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4 fermented foods to add to the Christmas spread

by Amber Fairweather |

Christmas is coming! A day where we all overeat, overdrink and indulge in sweets and treats. It’s a great time for friends and family, but not such a great time for our gut. If you’re looking for healthy Christmas food alternatives for your festive spread, read on. We’ve got some awesome Christmas inspired fermented food recipes to share with you!


Did you just say fermented? 

Don't let the word 'fermented' put you off, preserved foods like sauerkraut, pickles and pickled onions have been foodie favourites for years. And the benefits of eating fermented foods give you a free pass to eat as many pickles as you like!


Fermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria. A beneficial bacteria that, when added to the gut can improve your digestive and immune system. 


Food fermentation is the process of converting sugars and carbohydrates into alcohol or preservative organic acids and carbon dioxide. These organic acids help preserve vegetable and dairy products for longer keep. 


Keep your gut jolly over the festive season with these four fermented foods:


Ginger or garlic spiced carrots - a magical appetizer for your guests


One of the best things about adding fermented foods to your Christmas dinner is that you can do all the prep in advance. Yes, please! You’ll actually get to put your feet up and relax this Christmas.  


You’ll need to prep this dish 14 days in advance (depending on how you taste). Give the carrots a taste after 5 days and let them sit longer if you prefer a tangier taste. 


We recommend our Lacto Fermented Veg Kit to whip up your delish garlic and spiced carrots.


What you’ll need

  • 10 medium-sized carrots, cut into sticks
  • 12 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sea salt, to taste
  • 4 Tbsp. liquid whey (optional) You can also use the liquid from strained yogurt 
  • Filtered water

What you need to do

  1. Julienne carrots and chop garlic. Place them in a half-gallon jar (or split between smaller jars).
  2. Add salt, whey and filtered water. The carrots should be fully submerged in liquid. Remember to leave some space at the top!
  3. Pop on the lid and let it sit for one to two weeks. 

Christmas Sauerkraut - great for a homemade gift or for your Christmas dinner spread


Rumour has it that Ole' Saint Nick loves a mound of sauerkraut, and so do we. Sauerkraut is high in fibre and vitamins A, C, K and various vitamin B vitamins. It's also a great source of iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium and calcium. Need we say more? This recipe is easy, delicious and is guaranteed to be a hit at the dinner table. 


Tips:

  • Serve with salted meats, smoked fish, soups and stews. 
  • Pop your homemade Sauerkraut into a jar with some Christmassy labels to give to friends and family as homemade Christmas gifts.
  • Don't overfill the jar. Leave an inch or so free a the top. 
  • Place your jars on a tray in case they leak. 

Get Symbiota’s full Sauerkraut recipe here.


Fermented cranberry-apple chutney and kefir cream cheese dip

This is the recipe that will turn the fermented food phobes into fermented food fans!


What you’ll need 

  • 3 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup Granny Smith or Fuji apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup organic raisins
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup whey or water kefir

What you’ll need to do

  1. Mix all ingredients except the whey/water kefir in a saucepan. Bring it to the boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat allowing it to simmer uncovered for 30 mins. 

  1. Remove from the heat and let it cool and room temperature. 

  1. Let the mixture cool and divide into sterilised jars.

Learn more about the beneficial properties of kefir here


Kefir cheese is a super impressive and easy dish to serve up with the chutney. You'll need finished milk kefir, butter muslin, a cotton bag or a tight-weave cloth. 


Pour the milk kefir into the cloth/towel/bag and let it drain over a bowl for 6 to 8 hours (or until it is thick) Save the whey in a container in the fridge. Remove the cheesecloth and add your delicious chutney!


Have you seen our milk kefir kit? Check it out here.


Kefir cornbread - the perfect side dish

There is nothing more satisfying than biting into a soft, freshly baked, warm slice of cornbread smothered in butter. Kefir is a powerful probiotic that helps improve bone health and lowers the risk of osteoporosis. A nutrient-rich ingredient for a delicious loaf of corn bread!


What you’ll need

  • 2 cups of yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk kefir
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, very soft

What you’ll need to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius.
  2. Mix your cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl beat the kefir, egg and butter together. 
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients and pour the batter into a buttered pan to bake for 30 to 35 mins.
  5. Remove, cool and enjoy!

Looking for unique and useful Christmas gifts? Visit our online store to browse through our range of fermentation kits and supplies for your home.