I am hearing it more… I want to start fermenting but I don’t know where to start!
You could start by seeing what’s available in your area for cultures. There’s many different types of cultures. Some are a Scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) which you remove to make the next batch while others (like yogurt) you just inoculate with some from the last batch. You can also contact Keirsten and I for cultures. We have a great variety of well-loved cultures.
Maybe someone in your area has a kombucha Scoby? I started by making a poor recipe of sauerkraut. It wasn’t until the kombucha though that I really got into it. Kombucha is easy. You make a sugar tea and add the culture which is a weird looking squishy pancake type thing. The culture (or mother) eats the sugar and makes acids and probiotics for you. Kombucha is probably the easiest and least demanding. And it’s my favourite. You won’t ruin kombucha and you won’t kill yourself. It can have up to 60 different strains of probiotics, I hear. It’s also an amazing detoxifier and aids digestion.
Still stuck where to start? Some people like to dive in and get as many cultures as possible. While others like to commit to doing one at a time and doing it really well.
The powerhouses of probiotics (in my opinion) are kombucha and milk kefir. If you’re going to do one, pick one of those. They are also both really easy. Milk kefir is the same idea, where you use a Scoby to ferment. But unlike kombucha, the milk kefir eats milk sugars, not sugar tea. You can also use coconut milk to make delicious milk kefir. I hear almond, rice and soy work as well, but I’ve not tried it.
Both kombucha and milk kefir can be used to inoculate the foods which you are already eating by adding a spoon or two. Milk kefir makes wonderful smoothies. Kombucha can be used to do a second fermentation and make healthy, fizzy, probiotic, fruity soda pop.
You could also pick up some books. Just start reading and looking at recipes. I love Donna Schwenk’s Website and books. She’s been fermenting and doing workshops for over 20 years.
Sandor Katz’s books are also incredible and easy to read and follow, I recommend starting with “Wild Fermentation”.
Milk kefir, over fermented. Lol
Kombucha SCOBY below.