Social media has been a huge source of encouragement for me. I have Facebook groups, blogs, Instagram feeds, etc, all at my fingertips, connecting me to people all over the world that are more knowledgeable than I am. To say it’s been a huge blessing is a total understatement.
For example, anytime I have a question about fermenting, I hop on the Facebook group, Fermenter’s Kitchen, where I’m connected to over 13,000 fellow fermenters. I’m inspired, daily, by seeing what they’re up to and they always have great feedback for my questions.
Earlier this week I asked about fermenting applesauce – I had found a recipe on culturesforhealth.com but had a few questions about it. One person in particular said that instead of adding 2 TB of whey, she uses water kefir with the apples in the food processor, to help it puree. She explain that it’s just like doing a second fermentation but with more extreme ratios – the kefir preserves and ferments the applesauce. I threw out the idea of kombucha, because I don’t have any water kefir on hand, and she said it would work as well.
Here’s a summary of what we did:
2] Cooper helped me fill the food processor with the slices, one of his favorite things to do! He helps me fill strainers, pots, bags, bowls, pans, etc., like a champ! You know boys and throwing
3] Cooper oogled over the food processor in action and helped me stir the apples to get the big chunks stuck on the sides, down to the bottom.
4] I poured in the kombucha, Cooper helped put the lid on the food processor, and I pureed it again.
5] He taste tested from the food processor, I scooped it into a mason jar, left it on the counter for 24 hours, and we were done!
Oh. man. After making a giant batch of cooked applesauce for over an hour, I’m hooked on this faster method.
- The health benefits of raw vs cooked are much greater – in keeping the applesauce raw, the enzymes aren’t destroyed by heat. Food enzymes [different than digestive enzymes] are an important factor in the digestion process. For people like Emery, who have problems digesting food to begin with, keeping the enzymes intact is just one more thing I can do to reduce the strain on her system. Many things simply taste better cooked, but this applesauce is amazing raw, so no need to destroy those enzymes.
- Fermenting increases and adds to the nutritional benefits, as well as helps balance the good bacteria in your gut. “Preservation of vegetables and fruits by the process of lacto-fermentation has numerous advantages beyond those of simple preservation. The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.” [Nourishing Traditions, pg 89]
- Kombucha is a liver detoxer. Andrew has Fatty Liver Disease and we were told it could be hereditary. Any chance I have to aid their livers, the better. But even for those that don’t deal with liver issues, detoxing your liver is still incredibly important. Your liver is responsibly for filtering the toxins from everything you ingest and put on your body. We’re bombarded with toxins daily and our livers often suffer from our modern day lifestyles.
- The whole process was faster. I pulsed the apples for a minute or 2 in the food processor with kombucha, filled a jar, and left it on the counter. No standing over a hot pot for an hour and no freezing the applesauce in jars for storage.
The only “con:”
- We didn’t get to eat a warm bowl of applesauce fresh off the stove. I love the comfort of a warm, fall treat so we’ll definitely still cook apple sauce from time to time, just for that first bowl, because probiotics can’t be heated past 115* without killing them. Overall, I prefer raw applesauce for all the other “pros.”
Word of Caution:
If you’ve never consumed fermented foods before, take it slow. People often have die off/detox symptoms. If you aren’t aware of this and initially over consume fermented foods, the detox can be intense. Our family has never experienced this, but I’ve heard it’s very common. People that don’t know about it are often turned off of kombucha and other fermented foods because they think their bodies reacted badly. Don’t avoid fermented foods for this reason – the die off is great sign! It means your body is unloading built up toxins that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
To avoid the ill effects of die off, start with a small amount, daily, and work your way up. Eventually you’ll be at a place where you can eat as much fermented food as you wish. In her book, Cultured Food for Life, Donna Schwenk recommends starting with 1 tablespoon of cultured fruit or veggies twice a day and working your way up. If you experience die off, back off to 1 TB a day or every other day. Slowly work your way up as your body allows.
If you and your kiddos try this out, let me know what you think! It’s got a tasty kick that we love! Hope it goes over well with your family too!
- 5-6 apples
- 1/4 cup kombucha - can be plain or flavored. We used Mint Ginger Kombucha
- Peel, core, and slice apples
- Place in food processor and puree.
- Add kombucha and puree until you reach desired consistency
- Place in sealed mason jar and leave on the counter for 24 hours.
- Store in fridge. Will keep 1-2 months