Monday, 28 January 2013

Learning About Fermented Foods And The Recipe For Fermented Fruit Paste

A few months ago I attended a Cheese Making workshop and during the workshop the host touched on fermented foods.

Fermented foods are present in a number of cultures across the globe and even here in Australia there has been a resurgence.
Some examples of fermented foods are: Sour Dough, Miso, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Kombucha Tea, Tempeh, KefirCultured Butter and Liz over at Eight Acres has been making Beet Kvass.

In earlier times people preserved fruits and vegetables through the process of lacto-fermentation, using the lactic acid as the preservative that prevents the bad bacteria from growing.  These days most preserving is done using acetic acid.  Otherwise known as vinegar.
One of the advantages that lacto-fermentations has, over more modern forms of preserving, is that the lactobaacilli in the fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels.  It also adds good bacteria back into the stomach.

For me some variations of fermented food can be a bit challenging to the taste buds but his is a great recipe for a fermented fruit paste that I think everyone would enjoy.
I enjoy it with yoghurt and it also goes well on cereal and smeared on a slice of sour dough.

I have made a few people try it and only afterwards told them how it was made.  Most people have said that it was quite tasty and a bit fizzy.
Some people were generally interested and a few said they would not have tried it if I had told them first how it was made.
I think it is crazy because I know some of these people are quite happy to eat pseudo foods.  By this I mean  highly processed and overly packaged foods that have ingredients you have never heard of and more numbers that a maths book.  
But  they say they would not want to eat something like this as the are worried that is has been left out on the bench for nearly a week.

To make this recipe you will need some sour whey as this recipe is a lactic ferment (meaning that the lactic acid acts as the preservative and is what ferments the food).  Sour whey can come from yoghurt, kefired milk or from cottage cheese and will inoculate the new ferment with lactic bacteria.  Sweet whey is what you would get from making hard cheeses.  The whey is the watery liquid that separates off from the above foods.


  • I made mine using whey from my kefir so that is what I will refer to but the process is the same. 
  • This recipe needs to be made in a container that a plate (or similar)can fit inside of as the mix needs to be weighed down.  I used an old yoghurt container and a saucer.  Then filled a tall narrow container with water to act as the weight.
  • The amounts are approximate but the dates and prunes should form the bulk of the recipe.
Fermented Fruit Paste

1/2L Water
3 Tbls Sour Whey
750 gm Pitted Dates, cut in half
250 gm Pitted Prunes, cut in half
300 gm of Nuts and Seeds, nuts bigger than a peanut should be cut or crushed
100 gm of Firm Fruit cut finely, pineapple, rock melon, apple etc  (I used apple)
4Tbls Peeled and Grated Ginger

Prepare all of the fruit and nuts mix together to combine the different elements.
In a 4 litre bucket or container add water and enough salt so that the water tastes just a little salty.  Mix until mostly dissolved.  Add the whey and mix.

My Kefir where you can just make out the layer of clear whey
sitting on top of the kefired  milk
Add the fruit and nuts and mix breifly with the liquid.
Place your clean saucer or plate on top of the mix inside the bucket and press down firmly.  All of the ingredients need to be submerged underneath the liquid.

Weigh your saucer down with a large glass jar or similar filled with water.
Cover your ferment so that bugs cannot get in and leave to stand at room temperature for 5 days.
After 5 days the liquid is bubbly.
The liquid should have almost almost if not entirely disappeared..  Transfer to a glass jar and store in the fridge.  It is ready to eat.

My first batch is just about coming to the end so I will need to get another lot started this week.  It lasts a very long time in the fridge and I really reccomend you give it a try as it is a great way to get so more good bacteria into your system.

What fermented foods have you tried or do you enjoy?


  1. oh wow this the fruit paste that Elizabeth serves at her cheese making course??? If it is and it sure does sound like it, thank you so much for posting the recipe. I've been looking for ages for a recipe, not knowing what it was called didn't help.
    Thank you you've solved the mystery...Yay!!


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