Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
With four extra kids that I am watching during this quarantine, I am always looking for extra activities for them to do. They were all very interested in this experiment, even though I have never fermented anything before!
For just $21.49, the Starter Kit comes complete with a stainless steel lid, a glass fermentation weight, an air lock, two rubber stoppers, a rubber canning gasket, Himalayan Powdered Salt, and an instruction guide complete with recipe. The recipe is for creating sauerkraut from cabbage. But with my husband out of a job for a month and shortages at our local grocery stores, I had to make do with food I had on hand. The kids have all been receiving lunches from the school, so we always have a few fruits or vegetables left over. And so, the experimenting began.
First, we tried an orange. We couldn’t find a bigger jar–though the instructions warned that one would be needed. We placed the orange in the too-small jar and filled it with distilled water. Then we added the Himalayan salt. But we quickly realized that we would have to find that bigger jar.
As you can see, we were set up for failure with this project from the start! We decided to start over with a larger jar, which my husband managed to find hidden away in the laundry room. However, no matter how hard we tried, we just could not figure out how to get the weight to stay on top of the orange. This was not going well!
The website has recipes and instructions for fruits, vegetables, breads, legumes and grains, dairy, and kimchi. Perhaps it would have gone better for us if we had had more options in our house. Some of these recipes look delicious. Pickles, anyone? Italian pickled relish? Fermented green beans? Any one of these recipes would have been better if we had the ingredients. We had tomatoes–packages and packages of snack-size tomatoes that the school had given the kids every day for a couple of weeks. Our children hate cherry tomatoes. So, fermented tomatoes were on the menu!
This time, we filled the right-size jar with cherry tomatoes and Himalayan salt. Then we weighed it down with the glass weight provided, placed the rubber gasket around the jar, stuck the cork in the top, and hoped for the best.
The instructions say to keep it in a dry, dark place, so we placed it up high in the cabinet above the microwave and waited for a week. The kids were actually pretty excited to try fermented tomatoes!
The day arrived to open the jar and give them a taste. They didn’t look much different–perhaps a little shinier and a bit shriveled up–but they did have a tangier taste to them.
Honestly, fermenting is not something that I ever even thought about doing, and I tend to try a lot of homemaking projects. I’ve ground my own grain and made my own bread, and I am always happy to try new recipes. But this particular activity just never occurred to me. I hate sauerkraut, and that’s all I ever thought of when I heard of something fermenting.
It was a fun experiment to try with all the kids, though. They loved measuring out the ingredients and trying to figure out how to fill the jar. And I do believe that you get a lot of Himalayan salt for your money. We still have plenty of salt to use for our next fermenting experiment.
I will probably try some of the other recipes once things get back to normal, and I can be more selective in my grocery shopping again.
If you’re looking for a fun experiment with your kids, this would be a fun kit to add to your kitchen. You can give them the opportunity to try all different kinds of foods and keep track of the differences in how they ferment. It’s a wonderful science experiment. I didn’t really want to review this product at first, but now I’m glad that I did. I think the kids learned a lot, too.
Fermentools is generously offering a 15% coupon for my readers until June 30. Just enter the code Crew2020 at checkout.
But before you buy, check out other reviews to see what the rest of the Homeschool Review Crew thought!