Recently I caught up for a chat with Wei'er from Gutsy Ferments. Wei'er and her husband Josh are the creators of Brisbane based Gutsy Ferments. They handcraft a beautiful range of wildly fermented sauerkrauts in delightful flavours like garlic and pimiento and ginger and turmeric. As well as running their own fermenting biz they homeschool their kids, run fermenting workshops and serve up some serious mouthwatering dishes to their family of 6. Their Instagram is filled with their latest fermentation creations from cultured desserts to fizzy fruit ferments, milk kefir pikelets and cultured dips (check it out and get inspired!).
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and what you do.
Josh and I (Weier) are both fermenting fanatics with myself being the ferments creator and Josh the taste master. Having grown up in SE Asia with a diet of different exotic ferments and pickles i.e. century egg, achar, salted shrimps, stinky tofu, tempeh, my keen interest and taste for fermented foods was naturally cultivated from a young age . It's not unusual for our kitchen to smell funky and look like a mad scientist lab with jars of bubbling concoctions and weird looking floaty stuff in them. Josh ,being the brave man he is, never says no to tasting a new ferment regardless of how it looks or smells unless it's fermented seafood (his absolute pet hate).
We both homeschool an active brood of 4 GUTSY kids ranging from the ages of 9 years to 2 months. Our kids, having grown up with fermentation taking place on a regular basis, also love creating their own jar of favourite ferment.
Being the founders of GUTSY Ferments, we are often found busy crafting seasonal ferments, chatting with customers at the West End Davies park markets and holding fermentation workshops with Buchi Kombucha. During our spare time, we can be found either learning more about bush craft and native foods, working on a gymnastic move together or 4 wheel driving to isolated beaches for a day out.
How did you get into fermenting?
I never knew how much fermented food I grew up with till I moved to Australia and craved kimchi and other asian pickles. The kids used to look forward to kraut making day where they can punch and toss and make a whole heap of mess in the kitchen (those were the days before we went commercial). After chucking out multiple batches of mouldy ferments, I started to work instinctively with my ferments and grow to appreciate the process of fermentation and the microorganisms involved. Once I got Josh hooked on properly fermented kraut and kombucha, we never turned back since then.
What kind of ferments do you feed your family and what’s your favourite?
Running a brood of 4 (including a newborn), easy and quick ferments work best in our family. We often have krauts, kimchi and homemade vinegars either tossed into salads or served as a condiment with a main meal. Milk kefir smoothies with seasonal fruits added are a regular lunch request along with cultured dips served with sourdough crackers. I also like to use miso to make salad dressings or as a seasoning for broths.
As a treat, we do enjoy the following fermented desserts below:
-fermented fruit and nut paste with a generous dollop of yoghurt
-cultured chocolate mousse with fizzy berries
-dark chocolate squares with creme friache and fresh berries
What other foods are staples in your home?
Grassfed gelatine, bone broths, organs in the form of pate, cultured butter and cultured cream.
Do you have any tips for introducing new food/ferments to your family?
Start with milder ferments such as cultured dips, probiotic beverages such as kombucha, fruit ferments, young milk kefir, coconut yoghurt or even cultured desserts.
Do you have a recipe you’d like to share?
Being a busy mum, any crowd pleaser ferment that can be put together under 10mins is a keeper. This incredibly easy and kids friendly ferment uses just a few commonly used ingredients.
We call this a fizzy fruit ferment. Seasonal or any fruits we have in abundance is usually used. With summer coming up, stone fruits like juicy peaches, nectarines, plums, mangoes, pineapple and grapes will be amazing in this recipe!
Thanks so much Wei'er!
Here's where you can go to find out more:
Gutsy Ferments on Facebook
Gutsy Ferments on Instagram
Gutsy Ferments Stockists
Chat to them in person and sample some of their delicious handcrafted ferments at West End Davies Park markets from 6am - 2pm every Saturday.