Fermented Grape Drink Recipe

This recipe was first published in Funky Raw Magazine issue 25 (2012) – I’ve been making it again recently as grapes are in season.

I’ve recently discovered this drink and I love it. Jolita first made it, adapted from recipes in the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, and then I worked out the exact recipe.

According to Nourishing Traditions, drinks like this were consumed by traditional people. Modern drinks like soft drinks, stronger alcohol and “sports drinks” have replaced traditional drinks. But of course the traditional drinks were much better! They contain lactobacilli probiotic bacteria which help with digestion, they quench the thirst much better than plain water and contain electrolytes and minerals so also great to drink when exercising, better than the so called “sports drinks”.

The fermentation will make this drink mildly alcoholic, our guess is less than 1%, similar to kombucha.


  • 250g grapes (I like it with black ones best, but green or a mixture works just as well)
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: teaspoon of whey (I haven’t been using this)


Remove the stalks from the grapes and place in a bowl.

Crush the grapes – I used the wooden ‘pusher’ from our juicer, maybe a rolling pin would work. (And I’ve recently discovered I can do it with my hands!) Try and make sure all the grapes have been crushed.


Place the crushed grapes into a 1 litre jar – I use a kilner jar.

Mix the lemon juice, honey and some water and add to the jar. Then add more water so that the jar is nearly full, but not completely as you need to leave room for expansion during the fermentation.

finished-grape-drinkFermentation time depends on temperature and other factors – try it after 24 hours but I have found that 36 to 48 hours is about perfect. To drink strain off the grape skins.
It doesn’t keep too long after getting to ‘perfect’, although it will probably keep better in the fridge at this point (we don’t have a fridge at the moment.) Also, the addition of whey is supposed to slow the fermentation down, which means it should keep a bit longer if you use it.

This recipe works with various fruits instead of grapes, we’ve tried with orange juice, lemon juice, pears and melons – lots to experiment with…

Simple Raw Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Raw Chocolate Brownie

A few days ago I saw a post for a raw chocolate brownie with only two ingredients. I was intrigued so I followed the link. The two ingredients were dates and cacao powder. Now, while that might make a tasty snack, without any fat it doesn’t really make a satisfying brownie. So here is my simple brownie recipe, four necessary ingredients and one optional:

I used deglet nour dates, if you use medjool dates then you might need to adjust the recipe slightly as medjool are sweeter.

Remove the date stones and chop the dates and coconut meat. Process well in a food processor.

Add the cacao and carob powder and the vanilla if you are using it and process again, it should start to thicken up, although it is still very sticky! You could add more of either powder if you need to make the mixture a bit thicker.

Enjoy! What’s your favourite simple recipe?

Chia Pudding Recipe

I was at a festival the other week (Tribojam, it was amazing) and of course I didn’t have my usual full store cupboards of food, which forced me to experiment more. I had lots of chia seeds with me and made a few different chia puddings. So this is a very flexible recipe, you can add what you have. Start with the following:

Organic Chia Seeds

  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds – (at Funky Raw they still on special offer until the end of August)
  • Juice of half a lemon (or lime)
  • Approx 300ml water

Mix together and leave to soak for 10 to 20 minutes. The chia seeds will soak up most of the liquid – you can add more water if you want it not as thick.

Then add a selection of fruit and flavourings as you desire. I like chopped pears, a couple of tablespoons of carob powder and a teaspoon of honey. Chopped or mashed banana also works well (this can be in addition to the pears or instead, up to you). I’m sure there are many other variations you can make, switch the carob for lucuma, algarroba or acai powder, add a teaspoon of bee pollen, or goji berries, etc.

Nettle & Red Pepper Paté

Yes, nettles again! I love them! I made this tonight, it was delicious:

  • Nettles1 small red pepper
  • couple of large handfuls of nettle tops (top 4 to 6 leaves from each plant)
  • 4 sun dried tomato halves
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • small handful dried wakame seaweed, soaked for 5 mins
  • oregano (maybe 1/8th teaspoon?)
  • 2 egg yolks (optional)

Sorry, as usual I didn’t measure anything. Put everything except the egg yolks and wakame in the blender and blend, adding olive oil as needed. Then add the wakme and blend a bit more – I left it so the wakame wasn’t blended in fully. The paté was finished at this stage, but I wanted to make it a bit more filling so I stirred in 2 egg yolks.

