Step 4: Ferment

Put the container somewhere that's about room temperature. Slightly warmer temperatures may speed up fermentation and cooler temperatures slow it down.

As this stuff soaks, Lactobacilli and other lactic acid bacteria will consume sugars and starches producing lactic acid, lowering the pH of the mixture. This acid environment is inhospitable to the bacteria that cause spoilage and food poisoning.

You'll want to let it soak for at least 24 hours, or let it go for as long as a week (maybe longer, but I'm not sure what will happen to it). The longer you let it ferment, the more acidic it becomes and the more sour it tastes. It will begin to smell sour, too. Bubbles may form, because Lactobacilli also create CO2 as a waste product.

You may want to stir up the mixture every day or so, mainly so the stuff on the top doesn't get dry.

At any point along the way, you can just eat this stuff as oatmeal. In fact this is the same way I make oatmeal, I just don't dehydrate it.

Why Ferment?

-Grains, nuts, and seeds contain phytic acid, a form of phosphate that is not bioavailable to humans (we can't absorb it). Additionally, phytic acid binds up minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc, and the vitamin niacin. Because of this it is considered an "anti-nutrient." Lactobacilli contain the enzyme phytase which breaks down phytic acid, freeing up nutrients so we can absorb them. According to Wikipedia, lactofermentation is more effective than cooking at removing phytic acid.

-Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors which prevent them from sprouting in adverse conditions (dryness). If eaten in great quantity, this can supposedly strain your digestive system. Soaking the nuts neutralizes the enzyme inhibitor (the nut thinks it's getting rained on).

-Starches are broken down into simple sugars and into lactic acid which are more digestible. It's the same thing that happens in your digestive tract, but this way we get it started in a jar first.

-There's a ton more info out there about why lactofermented food is good for you, but no need to list it all here.

-Lactic acid preserves food. I would expect our end product to stay good for a really long time, but of course I don't know because I always eat them pretty fast (I guess baked granola lasts plenty long as well).

-I like the taste better, you might not.
where do you get the lactic bacteria from? Or are you just letting the naturally occurring bacteria do it.?
Yes, you let the naturally occurring bacteria do job. Alternately, you can add some active cultured yogurt.
Nice idea! <br> <br>Please, check out that your fermentation is not occurring just with the stevia leaves since you are not using any milk (the lacto part). <br>I use to prepare a sort of kombucha that only uses stevia as a sweetener and as a starter. I don't know why, but after some days, the drink starts to bubble like a kombucha, as if the stevia is 'eating' the natural sugar of the fruits... Yes, and it tastes bitter. <br> <br>Also, I ask myself if when you are trying with rye flakes it doesn't become a sort of 'LSD fungus'. Since that was the starting point of Hoffman's LSD discovery. He was investigating the poisoning of a german town at the middle ages because of badly cooked rye bread, if I remember correctly. <br> <br>I'll give it a try. <br>Thank you.
I don't know anything about this, really, but isn't it dangerous that harmful bacteria could grow in the jar (while fermenting the stuff) because it wasn't killed by the acid. I've heard of many deadly bacteria that grow in warm, closed off spaces, with food (the fermenting jar), and I believe that probability says it's impossible for ALL the bacteria to die in the acid. I think this can be related to when they used to mke vacines (they'd kill bunches of viruses, etc) but there would always be some people that would still get sick (not all he pathogens had been killed). I'd appreciate if someone could respond and prove me crazy or not
The one we hear about most is Botulism. This one grows in low acid, oxygen-free conditions. That's why it's a problem in canned food. soaking vegetables or grains in water doesn't create the right conditions for botulism. The grains create an environment where souring bacteria and wild yeasts flourish. Molds might grow on the surface if you left it long enough but these kinds of fermentations are generally regarded as safe. The easiest way to tell if your fermentation is safe to eat is to smell it. If it smells sour and good, eat it. If it smells rotten, huck it.<br /> <br /> For lots of information on the subject, have a look at the book Wild Fermentation.<br />
Our modern food processing generally aims to give you a food totally <em>devoid</em> of any living components - everything in a can has been pasteurised and has an acidic profile that bacteria hate. This is the <em>diametric opposite </em>of what fermentation is about.<br /> <br /> Think of bacteria as an ecosystem, what you are trying to do is create an environment where the target bacteria is the one that becomes dominant, rather than creating a <em>near sterile</em> environment. You are relying on bacteria to keep other bacteria (molds, fungus, etc.) in check, rather than trying to kill <em>absolutely everything there</em>.<br /> <br /> Whilst it is <em>possible</em> to create something that will harm or kill you (whilst still being <em>palatable</em> enough to consume), it is <em>unlikely</em> (if you are otherwise healthy and observe good practice during the production of the foods).<br />
I have a few questions if you don't mind :)<br /> <br /> I don't have a dehydrator, but I have an oven with air circulation that can stay at about 40C/100F, which seams to be the maximum you can heat food and still preserve the nutrients. Is that good enough?<br /> <br /> How long will these stay good after drying? Since the bacteria is dead I guess it is relatively easy for other bacterias to &quot;invade&quot;, no?<br /> <br /> And won't you obtain the energy in them faster when they have been &quot;broken down&quot;?<br />
Wow what a great idea, these must be really nice treats, good for camping too.
Nice jar. What kind is it? Was it manufactured with a specific purpose? Where did you get it?
I don't know. It came from a thrift store.
can you dry this in your monitor??
I must try sometime! haha, and right next to the kombucha in step four! at least.. i think its kombucha...
When I make sauerkraut, I'm careful to make sure the cabbage is below the level of the water to prevent spoilage. I assume you don't notice anything wrong with your above-the-water portion?
Right - I haven't had any problem with that.

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