I used this recipe from Petite Kitchen. Now I’m not sure if the probiotics I used weren’t strong enough, or the kitchen just wasn’t warm enough to properly activate the fermentation process, but what I ended up with did not look like Eleanor’s pictures of thick coconutty goodness. My “coconut-yogurt” was more like the original coconut cream I started out with. Very runny and a bit bland. I will keep attempting different fermentation methods, and update this blog when, (and if) I succeed.
Our tutor kindly gave us some (dairy) kefir granules, which I lovingly brought back to Auckland on the plane from New Plymouth to make kefit yogurt for the dairy-loving man of the house. I did as instructed. Basically just dumping the kefir granules into a glass jar of room temperature whole organic milk, and leaving to ferment for 24 hours. Another failure unfortunately, the result was again just as runny at the milk I started with.
Now, finally, a success! And just as well, because I love kombucha. Kombucha is basically fermented black tea, and is full of probiotics and other things love our guts and our guts love back.
Our tutor had also given me a small scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.) otherwise known as your kombucha starter, carefully brought back to Auckland with the constant fear that it would leak through my bag, but thankfully it arrived safely. I then bought a huge 3L Fido jar from Trademe for a bargain at $19, and followed the instructions from Mickey Trescott’s book. I think the trick with kombucha is a warm dark cupboard (I left mine in the laundry downstairs which is where our hot water cupboard is) for a week, and then bottled it into 1L bottles with a few slices of ginger and left it again for another week. The result was a slightly sweet and fizzy beverage, which I can’t wait to have in summer. However I’ll drink it in the cold Auckland winter just for its probiotic benefits. If you’re looking for step by step instructions on how to make kombucha at home, here’s a good place to start.
This is my absolute favourite fermented food to make at home. It gives me such pleasure to know that I can make something that’s great for my tummy, at a 10th of the price that it costs to buy at my local organic store. Sauerkraut is the easiest thing to make, and the combinations of flavours are endless. All you need is a cabbage and a food processor (or a lot of patience and a knife). You don’t need a starter, just some good quality sea salt and a Fido jar. The Fido jar, which can be bought from most home stores like Briscoes or even the Warehouse, is the key to easy sauerkraut. None of this pounding, laying cabbage leaves on top business for me. Here’s the no fail, no pound method. I often grate some ginger into my sauerkraut for its inflammatory properties, but you can also put in carrots, cumin seeds, caraway seeds or any other of your favourite spices.
After doing some reading, I have discovered that the ideal temperature for fermentation is between 21°C and 26°C. Sometimes hard to achieve in winter, perhaps this is why my kefir and coconut yogurt failed the first time around... I will attempt another batch in the warmth of the laundry right next to the hot water cupboard.
Have you tried home fermentation? What are your favourite ferments? Let me know in the comments below :)
PS: I still haven’t tried Co-Yo coconut yogurt, I took one look at $14/400g price tag and put it straight back on the shelf!