I am not an expert at making fermented foods. But I have found myself a mentor. Oh yes, I can read about it all day long on the internet, but I learn better live.
My friend has a kitchen full of fermented foods. Not just kombucha and kefir, but all kinds. There are gallon jars of kombucha on her table. But there are also crocks of fermented vegetables on the counter. She makes her own fermented ginger ale and most recently she is teaching me about fermented fruit.
I was raised that food needs to go immediately into the refrigerator. But my mom was raised that way. Her mom knew about fermentation, but she thought that was for the time when refrigeration was not available. She did not realize that the process of fermentation provided the gut healing bacteria that we all need. So my mom’s generation really lost out. My generation happily munched on wonder bread, and pop tarts. Our applesauce came from a can. The term fermented foods referred to spoilage. When in doubt throw it out.
My mentor says that when it comes to real fermented foods “When in doubt taste it. If it tastes good, it is good.” Please note that we are not referring to home canned foods here. She says that even if there were a little mold on top of something, just take it off with a spoon and continue.
On with the lesson-
I was blessed enough to score a 40# box of organic Gala apples. But I still have home canned applesauce and slices from last year. So I really did not want to do that.
My mentor taught me how to make my own Raw Fermented Applesauce.
Normally when you make applesauce you cook the fruit, put it through a mill, add lemon to keep the color and can it in a water bath. After all this cooking and bathing, I am sure that most of the nutritious benefits are gone.
But with this process all I did was peel and core 8 apples, put them in the Vitamix (raw) with 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/3 cup of what I call “starter fluid” whey, kefir or kombucha.
Put the fluid and spices in the bottom of the blender and add the apples (each sliced in 8 pieces). Add two apples at a time and blend on low speed. You will want to use the plunger that comes with the vitamix to make sure that all the apples get pulverized. Add the rest 2 apples at a time and blend on low. You can turn it up to 5 when all the apples have been added and are pretty well chopped.
Now pour the applesauce into a wide mouth quart jar, leaving a 2 inch head space for expansion. Set the cap on the jar, do not screw it on.
The starter fluid is full of good, gut loving bacteria. The good microbes love the oxygen, the moisture and the sugar. They will multiply like crazy.
After two days, you can stir it down; screw on the cap and put it in the fridge. This will last weeks, maybe even a couple of months.
Who knows how long? We keep eating it up.
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