Ahhh, the end of the summer has come. It’s been a long summer, it’s been a hot summer, it’s been a good summer. But all good things must come to an end and with that, school begins.
Sniff...Sniff….Wait, is that…. RELIEF that we’re smelling? “We’re fairly certain it is,” say the parents with school-aged children, disheveled and exhausted. It is faint, but it is there. It smells like relief with top notes of freedom. It is also a bit of a false positive because with school comes much responsibility. We are inundated with the school supply shopping lists, clothes shopping, meeting with the teachers, hair cuts, getting the kiddos back on a schedule and trying to squeeze out the last bit of fun before the first day. Then the back to school blues hit, the grumpiness sets in, the fights over who gets which backpack ensue….Oh, can we please have a bit more summertime?
We love to see our children grow and expand their minds. We love to see the drawings from art class and the extremely hard math homework that they aced. We also know that they need nourishment for these situations to happen and kids can be EXTREMELY picky about what they get in their lunch bags. Sending a hormonal pre-teen to school with kimchi and kombucha for lunch won’t always win you brownie points, so defaulting to an easy peanut butter and jelly is always a good choice. We’re not talking about your mass-produced tan spread and purple, gelatinous sugar gunk smeared on bleached slices of tasteless sponge, however. We want your little, perfect protégés to get some gut-healthy nut-rition (see what we did there?) and we’ve found a great way to do so!
World, make way for fermented peanut butter and jam!
We’ve made these sandwiches countless times on all sorts of bread (even going so far to do a pita roll-up), with rave reviews from both teens and tikes. The best part about these ferments is that they are quick, easy, and healthy. Put that in your lunch bag and pack it!
Fermented Peanut Butter
• 4 cups of natural (chunky or creamy) peanut butter
• 1/4 cup of cheese whey or the liquid strained off of the top of homemade yogurt
1. Mix the peanut butter and whey, then cover and let sit out for 12 to 18 hours. Pop in the fridge and you’re all done! Pro-tip: if you use unsalted peanut butter, you would want to mix in a teaspoon of salt for the fermentation to work well.
Fermented Blueberry Jam
• Generous 2 lbs. of blueberries
• 3/4 cup honey or Sucanat
• 2 tsp. sea salt
• 1/3 cup whey from yogurt or kefir
1. Combine blueberries, sweetener, and salt in a small saucepan. Cook for five minutes at a simmer, smashing the blueberries as they cook to allow juices to release.
2. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
3. Once blueberry mixture has cooled, mix in the whey (water kefir can be used as a direct substitution for whey). Transfer to very clean jam jars and seal tightly. Allow to ferment at room temperature for about 2 days. Burp jars if you notice excess gases building up.
4. Move the jar to cold storage where it should keep for a couple of months.
Blueberry Jam Recipe from Cultures for Health