This week I have been sharing recipes from the recent Sour Dough and Fermentation Workshop I attended. This fruit paste is my favourite of the day. The flavour is a little like a tangy, sweet chutney, with a subtle hint of alcohol...provided by the fermentation process, not added to the recipe. Before I share Elisabeth Fekonia's recipe though, I thought I would share some information from the workbook she provided to us, about the benefit of fermented foods for our children.
"Today's children are all too often lacking in a healthy population of gut flora. As adults we carry inside us 1.5-2kg of bacteria, yeasts and fungi. We need them for appropriate digestion and absorption of our food. A mother who was not breast fed herself and who has had several courses of antibiotics, been on the pill and is accustomed to eating fast food before conceiving her child, will inevitably not be able to pass on healthy gut flora to her new-born baby. The child then has a much greater chance of developing autistic disorders, ADDH/ADD, schizophrenia, bi-polar, obsessive compulsive disorders, depression and other psychiatric disorders and allergies...this generation is suffering more than ever before in history with compromised immune systems that need to do battle with the toxic age we live in."
Well....after reading that, I am certainly motivated to keep introducing these fermented foods into my children's diets, and there are many others promoting this age old diet.
Food for thought....
Fermented Fruit Paste
I prepared half of Elisabeth's original recipe which made enough paste to fill a large coffee jar.
375g pitted dates, cut in half
125g pitted prunes cut in half
100g combination of nuts and seeds, crushed or chopped
50g firm fruit such as apple, pineapple, rockmelon
A bit of grated ginger
Whey (from yoghurt, kefired milk or cheese making)
My selection of nuts and seeds before chopping.
Add 250ml water to a bowl, then add enough salt to taste a slight saltiness (about two pinches). Add a few tablespoons of whey. If you don't have any in the fridge, you can create whey easily by straining a small tub of natural yoghurt. The yellow liquid leftover is the whey.
Place your fruit mixture into the liquid and place a plate on top to push the fruit below the liquid. Then place a jar of liquid on top. I then placed my bowl under a net fly cover and left it on the bench for five days.
Not exactly aesthetically pleasing, but you can see the fruit has absorbed the liquid. You then just place it in a jar and it will keep in the fridge for months. What a wonderful way to utilise dried fruits, whilst providing a healthy paste for your stomach. Others at the course said they roll this mixture into balls, and coat with crushed nuts as a snack for lunch boxes or work. I will be trying that one out too :)