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dairy-free lactofermentation of fruit

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My son can't handle dairy... not even a little bit... not even raw or cultured... not even filtered through me in my breast milk.


I'm trying to add more ferments into my diet, and veggies fermented in brine are great, but I don't like that much salt in ferments of fruit, and I'd like to add some sort of starter culture to them to reduce the amount of salt needed. I know there are some starter cultures you can buy, but I'm not really excited about continuing to purchase starter cultures. Is there anything else I can use as a starter culture? Water kefir? Water kefir grains? Saurkraut juice?

post #2 of 8

I have 2 kiddos with the same sensitivity to diary and would love to hear about this as well!  


I recently got water kefir grains and have loved the water kefir . . . haven't tried fermenting whole fruit, though.

post #3 of 8

You can use water kefir for some stuff. I believe you can also use sauerkraut juice. Adding a bit of acid might also cut down on the salt you need. Have you seen the book "Preserving food without canning or freezing?" It's awesome. And whey isn't used in any of the recipes. I preserved blueberries last year by mashing them and layering the lid with honey then throwing in the fridge. They were amazing and slightly effervescent when I opened them last month. Another method was chutney's. They don't have a long shelf life but they culture and look amazing!

post #4 of 8

I've also read about using kombucha in ferments

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by GreenVariety View Post

Have you seen the book "Preserving food without canning or freezing?" It's awesome.

I have it on my bookshelf! Silly me! Going to check it out now...

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

missmagoo, tell me more about how you'd use Kombucha?


I looked at Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning, and actually, when it talks about lactofermentation of fruit, it suggests using either salt or whey. I also looked at the chutneys, and they all involve cooking. At this point, I'm looking less for a way to preserve fruits and more of a way to get some more probiotic foods with my meals. I drink lots of kombucha and water kefir, and I eat fermented vegetables... less often than I'd like. I made this for Christmas, and it was wonderful. I ate it with my GF/DF Dutch baby for breakfast every morning for a few weeks, and now I want something more.


I've always followed some sort of recipe for my ferments, and I'm trying to graduate to a new level of trying to come up with something new of my own... something with pineapple, coconut, cilantro... apples? I think I'm going to try subbing saurkraut juice this time around. Wish me luck!

post #7 of 8

Hmmmm...yeah it's been a while since I've looked at those recipes. Well it was worth a shot. How about Sandor Katz's book "Wild Fermentation?" For some reason something about the enzyme activity in pineapple is sticking in my head as not fermenting well? But you know what it could be pineapple and gelatin! So disregard!


What about fermented drinks? Because of the natural sugars I would imagine you could do most fruits. Something like this with blended water kefir grains - www.foodrenegade.com/fresh-natural-healthy-lemonade/ (let me know how it goes!) I have also read that you can ferment milk substitutes with water kefir. Use the strained product not the grains.


Did a little searching and found a few things that might be of help for you...can't believe I didn't start with Dom...




Can't believe I didn't check here either: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/compare-salt-whey-starter-culture-ferment-vegetables-fruits-condiments

About halfway down the author says:

"Kefir Grains. You can add milk or water kefir grains to your vegetable ferments. Just mix them into the vegetables. Once your vegetables are fermented you can eat the grains along with your ferment or fish them out. Once milk kefir grains or water kefir grains have been used in a vegetable ferment, they normally won't work again in a milk or sugar-based beverage. It is recommended to use new grains for each batch of fermented vegetables. Salt in these ferments is optional, and will slow the process but enhance flavor and crunch while offering some protection from mold."

And follows it with this:

"Substitutes for Whey. Many recipes call for using whey as the starter culture but there are several options for substitution. One option is to slightly increase the amount of salt in the recipe and not directly replace the whey with an alternative starter culture.* A second option is to use one of the other starter cultures such as kefir grains (water kefir grains if you are dairy-free), a freeze-dried starter culture, or juice from a previously successful fermentation batch. If using a freeze-dried culture, follow the instructions that came with the culture to determine the amount of the packet you will want to use with the specific amount of vegetables in your recipe (e.g., if a packet will culture 4-5 pounds, you may be able to use less if your recipe is 2 pounds, etc.). If using juices form a previous fermentation batch, use at least as much juice as the amount of whey called for in the recipe and ideally more."


Hope that helps!


And you've peaked my interest. I made the lemonade and it's amazing but I have a mild reaction to the whey. So I found this.




And if you have some funds to blow this looks promising (perhaps a mama has taken and can share tidbits regarding whey free fermenting):


post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Awesome! Thank you!

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