Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fermented Vegetable Workshop - Farmhouse Kitchen

Over the weekend, I attended a fermented vegetable workshop, at the Farmhouse Kitchen in Havelock North. The class tutor Pauline is a qualified dietician with a wealth of knowledge in nutrition. She taught us that fermentation is an ancient food preservation tool used by people for thousands of years. Our ancestors knew the health benefits of eating fermented foods, unfortunately this knowledge has largely been lost in western cultures today.

During the fermentation process beneficial bacteria (probiotics) are produced, and when ingested promote the growth of friendly intestinal flora, supporting the immune system and aiding digestion.

Before attending this workshop I had little experience in making, or even tasting fermented foods, I must admit I was a little sceptical as to whether or not I would like them. Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised when Pauline offered us all a taste! It is hard to describe the flavour, it's a little salty and sour.

                                                  Sauerkraut - the finished product.

                                                           Pauline making sauerkraut.

The group of nine separated into teams, we all had the chance to make four different products, sauerkraut, gingered carrots, fermented ketchup and kvass, a beetroot tonic. And we all got to take home our finished products. I came away from this three hour workshop with lots of useful information on vegetable fermentation, and the confidence to make fermented vegetables at home. So watch this space for my own fermented vegetable creations coming soon....

                                                             Me making gingered carrots.

                                                     Gingered carrots - the finished product.

Pauline and her husband Chris offer many cookery classes at the Farmhouse Kitchen, including bread making (which I have also attended and thoroughly enjoyed), cheese making, gluten free baking, raw food and even children's classes! Check out their website Here or like them on facebook here.

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