Last Sunday I went to a fermentation workshop that was put on by Kathrin Brunner, a holistic nutritionist and owner of For the Love of Body, and Andrew Hodge, a naturalist with a love of fermenting!
The workshop started with one of my favourite things to do, eating! We were given plates full of goodies, such as sweet potato fries and cucumber slices, so that we could sample all of the fermented condiments that we were about to make. Kathrin, a self-professed ‘bacteria nerd’, then talked to us about fermenting and the benefits of bacteria:
Fermented food is great for your body because it enhances the digestibility of food and increases the vitamin content. They are enhanced because eating fermented food results in an increase in beneficial bacteria in your gut, and these bacteria help us to digest food and manufacture vitamins! They also help with our immune system and our mental well-being. Kathrin stated that “much like any ecosystem, the health of our gut flora is greatly determined by its diversity. The more species we have, the more resilient we are.” For this reason I like to eat a variety of fermented foods and drinks, and having fermented condiments is just another delicious way to do so!
If you are interested in learning more about fermentation, Kathrin and Andrew recommended these books. I am definitely going to pick one of them up, so you will get to explore it with me when I feature it in our Book Club!
After learning about bacteria and fermentation, we got started on making our own fermented condiments! We made hot pepper relish, mustard and ketchup, then took them home to ferment. I can’t believe how easy it was to make them, I think I am hooked on fermenting!
We made mustard by combining mustard seeds, mustard powder, turmeric, raw honey, sea salt, apple cider vinegar and water. We then added the starter culture which was just some pickle brine! You could also use kombucha, water kefir or other brine as a starter culture.
We made Live Hot Pepper Relish by combining jalapeno peppers, garlic, red onion, red bell peppers and salt water (which creates a brine). This combo did a number on my eyes when we were chopping everything up, so next time I am going to open a window…or wear goggles!
We also made one of my favourite condiments, ketchup! I am so happy to have a recipe for a healthy ketchup as the stuff I used to get a the supermarket is full of sugar and other junk. I am also happy that I get to share the recipe with you! See below for the full recipe.
- one 6oz. can organic tomato paste
- 2 tbsp starter culture (brine or kombucha or water kefir)
- 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 tsp ground cayenne
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp all spice
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- optional: 1/8 tsp powdered garlic, or chili or paprika
- 3/4 tsp Himalayan salt
- 2-4 tbsp maple syrup or raw honey
- 2-4 tbsp filtered water
- Combine all ingredients except water in a bowl
- Add 2-4 tbsp of filtered water (amount depends on desired consistency)
- Transfer ketchup to a small jar. Cover the jar and let ferment at room temperature for 2 – 5 days (depending on the taste you would like).
- Once it has reached your desired taste, screw on the lid and pop it in your fridge! It should keep in there for weeks.
Give the ketchup a try and let me know how it goes! If you live in the Toronto area and want to learn how to make more fermented goods, check out For the Love of Body to see when their next workshop is! I highly recommend it, and know that I will be attending another one of their workshops in the future 🙂