Fermenting For Dummies book cover

Fermenting For Dummies

Authors:
Amelia Jeanroy ,
Marni Wasserman
Published: April 9, 2019

Overview

Fermenting For Dummies (9781119594208) was previously published as Fermenting For Dummies (9781118615683). While this version features a new Dummies cover and design, the content is the same as the prior release and should not be considered a new or updated product.

Want to ferment at home? Easy.

Fermentation is what makes foods like beer, pickles, and sauerkraut delicious—and nutritious. Fermented foods are chock-full of probiotics that aid in digestive and overall health. In addition, the fermentation process also has been shown to add nutrients to food, making already nutritious food even better! Fermenting For Dummies provides step-by-step information for cooks, homesteaders, farmers, and food lovers of any kind who want to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for arguably the oldest form of food preservation.

Fermenting For Dummies gives you the scoop on the fermenting process, the tools and ingredients you'll need to get started, and 100+ recipes for fermenting at home. So what are you waiting for?

  • Shows you how to ferment vegetables, including slaw-style, pickles, and kimchee
  • Covers how to ferment dairy into yogurt, kefir, cheese, and butter
  • Explains how to ferment fruits, from lemons to tomatoes, and how to serve them
  • Details how to ferment beverages, including mead, beer, kombucha, vinegar, and more

If you're interested in preserving food using this ancient method, Fermenting For Dummies has everything you need to get started.

Fermenting For Dummies (9781119594208) was previously published as Fermenting For Dummies (9781118615683). While this version features a new Dummies cover and design, the content is the same as the prior release and should not be considered a new or updated product.

Want to ferment at home? Easy.

Fermentation is what makes foods like beer, pickles, and sauerkraut delicious—and nutritious. Fermented foods are chock-full of probiotics that aid in digestive and overall health. In addition, the fermentation process also has been shown to add nutrients to food, making already nutritious food even better! Fermenting For Dummies provides step-by-step information for cooks, homesteaders, farmers, and food lovers of any kind who want to develop a deeper

understanding and appreciation for arguably the oldest form of food preservation.

Fermenting For Dummies gives you the scoop on the fermenting process, the tools and ingredients you'll need to get started, and 100+ recipes for fermenting at home. So what are you waiting for?

  • Shows you how to ferment vegetables, including slaw-style, pickles, and kimchee
  • Covers how to ferment dairy into yogurt, kefir, cheese, and butter
  • Explains how to ferment fruits, from lemons to tomatoes, and how to serve them
  • Details how to ferment beverages, including mead, beer, kombucha, vinegar, and more

If you're interested in preserving food using this ancient method, Fermenting For Dummies has everything you need to get started.

Fermenting For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Fermenting foods requires a little bit of planning, research, and preparation before you can begin. Understanding the terms used in fermenting recipes is vitally important. And once you're ready to start fermenting your own food, you must make sure that your tools and equipment are completely clean.

Articles From The Book

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Fermenting Articles

Glossary of Fermenting Terms

Fermenting foods and beverages requires a little bit of know-how. It's definitely more complicated than grilling a chicken or baking a cake. But if you take the time to familiarize yourself with some of the processes and ingredients, you'll have a much easier time creating delicious fermented items. The following glossary should help:

amasake: A sweet fermented rice drink that has traditional roots in Japan.

anaerobic: This term refers to environments without oxygen. In fermentation, an anaerobic environment is necessary for breaking down carbohydrates and turning them into sugar.

brine: A saltwater solution. A brine is made for pickling or fermenting and acts on the food by drawing out the water from its cells and killing any bad bacteria that might spoil the food.

enzyme inhibitor: An enzyme inhibitor decreases the enzymes function and can interfere with one's digestion.

incubator: Any object or supply that will help to keep your fermented food at the desired temperature during the fermentation process.

koji: A fermented starter made from cultured soybeans and rice. It is responsible for breaking down the carbohydrates and sugars in food products.

kombucha: A healing fermented drink that has its roots in Asia. It is made from a SCOBY (see below), tea, and sugar. It has a slightly tangy taste

kvass: This fermented beverage began as a Russian brewed drink made from rye bread or beets. Has a flavor that's similar to root beer or cola.

lactic acid: This acid stops the growth of bad bacteria that might spoil your food, turning it into consumable fermented goods!

Lactobacillus: A bacteria that helps to produce lactic acid from carbohydrates. It is responsible for turning starches into sugars and acids and is essential for fermentation process.

phytic acid: These anti-nutrients are naturally occurring in some grains and can prevent healthy minerals from being absorbed by your body.

probiotics: Like lactobacillus, probiotics are micro-organisms that are healthy for our body and especially our gut! They are naturally occurring in foods.

SCOBY: Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. It is an essential culture needed for kombucha making, an ancient healing fermented drink.

starter: Just another name for any pre-fermented product. Starter cultures can be purchased commercially or made at home. All starters are made up of naturally occurring microorganisms, most notably the Lactobacilli, and a combination of other food products such as water and flour or dairy product such as milk or yoghurt.

wort: In homebrewing, the name for the beverage or soda mix before you have added your starter and initiated fermentation.