Nettle & Walnut Paté

It’s walnut season! We’re still in Portugal and found a few walnut trees near where we are staying so we’ve been collecting. And there are lots of nettles coming up now, so I came up with the idea for nettle and walnut paté and it worked quite well:

  • A couple of large handfuls of nettles
  • 1 cup walnuts, soaked for 4 hours or more
  • 3 sun dried tomato halves, soaked
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • around a cup of olive oil
  • dried oregano
  • water if necessary to blend

Blend! I actually had problems blending as we don’t have the Vitamix with us while travelling and the blender we have is not very good, hence needing to add a fair bit of olive oil and water to make it blend.

Enjoy! Let me know in the comments if you like it, or make your own version of it.

Iskiate (Chia Fresca) Recipe

Purchase Born to Run at AmazonI’m reading the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougal, which is about the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico who run hundreds of miles with seemingly little effort. I’m only part way through the book but it is excellent and very well written. It’s one of those books that’s hard to put down, it’s written like a novel although it is a non-fiction book.

Anyway, this post isn’t really about the book, it’s about a drink the Tarahumara make with chia seeds which is supposedly one of the reasons they can run such long distances without tiring. Chia seeds are amazing, there is a whole page in the book which reads like an advert for chia seeds: very high in omega 3 and 6, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fibre and antioxidants, etc, etc, actually I had a customer on the Funky Raw Shop say they bought the chia seeds after reading this book! So it’s always good to have another recipe of how to use them, and this is simple and delicious:

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 300ml water

Mix the lime or lemon juice with the water – the original recipe calls for lime but I used lemon as it was all I had. Dissolve the honey in this mixture. Add the chia seeds and stir well. Leave for about 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Drink! It will keep for longer in the fridge if you want to make a larger batch.

If you have any chia seed recipe (or other comments), feel free to share below.

Real Raw Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Chocolate Mousse photo by www.WorthTheWhisk.comThe other day we had a meal in a non-raw restaurant. Not something we do very often, but especially while travelling where there are no raw places to eat it can be fun. Interestingly, it was the decision to stop trying to be 100% strict about my diet which enabled me to stick to eating raw more than when I was trying to be strict. Counter-intuitive, but life is so much easier when there are no rules! Anyway, back to the restaurant. We shared a chocolate mousse for dessert and it was so good that when I got home I decided to look up how to make chocolate mousse to try and make a raw version.

Surprisingly, most recipes didn’t need much tweaking to make them 100% raw – they already contain raw eggs, just substitute raw chocolate for the cooked chocolate (and use raw butter and/or raw cream in the recipes that call for these ingredients.) This is the page I found on the Guardian website with a good selection of chocolate mousse recipes and useful comments.

So yesterday I tried the first recipe from that site, the classic French recipe from the book French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David and it worked really well.

First I made raw chocolate using the following, quantities approximate:

I grated the cacao butter and paste, added the butter and melted over a bowl of hot water (bain marie style). When fully melted I slowly stirred in all the other ingredients. This made too much chocolate, so I took 90g of the still melted chocolate for the mousse, and put the rest in moulds.

I then followed the recipe from the Guardian website above, using 30g of chocolate and 1 egg per portion. So I mixed 3 egg yolks into the melted chocolate (although of course I didn’t have the water simmering, I just kept it warm to keep the chocolate melted). Then I beat the 3 egg whites until they were relatively stiff (they use the term “soft peaks”) and gently folded this in to the chocolate and egg yolk mixture. Put in the fridge to set and you have a delicious raw chocolate mousse!

I’m sure it would work with other raw chocolate recipes, or even a purchased raw chocolate bar that you melt back down. Let me know in the comments below if you try this or any of the other recipes on that web page…

How to make Fermented Butternut Squash

This recipe is so simple but I love it. There are only 3 ingredients, butternut squash (also works with other types of squash or pumpkin), salt and water. I’ve tried adding various flavourings and seasonings but I always go back to this simple recipe as it tastes the best.

I’ve talked about fermented foods before on this blog, they are wonderful for digestion, assimilation and detoxing and I eat several different fermented foods every day.

