Oh how I love cooking classes! Especially when I’m the student! If you’re feeling uninspired or want to change your eating patterns, go and do a cooking class. CERES has lots of workshops at the moment so we’re spoilt for choice!
Recently I did a cooking workshop at my local organic store, New Harvest . New Harvest hosts the occasional cooking class, which is so much fun and brings together like-minded people in our community. Following on from the last workshop, Macrobiotic Eating , the Art of Fermentation opened my eyes to another way of preparing food.
Fermenting foods is a process that has a long history. For many generations, humans have preserved food to aid digestion and store goodies away during the changes of the seasons. It has been found that certain types of pickles ‘cool’ the body during hot weather, while others ‘heat’ the body during the cold.
Fermented foods supply us with Vitamins B and C as well as vital digestive enzymes that help to improve our immune system by balancing the flora in our gut. Instead of getting your probiotics from things like yoghurt, you can actually get it from fermented foods. Fermenting foods make raw foods more digestible and avoid the use of harsh vinegar.
While I’ve been a bit of a pickler (see previous recipes), I’ve never fermented or pressed foods. But how my life has changed! With Spring and Summer on their way, this is the perfect time to experiment with the abundance of vegies I’m getting from my garden. I hope to use the fermented vegetables to put in salads, sushi or as an accompaniment to a meal.
To do it yourself, you will need:
Vegetable press – this is usually a large container with a disc attached to a screw that presses down the vegetables. you can usually buy them at health food stores or online.
Two bowls – if you don’t have a vegetable press, this method will also work (it’s just messier). Place the vegetables in a bowl. Place another bowl inside the first bowl and weigh it down with books or a brick so that the second bowl is pressing the vegetables. Place both on a tray as the water from the vegetables will spill over the edges once the fermenting is in progress.
Organic sea salt, celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt