Creating Healthy Habits: Fermentation

This month's Restoration Health Event is all about the health benefits of fermented foods and how you can create them at home. We have nutritionist Kathryn Seymour speaking this month and I'm so excited to hear from her.

Fermented foods have been such an integral part of restoring me and my son's health, and I recommend them to my clients all the time. They can take a little while to get used to, especially as we are most often raised on diets that contain cooked, high carb, low nutrition foods. The flavours can seem strange to our palates, but I assure you, if you stick with it for a month, you will start to crave those flavours as you body understands how much better you feel eating them.

I've created a habit tracker for this month, which you are free to download and share as always; and I genuinely can't recommend highly enough the UK Fermenting Friends Facebook group for sharing recipes and ideas, as well as asking questions and getting quick trouble shooting with your home made probiotics.

It was actually on this group that I learned one of my favourite, quick and easy ferments. This one is great for the winter when you need lots of allicin from the garlic/onion family to help keep your immune system strong, but I'm sharing it now so you have time to prep it ready for the winter.

Japanese Fermented Garlic

The hardest part of this recipe is peeling the garlic. Seriously. 

You'll notice that I don't give any quantities with this recipe, none are required. This is really as easy as it gets. 

Peel lots and lots of garlic cloves, because it's nice to have plenty.

Mix together enough miso and vinegar or mirin (roughly 3:1 ratio but you may change that to get a texture that's easy to work with) that you can cover the garlic in a jar. You need a small layer of the miso/vinegar paste on the bottom of the jar. Arrange your garlic cloves nicely so there are few gaps, then layer on more paste making sure you fill all the air spaces between the cloves. Add more cloves and paste layers until you have filled the jar. 

If you have decided to have ginger, pepper flakes or chillies, you can finely dice this and mix it in with the paste. 

You now need to close the jar and leave it in a warm dark place for a minimum of 48 hours, but ideally one week. When it's ready, pop it in the back of the fridge to 'age'. This is between ideally between 6 months and 3 years for the garlic to reach full maturity, but to be honest, I've never made it past a couple of weeks (gotta work on my patience!). 

Once it's ready, you need to store it in the fridge still, and make sure you always use a clean knife/spoon to remove any and throw it away if it develops white spots on the top (usually a sign that a dirty spoon has been in there!). 

When it's fermented the garlic becomes mellow, sweet and spreads easily on toast. I love to add it to my pestle and mortar with some oil and create a delicious salad dressing.

For more posts from me on fermented foods, including posts about kefir, kombucha, making your own yoghurt, and more, click the image below.


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