I was really excited to receive this latest cookery book, Ferment Your Vegetables, by Amanda Feifer. My sister has been fermenting for a long time now, making her own kraut and kim chee, etc. and I have been very keen to try it myself, so I was really interested in this book! I confess that I have been a bit afraid to try my own in the past, but with this book, I feel quite confident that I can do so safely!
Fermented vegetables are a great, healthy addition to anyone's diet. Abundant in probiotics, enzymnes, vitamins, minerals, and more, research continues to reveal the many ways that these foods positively contribute to our well-being. From kimchi and sauerkraut to pickles and kvass, fermented foods have been part of the human diet for millennia and are rightfully reclaiming their place at our daily table.
The book is divided into three main sections:
Part 1: Getting started with Fermentation
Part ll: Small-batch Lacic Acid Fermentation (Pickles, Kraut, Kimchi, Sauces, sauces and condiments, Kvass
Part lll: Alternative Approaches to Vegetable Fermentation (Fermenting in crocks, No salt added ferments, Tsukemono, Sun Pickles, and other paths to Cultured Vegetables)
Kraut and kimchi are pretty strong features of the book, but Feifer goees beyond the plain and ordinary, and puts forth some very interesting flavor combinations and spins on the basic. There is a Mediterranean Kraut of cabbage, red bell peppers, kalamata olives and feta cheese, all layered festively with slices of eggplant . . . in a way a sort of new take on the Greek salad, but with a probiotic punch. Then there is the Carrot Cake Kraut, with nuts and warming spices that hint at the cake. It almost sounds like dessert and I am very keen to try it. There is even a Pumpkin Spice Kimchi for those who are into Pumpkin Spice Lattes!
There are even some recipes for using the finished product in delicious sounding ways. I am pretty keen to try out this Mac and Kimcheese myself!
Feifer digs deeper in the latter part of the book, with an entire section dedicated to alternative methods of fermenting vegetables. There are a lot of people small-batch fermenting these days in mason jars. My sister is a proponent of this type of fermenting, and always has a batch of kraut on the ferment as well as kimchee.
Feiffer, on the other hand also expounds the virtues of large-batch ferments in crocks. She gives great advice on choosing the right type of crock for your projects, tips on salt, weight and tannins, information on storing the finished product, etc. Feiffer inspires even novice fermenters to take on bigger, more satifsying projects, such as whole cobs of corn and onions!
She ends with salt-free ferments in broth, tea, or coconut water, and even touches on Indian-style oil pickles. I do believe this set this fabulous book apart in the field of fermentation! She gives excellent tips and guidelines to do this. I am keen to try the Garlic Honey myself!
With it's abundance of great basic recipes for krauts, pickles and more, you will find yourself wondering why you have never tried this art yourself. This is a book which makes it seem easy and fun and helps to takes away from the fear that any beginner might have in trying fermenting for themselves. You don't need fancy starter kits or elaborate equipment, and with only some veggies, some spices and a glass jar you can start fermenting the day the book arrives on your doorstep. With its clear and specific instructions and stunning photography (by Courtney Apple) I declare this book to be a winner!
Note - Amanda Feifer is the author of the popular website Phickle, where she writes about fermentation. She also teaches on the subject at Universities and restaurants in the Philadelphia, PA. area and writes for foodriot.com.
Ferment Your Vegetables
A fun and flavourful guide to making
your own pickles, kimchi, kraut and more
by Amanda Feifer
Published November 2015
by Fairwinds Press
RRP: $24.99 US/ £15.99 UK/ $29.99 CAN
Many thanks to Fairwind Press for sending me this copy for review. Any and all opinions are my own.