We literally have a universe of bacteria within us, known us our microbiome, that forms the foundation of you and your little ones’ health – physical, mental and emotional. In fact, this microscopic zoo in your gut is the first-line defense of your immune system. These bacteria help you digest your food, produce vitamins, absorb minerals, eliminate toxins and, keep pathogenic bacteria under control so you stay protected from infection – they even help to prevent autoimmune diseases like asthma, allergies, and diabetes.
By adding good bacteria into you and your little one’s diet by way of fermented foods, you’ll enable the immune system to crush opportunistic invaders and disease-triggering inflammation, long before they can gain the upper hand. While Mila’s cousins will happy eat my fermented sauerkraut straight out of the jar, Mila is not so keen (because, you know, she does not eat vegetables that still look like vegetables!) So, to get the good bacteria into her, I fermented one of her favourite fruits instead. The added benefit of blueberries is that they are an exceptionally phytonutrient-dense fruit and a very good source of vitamin C.
These Bubbling Berries are delicious eaten on their own but make a great addition to a smoothie too. They are a great finger food and are easily ‘gummed’ by your toothless little one! Alternatively, they can be added to any purée you may be making for your little one.
MAKES: 1 x 375ml jar
- 2 cups organic blueberries
- 2 Tbs raw honey (or organic maple syrup if your little one is younger than a year old for added sweetness)
- 2 Tbs liquid whey from strained yoghurt or kefir (or contents of 2 probiotic capsules)
- ¼ tsp Himalayan or Oryx salt
- 2 cups filtered water
- Wash the berries well and place in a 1 litre glass jar. Squash them down so that they are quite tightly packed and will not float in the brine.
- Make your brine by mixing the honey, whey (or probiotics), salt and 2 Tablespoons filtered water together.
- Pour the brine over the berries and top up with the remaining water until the berries are completely covered, but leave a 2cm (1inch) air pocket between the liquid and the rim of the glass jar.
- Using a very clean wooden spoon, push the berries down again to make sure the brine fills any air pockets.
- Seal the glass jar tightly and leave at room temperature for 2 days.
- ‘Burp’ the jar everyday by just barely unscrewing the lid until you hear the gas escape and then seal tightly again.
- After 2 days, place the berries in the fridge and use within 2 months.
Other fermented recipes in ‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’:
- Dilly Carrots (an easy sell to even the most “discerning” young foodie)
- Fermented Apple Sauce (a great first food)
- How to make your own Kefir (water and milk varieties)
- How to make your own Kefir Whey, Yoghurt and Cheese