Last Friday we had a workshop about one of the oldest food preservation processes: Fermentation. The latter is nothing more than a natural anaerobic (without oxygen) metabolic process that also takes place in our body (lactic fermentation).
It's a great ally of our health and we take advantage of this process thanks to the microorganisms responsible for fermentation, which increases the levels of vitamins of groups B and C and carry out a kind of predigestion, making food more easily assimilated by our body.
This friendship with bacteria was born centuries ago, with the aim of preserving food longer during cold periods; but, nowadays, this method is also widely used for its nutritional properties.
The foods that we usually assimilate and which derive from this process are: bread, beer, wine, yoghurt, lemonade, cheese…
During the workshop we made three recipes in order to understand better how It works on practice:
- Using sourdough (also deriving from a fermentation process where the sugar present in the flour is converted into CO2) we kneaded the bread which, after resting for several hours, we baked. The only ingredients used were: two types of flour, sourdough, water and a pinch of salt.
- With leftover lemon peel, water and sugar we mixed everything together to start the fermentation process. Over the next few days the bacteria will work to digest the sugar and make us a fresh lemonade that can be either plain or carbonated, depending on how long we will let it rest .
- Lastly, we learned to preserve vegetables from the garden since last summer we had waste problems and this is a perfect solution also because, if the vegetables are not cooked, they retain all their nutritional values. What we need is simply raw vegetables, water and salt (The amount of which depends on the amount of salt already present in the vegetables you want to use ).
To conclude, fermenting everyday ingredients such as vegetables, flour, fruit, is really simple and does not require the purchase of special tools. The only thing needed is time because nature works with its own clock!