Start by cutting your squash into pieces suitable for grating, and then grate using a file grater:

Pack the grated squash into a jar, a kilner jar works well. Don’t fill the jar right to the top, make sure you leave some space as it can bubble up during the fermentation.

Next, add salt water so that all the squash is covered by water. The ratio of salt is approx 1 teaspoon of salt per litre of grated squash – so for example the jar I used was 1.7 litres, so I used just over 1 and a half teaspoons of salt. The amount of water you will need will depend on how much water is naturally in the squash. So mix the salt into a small amount of water and pour in, then add more water if necessary.

Finally, place something on top of the squash to keep it all under the water. I use a stone, cleaned thoroughly first of course. Check every day to make sure that the squash is still under the water.

Store at room temperature during the fermentation process. It usually takes 3 to 4 days to ferment, although it will take longer in colder climates. You can taste after 3 days and see what is happening. Once it is fermented to your liking, you can store in the fridge to stop it fermenting more.

What is your favourite fermented food? Please leave your comments below.

Real Raw Lemon Cheese Cake Recipe

After a short break in London, we’re back on the road. We’re heading to Croatia, but had a little detour to Slovenia. It’s a beautiful country, loads of forest and wild nature. On Saturday we went to Ljubljana, the capital and found an amazing market. Loads of organic veg stalls, plus we got organic raw milk, raw butter, raw sour cream and raw cheese.

I love cheesecake, and it is actually very easy to make raw cheesecake, assuming you can get some good raw cheese to start with. We got some soft plain curd cheese, it needs to be fairly plain to make into cheesecake.

I didn’t measure the ingredients, but I think this is a recipe where it is hard to go wrong.

brazil nuts
a few cacao beans (optional)
1 tsp vanilla powder
grated lemon rind

grated lemon rind

For the base, you want an approximately equal amount of nuts and dried fruit, you can use various combinations of fruits and nuts. I soaked the apricots for a couple of hours so they would process easier, but you don’t want them too wet otherwise the base will be soggy. Put all the ingredients in a food processor until it forms a sticky ball. If you need more liquid you can either add a little lemon juice or water. As you may know, I don’t generally eat dehydrated food as I find it hard to digest, so this base was soft and sticky, but you could probably dehydrate this is you want a more traditional cheesecake.

For the topping, just mix all the ingredients together. The more lucuma you add, the thicker the mixture will become. And of course, the more honey, the sweeter. (The cheese I used was very soft so I only needed to mix it with a spoon, with a firmer cheese you may need to blend.)

I’m sure there are many variations you can make instead of lemon.

Recipe: Quick and Easy Fermented Courgettes

Fermented foods have become a big part of my diet in the last 6 months or so. Kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, fermented vegetables and more. It was the book Wild Fermentation that got me started and I’ve not looked back. I’ve recently discovered a very simple fermented food which can be made in minutes, although of course you need to wait for them to ferment, usually around 3 days: fermented whole courgettes.

For this to work, you need very small courgettes. The ones in the photo are probably a bit too big, it works better with smaller ones.

The process is really simple:

1) Take a kilner jar, (or a screw top jar) and wash well with hot water. The larger the jar, the better, the jar pictured is 1.7 litres.

2) Fill jar with whole courgettes.

3) If desired you can add some flavouring, I’ve used various combinations of grated ginger, grated turmeric, crushed coriander seeds and crushed cumin seeds. It does also work well without any flavouring, just experiment and see what you like.

4) Mix the brine – for each litre of your jar, use 1 teaspoon of salt, so for example for this 1.7 litre jar, use approx 1.7 teaspoons of salt. Mix with water and add to the courgettes so they are completely covered. If necessary, use something to push them under the water if they are floating to the top – a boiled and scrubbed stone works well.

And that’s it. Check every day that the courgettes are still completely submerged, and remove any scum that may form on top. Taste after 3 days. After 6 days or so (or once they are to your liking) you might want to put them in the fridge to stop them fermenting any more.

In hot weather the fermentation happens quicker, in cold weather slower. The more salt you add, the slower the fermentation, so in really hot weather adding more salt can slow the fermentation down and in cold weather less salt will speed up the fermentation.

If you can’t find small enough courgettes, you can also use larger ones and slice them. Make the slices quite thick slices, around 1cm each.

Let me know your favourite fermented recipes in the comments…