Fermentation isn’t just limited to vegetables, beverages and sourdough bread. There are all sorts of delicious types of fermentation, including fermented beans, seeds and nuts!
Typically fermented beans and nuts are served as part of a vegan or vegetarian diet. While it is a great way to improve the digestibility of non-meat protein sources, it also adds a ton of flavour. Perfectly delicious regardless of your diet!
Hopefully, this round-up of my favourite ways to ferment beans, seeds and nuts will inspire you to try something new.
Fermented Bean Dips
Probably the simplest way to ferment beans is to add a bit of culture to your favourite dip.
- Probiotic hummus is perfect for parties, picnics and simple lunches. This simple recipe is sure to be a favourite.
- For something a bit different, why not try a rich and creamy white bean dip?
Homemade miso might seem ambitious, but it’s a super reliable ferment and perfect for adding flavour to almost anything.
- Soybean miso is traditional, but it does take a bit of extra work to dehull the soybeans.
- Miso can also be made from other legumes, like chickpeas.
Tempeh is a plant-based protein, made with a mould culture that ferments the beans into a firm patty. While tempeh is increasing in popularity and can be found in most grocery stores, homemade tempeh is fairly different from the packaged stuff. It has a rich, creamy and mushroomy flavour that is well worth the effort.
- Soybean tempeh is traditional, however, like miso, it takes a bit of work to dehull the soybeans.
- Tempeh can be made from almost any type of legume, including black beans, chickpeas or lentils.
- My favourite type of tempeh is actually made from sunflower seeds. I love the extra nutty flavour.
The increased interest in a vegan or flexitarian diet has resulted in a bunch of new types of vegan cheeses available in the grocery store. My favourite dairy-free cheeses are based on cultured nuts. Not only are they’re full of flavour, but they’re also probiotic!
- The easiest homemade vegan cheeses use miso for the culture.
- Using rejuvelac is another popular method of making fermented nut cheese.
- It’s even possible to make nut-based camembert using the right strains of lactic bacteria and mould.
Bean Flour Ferments
Chickpea flour and other bean and lentil flours have traditionally been used to make all sorts of bread-like fermented dishes. Here are a few of my favourite bean flour fermented dishes.
- Farinata is a chickpea flour flatbread from Italy. Similar to a pizza, it’s super quick to make and delicious.
- Indian cuisine has several beans or lentil-based ferment bread including dosas, khaman dhokla and idli.