Fermenting Articles

Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Fermenting Tools

When fermenting, having a clean work space and tools ensures that your good bacteria outnumber the bad. Cleaning your work area and equipment is essential to for creating a delicious final product. Here are some general steps you should follow when preparing to ferment food:

  1. Wash all containers, utensils, and weights that you’re going to use in a dishwasher or by hand with hot, soapy water just before use.

  2. Sanitize or sterilize equipment and containers, as called for in the recipe you're following.

  3. Rinse items in cool, clean water. (Sterilized items don’t need rinsing.)

  4. Air dry items or dry them with paper towels; use a fresh paper towel for each item.

  5. Store items on clean paper towels on clean countertops or tables until you use them.

  6. Remove pets and small children from the room before you begin to work.

  7. Before beginning to work with food, tie back your hair if it’s long, and scrub your hands, including under your fingernails.

Don’t use dishcloths or rags to dry the cleaned items. Cloth is notorious for holding huge quantities of harmful microbes, and you spread those from item to item as you wipe them. Instead, use a clean paper towel for each item if you need to dry them. Aprons made of cloth also spread bacteria, especially if you wipe your hands on them, so keep paper towels close by for wiping your hands.

Fermenting Articles

10 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods

There are so many reasons of why you should consider fermenting your foods. Not only can you improve your health and change your entire experience with foods and flavors, but you also get to play with new kitchen gadgets! The following list gives you good reasons to get started with some fermenting recipes today.

Helping your body to function efficiently

Because fermented foods are loaded with probiotics and enzymes, they help your body digest foods efficiently. Your body has to do much less work to break down the fermented item. What's more, the boost of beneficial flora that's delivered to your gut helps you with efficient and effective elimination, which is key to digestive health and overall health and vitality. As they say, better out then in!

Boosting your immunity

Eating fermented foods help to boost your immune system. You are less likely to get sick when fermented items are part of your regular diet. Just a little dose of sauerkraut or kombucha can work wonders to keep you feeling well all year long! Many fermented foods have also been known to decrease allergic responses!

Becoming friends with bacteria

As you start to ferment, you gain an appreciation for all the little microbes that are at work in your food to generate the process of fermentation. They are not doing harm to your food as many worry; in fact, they are enhancing it. They busily work to create something delicious and wildly different for your palate.

Helping the environment

When you ferment your own foods, you are minimizing the consumer waste associated with driving to the store, purchasing a product, bringing it home in a bag, and discarding the packaging.

In addition, you are saying "no" to food processed and packaged in large-scale industrial operations. Think of all of the fossil fuels and water it takes to run these factories and ship food internationally.

Finally, plant-based fermented foods are a healthy alternative to pharmaceuticals, which is another industry dependent on fossil fuel. In other words, fermenting your own foods helps you reduce your overall environmental impact.

Saving money and time

Fermenting your own food allows you to become financially self-reliant. When you buy in bulk and purchase produce directly from the source (like at a farmer’s market when it’s in season), or if you grow your own food, you inadvertently save money! And you get to avoid the high costs of buying hand-crafted, artisan food products.

Furthermore, fermented foods can last for years without refrigeration, which means fewer trips to the supermarket. Finally, fermented foods make inexpensive gifts that are bound to impress your family members and friends.

Getting to know your food

Fermenting is a time-honored tradition that's been practiced all over the world. Fermenting provides you with an opportunity to connect to your family, your heritage, and your culture. This intergenerational knowledge exchange is important in our technology-driven society, as it helps nourish relationships. Not only will you get to know your food better and recover lost knowledge, but you’ll learn about the cultural significance of food and witness its role in community building.

Making your food last longer

Fermenting is a great way to manage the abundance of a seasonal food, and it's a way to take advantage of sale items at the grocery store or farmer's market. Fermenting doesn’t need much room or money to get started, and it can be done in the smallest of kitchens. The real food savings comes from buying foods in season and being able to preserve them quickly. Fermenting makes it easy and delicious.

Testing out new and fun culinary tools

Who doesn’t love gadgets? The great thing about the renewed interest in fermenting foods is that there has been a wonderful increase in new tools to work with. If you love to find easier ways to do everything, kitchen gadgets give you so many options to explore.

Experimenting with new flavors

Probably one of the best reasons to begin fermenting foods is the range of flavors you can create. Every food changes flavor at different times during the fermenting process, and you can enjoy eating a fermented food across a range of sour or fizzy stages. The art of fermenting adds flavor to basic food items and is definitely a more creative ways of cooking.

Learning new kitchen techniques

Working with fermented foods forces you to become more intimate with your subject. You have to know the stages of fermenting, the flavor profiles, and the different textures that foods go through during the fermenting process. After beginning to appreciate fermented foods, you will start to learn new techniques for working with all the foods you eat. Your cooking will change and improve as you incorporate these new foods into your diet, and you will develop new recipes for creating delicious meals with fermented ingredients.