If you have read my previous post you would have learnt the benefits of kefir, and how to make it. What you can also use kefir for is to ferment fruit to eat.
Fruit is an incredible natural food; full of fibre, nutrients, minerals & antioxidants that are so beneficial to our body. Fruit is also high in fructose, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when we eat it in appropriate amounts, but when we are loading up foods like smoothies, or bliss balls etc with lots of fruit we might end up eating more sugar than we would like to consume on a daily basis. For most people this will be fine, and their digestive system will break down and metabolise the sugars. However if you suffer from gut issues then the body will have difficult breaking down the sugars and they will ferment in the gut which will feed the bad bacteria, which will then increase digestive issues.
Personally, I tolerate the natural sugars in fruit fine, and the reason I ferment some fruits is for the other added benefits, such as:
Turns the fruit into a probiotic rich food source
Helps promote the good bacteria in the gut and restores healthy flora
Pre-digests the fruit making it easier on the gut
Increases the bio-availability of nutrients
Removes the fructose
You can essentially ferment any fruit you like. The higher the sugar content of fruit, the longer it will take to ferment. Some of the fruits I have experimented with are:
Bananas - takes approximately 48 hours
Dates - takes approximately 48 hours
Apples - takes approximately 24 hours
Berries - takes approximately 12 hours
Mango - takes approximately 24 hours
So, how do you do it?
Chop your chosen fruit up (skin removed/seeds removed) and place into a clean large jar (I’d recommend a FIDO style jar with a lid like this). If doing multiple fruits you can add them to the same jar, or seperate into different jars.
Pour kefir (already fermented but prior to secondary ferment) on top of the fruit so that it is completely covered. Make sure there is a gap at the top of the jar (at least an inch) as the fruits will swell and bubble!
Close the lid of the jar and place in pantry or bench, away from direct sunlight and allow to ferment. The fermentation time will be different with each fruit, and dependent on the weather. In the summertime the fruits will ferment quicker, and in the winter will take a bit longer. The best way to know the fruits are ready is to taste them regularly, they are ready when they no longer taste sweet, but do not taste alcoholic!
Once they are ready, remove them from the kefir and place in the fridge or freezer to stop the fermentation process.
So, what do you do with them once they are fermented? Personally I don’t really like eating the fermented fruits alone, as I don’t like the taste, so these are some ways that we incorporate them into our diet:
Freeze them and add to smoothies
Freeze and make ‘nice cream’
Make fermented date bliss balls
Blend and add to chia pudding or yoghurt
Blend and freeze in iceblock moulds
And with the left over kefir liquid, this can then be drunk, or reused for another cycle of fermented fruits!
Fermented fruits are great for baby, kids and yourself. I would only start baby on 1 tsp and gradually build up. Just be careful not to give baby over fermented fruits as it contains a small alcohol content.
Here are two recipes that I commonly use with fermented fruits, I like to incorporate fermented fruits and non fermented fruits together as I find that the flavour is more palatable, and like I have said, my gut can handle and metabolise natural fruits and I am fermenting for the added extra probiotics etc.
Fermented banana smoothie:
1 frozen banana
1 frozen fermented banana
350ml coconut milk (or any mylk)
1 handful ice
1 serve vanilla protein powder (optional - omit for babies under 1)
1 serve collagen powder (optional)
1 TBSP nut butter (any is fine just make sure baby has had this nut before if serving for baby)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp hemp seeds
Optional add in’s: Honey (not for babies under 1), maple syrup (organic), a date, MCT oil (wouldn’t recommend for small children - can add to your own after), handful baby spinach, frozen berries (or fermented berries), vanilla paste, maca.
Blend and serve!
Fermented date balls (recipe adapted from real life of pie)
1/2 cup fermented dates
1 cup dates (or can do all fermented dates)
1.5 cup desiccated coconut
1 tbsp cacao powder
optional: 1 drop peppermint or orange essential oil (food quality)
add fermented dates, dates and coconut to high speed blender or food processor until well combined
add cacao and any oils if using and blend again. if the mixture is too wet add more coconut and blend.
use your hands to mix into bite sized balls (will make approximately 10)
Leave plain or can roll in cinnamon, cacao, coconut or turmeric
Store in container in fridge for up to 1 week.