One of my foodie projects for 2017 is fermentation and I’m going to be busy over the coming months learning more about food fermentation and creating and testing recipes to share.
Homemade fermentation preserves the nutrients in food and breaks it down in a way that it’s easy to digest. Hence why one of the big benefits of food fermentation is improved digestion.
Fermenting foods is not a new phenomenon. It’s something that cultures have been doing for decades but due to the way we live and eat now (fresh foods are available all the time via supermarkets and it’s too easy to pick up jars) the traditional has declined. Therefore as a result probiotics and enzymes in most diets have also declined over time.
Other reasons fermented foods are good for us, aside from the fact they improve our digestion are that some foods are sources of probiotics, i.e they produce good bacteria. These natural probiotics can help various diseases, aid digestion and improve bowel health. It’s also a great way to preserve food. Fresh beetroot for example will only last days in your fridge, but fermented beetroot will last months. So it’s great for tackling food waste.
This week I’m sharing my recipe for homemade tomato ketchup. Fermentation does take patience. It takes time to reach perfection so don't give up!
Preparation Time: 3 hours 20 mins
Cooking Time: 2 hours
1.5kg tomatoes (I used a mix of baby tomatoes, vine tomatoes and beef tomatoes)
1 tbsp salt
3 large onions
250g granulated sugar
300ml apple cider vinegar (or white distilled vinegar)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp pepper
œ cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground allspice
Start by chopping the tomatoes then put them in a bowl and mix with the salt. Set aside for 3 hours to allow the salt to draw the liquid out of the tomatoes. Tomatoes give off a ton of liquid as they cook so by adding salt at this stage to draw out this liquid it helps thicken the sauce.
Peel, core and dice the apples and peel and dice the onions and mix them together in a deep-bottomed pan. Drain the tomatoes in a colander and add them to the pan along with all the other ingredients.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for approximately 1 hour to allow the sauce to thicken and reduce by about a third.
Take off the heat and allow to cool. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick, then using a hand blender, blend the sauce to a smooth consistency.
Return the pan to the heat and simmer for a further 20 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken further.
Again allow to cool, and then decant into sterilised jars. Seal and whilst the sauce can be eaten straight away, you will get best results if you leave the jars to mature for up to 4 weeks in a cool dark place.
Check Out Gill's Video!
Inspired from “The Modern Preserver” and ingredients and quantities adapted to suit taste.
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