawberries and mangoes sound awesome, but they are quite bland. Elderberries and lemon = divine!

morning tea

We enjoyed our pikletes with homemade sour cream, cottage cheese and jam for morning tea. We then went on to making sauerkraut which was divine! Lots of Vitamin C in those cabbages and very good for your health.

Making sauerkraut

We also made kimchi which are fermented veggies with loads of punch! Very spicy, hot and yummy!

For lunch we ate all the foods that Elisabeth had either made from scratch or grown in her garden.


Looks like a Christmas lunch!

It was delicious! I especially enjoyed the cheeses that she had made previously. Elisabeth runs a cheese making course as well, which may be on my workshop list for next time.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shara on December 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    I listened to a talk on self sufficiency by Elisabeth last year! I’m not quite sure about fermented foods!!


    • She is really good hey! I was the same about fermented foods, but now I realise how amazing it is for your body (and safe) that I am willing to give it a go 🙂


  2. Posted by Alissa on December 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I was JUST looking up how to make sourdough this afternoon!! I found it rather “interesting” and somewhat skeptical about my ability to do the fermentation process at home, but I do really like sourdough… might have to just try it!


    • Definitely try it! It seems a little fiddly, but it really is easy once you get going. I can post a good recipe on here next that I got from the workshop 🙂


  3. Posted by Jenna Brady on December 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    This is so exciting! I’ve been fermenting foods for a long time, and I am firmly addicted to kimchi. My sister has been keeping sourdough culture for ages, too, and I am planning to steal some of hers to start my own 🙂
    Were you told about the book Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Katz? It’s pretty much the fermentation bible, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT.


    • I am definitely going to look that book up. I am so interested in it now! I should have just had many fermentation conversations with you. You would know a lot seeing as you are already doing it. xx


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