Ancestral Fermentation: Fermented Grain Porridges

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Many of us see bread as the staff of life, and certainly sourdough bread has been for many cultures. But there is a fermented grain-based food that has probably been more available, easier to make, and the base of a very simple diet.

These are fermented porridges. Lightly cracked grains don’t require heavy milling as flour does, which would have been very difficult and tedious before mill-access was widely available.

So it is quite possible to grow your own grain, harvest and thresh it, and then turn it into a nourishing porridge base for many meals – not just breakfast.

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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ancestral fermentation: clabbered raw milk

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One of the themes I hope to capture in this Ancestral Fermentation series is the simplicity of cultured foods. Specifically, I want to emphasize how our ancestors continually made and ate cultured foods without any modern tools or specific cultures.

An example of this is the difference between cultured yogurt and clabbered raw milk. When we culture yogurt we use a starter that contains specific strains of bacteria that we wish to inoculate the milk with. This gives us a fairly consistent end result, which many today prefer since that is what we’re used to in store-bought products.

And then, as is the case with clabbered milk, there is what I call wild fermentation. These processes use the wild bacteria and yeasts – present in the environment or the fresh food itself – and create a cultured product.

Clabbered milk was eaten throughout various cultures and probably since the dawn of milk animals. It is, arguably, the easiest cultured milk product and you can make it right in your own kitchen.

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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Ancestral Fermentation: Bread Kvass Made Without Commercial Yeast

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If you’ve hung out in the world of cultured foods for very long you have probably heard of beet kvass. It is a popular tonic listed in the book Nourishing Traditions.

It is made simply with beets, water, salt, and an optional starter culture of whey. It is slightly sour, earthy, and not exactly something you drink because you can’t get enough of the taste.

But there is another type of kvass, a bread-based kvass, that also hails from Russia. If you scour the internet for recipes you can find about a hundred with some combination of bread, yeast, water, and optional fruits and sugars.

I knew that kvass had to have been born out of necessity, though. And because of that I wondered if the yeast, something that wasn’t available for much of history, was a new addition. Turns out it was, and you can make it perfectly well without it.

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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An Introduction to Ancestral Fermentation

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Before we could share recipes on the internet, before you could purchase specific cultures for consistency and reliability, before food was shipped across continents or even state lines… there was fermentation.

Here on the blog I’d like to start a series on ancestral fermentation. We’ll explore the roots of fermentation, how it was done historically with no special equipment, and how various cultures have used it around the world for as long as food has been eaten.

But first, lets explore some of the very basic historical tenets of fermentation.

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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