Preserving Summer Bounty
My fascination with preserving foods started in my early twenties while living in Denmark with my Danish boyfriend. His mother was an avid gardener who taught me the true meaning of “farm to fork” as we made syrups and jams with products both foraged and raised. I continued to research and experiment, dabbling and expanding my projects to include home remedies and beauty products.
Fast forward 10 years later and all of this rich experimentation became signature for my repertoire as a restaurant chef. Pickled grapes found their way onto a plate with roasted pheasant; a tomato pickle paired well with tandoori spiced chicken. Continuing to feel a calling to explore the connection with health and diet, I studied holistic nutrition at Bauman College learning firsthand the benefits of adding fermented and sprouted foods to your diet.
I had definitely dipped my toe into the world of fermentation but it wasn’t until this last year that I was ready to dive in. A friend of mine gave me my first “SCOBY” and I have been brewing Kombucha ever since, using seasonal fruit, edible flowers and roots (turmeric and ginger) for flavor. We now drink Kombucha every day, enjoying the varying colors and flavors, and this expanded my interest to brewing other probiotic beverages. Reading books and shopping at a wonderful store in Oakland called Preserved has supplied me with supplies and ongoing information.
Fermented vegetables, vinegars, sourdough bread starters and kefir all need to be tended to and the cycles of tending to them is a wonderful way of caring for your family and connecting to the season’s produce. The health benefits of adding homemade foods containing beneficial bacteria to your diet from a variety of food sources has been proven to enrich the gut flora, prevent disease and repair damage caused from antibiotic treatment and poor diet.
Below is a Kombucha Recipe to get you inspired.
Ginger melon kombucha
Capture sweet unctuous melons and fresh ginger in a healthy summer beverage. Tangy, slightly sweet, spicy, and bubbly,
this flavored kombucha is worth the wait.
• 1 cup cantaloupe, diced small
• 1/2 tsp. grated ginger
• Enough kombucha to fill a 16-ounce bottle or other container with a tight fitting lid (click here to learn how to make Kombucha at home)
1. Add the melon and ginger to the bottle or container.
2. Fill with kombucha, leaving 1/2-1 inch of headspace.
3. Cap tightly and culture 3-7 days or until desired level of tartness and carbonation is reached.
4. Pour through a strainer into a glass to remove fruit and ginger before consuming.
Recipes for Pickled Grapes and Fermented Pickled Tomatoes will be posted over the next few weeks! Be sure to Subscribe below so that you don’t miss them!