What do you generally use to get your ferments going? Whey is one of those fermentation starters that I never seem to have on hand. I don’t tend to strain my yoghurt or milk kefir to make it thicker and therefore often use a brine to get my cultured foods started. It’s a bit slower than some other methods, but is always well worth the wait. If you want to enjoy my ferments a little quicker though you’ll usually need something to give a kick-start.
There’s two fermented foods added to this sauce to help the culturing process get underway – raw apple cider vinegar (that contains the all-important ‘mother’) as well as some strong water kefir. While you can also use over-fermented kombucha if that’s your cultured beverage du jour, it’s always water kefir I have in abundance – mostly because I often forget to change it every two days… whoops!
This spiced, flavourful fruit sauce is a treat with pork or chicken and is even better as a dipping sauce for rice paper rolls, dim sims and spring rolls. There’s plums everywhere at the moment, which means it’s the best time possible to make this recipe for enjoying over the next few weeks. After 2-3 days of fermentation in a cool, dark place, I prefer to store the jars in the fridge where it will keep for several weeks to months.
Like all fermented foods, this sauce is rich in probiotics to help balance gut bacteria and also has all the health benefits of plums – rich in fibre, anthocyanins and carotenes (the darker the plum, the more anthocyanin they contain and vice versa).
- 1kg plums, pitted and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup prepared, strong water kefir (fermented more than 2 days) or prepared kombucha
- 2 tbsp coconut or rapadura sugar
- 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cloves
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a high powered blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.
- Pour sauce sterilised jars and cover with cheesecloth and a rubber band. Allow to ferment at room temperature 2-3 days, stirring contents daily.
- After fermentation time has elapsed, store in the refrigerator for several weeks or freeze for long-term storage.