How to Make Cultured Strawberry Preserves at Home
When the June-bearing strawberries come in, we have quite a glut of the sweet, red gems. Naturally, the first few pounds are eaten fresh, right off the plant. After that, they begin to make it to the table or in a salad. Then, they begin to appear in desserts, often with rhubbarb. But finally, we cannot keep up, and we begin to make cultured strawberry preserves. This zingy, effervescent condiment is very popular in our home. Our favorite way to consume it is mixed with cultured milk.
It is usually devoured quickly, but can last for two months in the refrigerator, and the berries will maintain a nice texture. If you choose not to completely mash your berries, the whole pieces remain fairly firm.
The recipe calls for a capsule of quality probiotic. The capsules I use can do up to three quarts.
Ingredients for Cultured Strawberry Preserves
- 1 quart Fresh Strawberries, stems removed, chopped
- 1 capsule Probiotic
- 1 Quart-sized Mason Jar
- Place strawberries into a jar. Large strawberries should be chopped up, but smaller ones can remain whole.
- Open probiotic capsule and pour over strawberries.
- Mash until juice covers strawberries, or more until desired consistency is achieved.
- Place lid and band on jar and place in a warm place for two days.
The finished product should smell pleasantly tangy. Bubbles are normal and desirable.
It's a really simple way to process your strawberries in the midst of harvest and keep them from going to waste without frightening canning equipment, without sugar, and without heating up your kitchen. At the same time, it turns an expensive, tiny little pill, into a quart or more of quality probiotics.
If you would like to enjoy your preserves as a spread, simply strain out the juice and drink it separately as a probiotic beverage or smoothie base
Benefits of Probiotics
The benefits of probiotic foods, such as cultured strawberry preserves are myriad. In fact, it is impossible to live with a sterile gut, and the organisms that make these strawberries effervescent are the same that allow your digetive tract to work. You see, intestines are made of a sort of mesh, and what keeps food in that mesh are the bacteria that live there. Without these bacteria (probiotics), food would simply seep into the blood where it would be attacked by the immune system. When this happens, an alergic reaction occurs. Things like gluten are intolerable in the bloodstream and so the body fights back. Incorporating probiotics such as cultured strawberries and fermented bean paste into your diet can help keep undigested food where it belongs.
The best probiotic that I have tried is Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care. It is pricy, but I can make almost 100 quarts of probiotic foods with one bottle, so it only amounts to around 33 cents per quart. Not bad. When I use this product for culturing, the things culture much more quickly. So, when using this probiotic in saurkraut, for instance, I only culture it for two days instead of three. This recipe has been developed using Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care so you won't need to alter it if you use this option.