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Dine and Learn at Erika's Raw Retreat in
Prince Edward County

October 7th
6:30 to 9:30 pm

Erika's Raw Retreat
184 Morrison Point Road
Milford, ON K0K 2P0
map >

Tel: 613-476-0302


student working in the kitchen






Dinner 1

Dine and Learn Series

Learn to make your own fermented vegetables, a healthy gut and probiotics

Scientific research shows that 80% or your immune system actually lives right in your digestive tract. Providing abundant probiotics in the form of fermented foods is one of the most powerful ways to restore beneficial gut flora.

To get on track toward building a solid foundation for your best health, I believe the best place to start is where good health begins – in your digestive tract.
And the best way I’ve found is by introducing billions of tiny micro flora (good bacteria) into your digestive system through naturally fermented foods. One of the best ways to support this is by incorporating these foods into your diet by working up to 4-6 ounces per day. One large serving of several ounces of fermented foods can supply you with around 10 trillion beneficial bacteria, which is about 10 percent of the population of your gut.

Eating fermented foods live is an incredibly healthy practice, directly supplying your digestive tract with living cultures essential to breaking down food and assimilating nutrients. It is a delight and immensely satisfying to prepare and have a good supply on hand for the winter month.

Hippocrates Institute on Fermented Foods.
Put some Good Bacteria in Your Gut

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods were useful in ancient times because they resist spoilage. There are many good reasons to eat cultured foods:
• They increase the digestibility of protein and other nutrients.
• They reduce the risk of illness due to contamination by pathogenic organisms  (studies have  shown that aflatoxins, naturally occurring substances that may cause liver cancer in humans, are  entirely absent in traditional fermented foods).
• They enhance the odour and flavour characteristics of food.

Doctors  are discovering that many diseases and old age can be traced to enzyme deficiency in the food we eat, in the human cells and in the digestive tract. Peoples that we know for their long and healthy lives, the Georgians from the Ural Mts., the Hunzas from the Himalayan Mts., and Equadorians from the Andes Mts., all consume a great deal of nature’s predigested foods such as sprouts and fruit, also foods partially digested by bacteria such as yogurt, sour pickles, sour beets, sauerkraut and fermented green vegetables. These people are noted for their good digestion. With other factors considered, the consumption of predigested food still plays a major role in their excellent health.

Fermented Vegetables and Fruits, from Nourishing Traditions, S. Fallon

It may seem strange to us that in earlier times, people knew how to preserve vegetables for long periods without the use of freezers or canning machines. This was done through the process of lacto-fermentation. Lactic acid is a natural preservative which inhibits putrefying bacteria. Starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits are converted into lactic acid by lactic-acid-producing bacteria, of which there are many species. These lactobacilli are ubiquitous, present on the surface of all living things, and especially numerous on the leaves and roots of plants growing in or near the ground. Man needs only to learn the techniques for controlling and encouraging their proliferation to put them to his own use, just as he has learned to put certain yeasts to use in converting the sugars in grape juice to alcohol in wine.
The ancient Greeks understood that important chemical changes took place during this type of fermentation. Their name for it was “alchemy”. Like the fermentation of dairy products, preservation of vegetables and fruits by the process of lacto-fermentation has numerous advantages beyond those of simple preservation. The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation, but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine. Other alchemical by-products include hydrogen peroxide, a potent blood and tissue oxygenator, and small amounts of benzoic acid.

A partial list of lacto-fermented vegetables from around the world is sufficient to prove the universality of this practice. In Europe, the principle lacto-fermented food is sauerkraut. Described in Roman texts, it has been prized for its delicious taste as well as medicinal properties for many centuries. Cucumbers, beets and turnips are also traditional foods for lacto-fermentation. Less well known are ancient recipes for pickled herbs and leaves such as sorrel and grape leaves. In Russia and Poland one finds pickled green tomatoes, peppers and lettuces as well. The practice of lacto-fermentation is also found throughout the Orient. The people of Japan, China and Korea make pickled preparations of cabbage, turnip, eggplant, cucumber, onion, squash and carrot. Korean kimchi, for example, is a lacto fermented condiment of cabbage, other vegetables and seasonings, that is eaten on a daily basis and no Japanese meal is complete without a portion of pickled vegetable. American tradition includes many types of relishes – corn relish, cucumber relish, watermelon rind – all of which were no doubt originally lacto-fermented products. The pickling of fruit is less known but nevertheless found in many traditional cultures. The Japanese prize pickled umeboshi plums and the peoples of India traditionally fermented fruit with spices to make chutneys.

Lacto-fermented condiments are easy to make. Fruits and vegetables are first washed and cut up, mixed with herbs or spices and then pounded briefly to release juices. They are then mixed with a solution of salt water and placed in an airtight container. Salt inhibits putrefying bacteria for several days until enough lactic acid is produced to preserve the vegetables for many months.
During the first dew days of fermentation, the vegetables are kept at room temperature; afterwards they must be placed in a cool dark place to ensure preservation.

It is important to use the best quality organic vegetables, sea salt and filtered or pure water for lacto-fermentation. Lactobacilli need plenty of nutrients to do their work and if the vegetables are deficient, the process of fermentation will not proceed. Likewise if your salt or water contains impurities, the quality of the final product will be jeopardized.

Lacto-fermentation is an artisanal craft that does not lend itself to industrialization. Results are not always predictable. For this reason, when the pickling process became industrialized, many changes were made that rendered the final product more uniform and more saleable, but not necessarily more nutritious. Chief among these was the use of vinegar for the brine, resulting in a product that is more acidic and not necessarily beneficial when eaten in large quantities; and of subjecting the final product to pasteurization, thereby effectively killing all the lactic-acid-producing bacteria and robbing consumers of their beneficial effect on the digestion

It is good practice to make extra jars, always welcome as gifts.

As always, we treat you to a scrumptious and satisfying meal.

Participants receive a course booklet with instructions and recipes of the evening’s meal

October 7th, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

$48:00 +GST Register early, space is limited to 7 participants

Erika's Raw Retreat
184 Morrison Point Road
Milford, ON K0K 2P0
map >

613-476-0302 or email: erika@powerofraw.com to register or for more information.







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