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Bodkin’s – a Tasty Tale of Fermented Vegetables

Simon and I  continue our series of posts on all things fermented and pickled.  We have discovered some great new  products at the Food Shows we’ve visited in the USA & U.K.  At Food Matters Live – a UK Food Show with a Health & Well-being focus, I met up with Jessica Herridge, Founder of Bodkin’s.  After  trying her  tasty  range of unpasteurised,   fermented  vegetables I was interested to find out the story behind their creation. Jessica’s son had experienced digestive health issues after being prescribed multiple doses of antibiotics. She had read about the benefits of  gut friendly foods in the diet and began to experiment at home with naturally fermenting different combos of  vegetables and spices.  Jessica incorporated the probiotic fermented veggie mixes into her son’s diet and after a few months his digestive problems disappeared.   ‘Mum’s fermenting again’ with vegetables ready for shredding and jars around the kitchen becoming an ever familiar sight. Family and friends enjoyed the products too. They  encouraged Jessica to take the next step and start making more to sell to the local community in Surrey.  Inspired by her son’s improved health and the benefits of probiotics Jessica created Bodkins. In May 2019 Bodkins moved to a small production facility on Pierrepont Farm in Frensham, Surrey. The dairy farm had set up a trust  to support local food entrepreneurs. Along with Bodkins there is also a small craft brewery and a  cheese maker-  so a thriving fermented food community! I met Vicky & Anna, the Bodkins production and  sales team.

Anna & Vicky: Bodkin’s Production & Sales Team

They  prepare the vegetables using  a small industrial slicer, add salt and spices,  then ferment  in 40 kg barrels for 3 weeks. The lacto- fermentation that occurs encourages the gut friendly  bacteria to grow and also preserves the product.

Kimchi during fermentation

Sterilised Jars

The team hand fill into sterilised jars , seal,  label and store refrigerated, ready to sell.


Kimchi just jarred!

There are six products in the range:

Kimchi with white cabbage, green onions, carrot, ginger, garlic, sea salt and chilli flakes.

Red Cabbage with Chilli Flakes & Oregano, my personal favourite.

The other four products are White Cabbage, Peppercorns and Carrots; White Cabbage with Sultanas; White Cabbage, Peppercorns, and Cumin Seeds; White Cabbage with Peppercorns and Fennel Seeds. 

The products have a 3 month shelf life and once opened should be stored in the fridge and eaten with a week. The product range is available on line, at Wholefoods  in Farnham, Squires Garden Centre in Frensham and at various local farmers markets in Surrey including Farnham, Guildford, Godalming, Hazlemere, Milford & Ripley.

The products are really versatile and work well in rice    dishes, stirred into noodles, in salad bowls, on burgers, and even in toasted cheese sandwiches.

Bodkins – a tasty,  range  of fermented veggies for good gut health.

For more information please check out their website:

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Binary Botanical- a Drink with a Refreshing Fermentation Story

Simon and I love discovering innovative new products and meeting their creators, as there is often an interesting story behind their creation. We continue our series of blog posts on fermented and preserved food & drink, a hot topic and growing trend.

Ingredients for my Binary Botanical Granita Recipes

Binary Botanical is one such story of fermentation and so much more.  Brewed like a beer, drunk like a wine, created in Woking Surrey, brewed in Sussex in U.K., lower in alcohol,  gluten free, vegan, gently sparkling, a unique refreshing taste, great with food and in cocktails. I was definitely intrigued to find out more. Danielle, Binary’s  creator is a Master Brewer, with a background in Chemical Engineering & Innovation, unique within brewing, an Industry that has traditionally been dominated by men.  Craft beer has evolved and grown with a big influence  from USA craft brewers  and now in the  U.K. and beyond. Danielle realised the market was aimed at men. Everything from the taste of a bitter full on IPA style, high in malty taste, to the names and label design, and the  alcohol content too. She wanted to create a  table beer, more delicate in taste, very food friendly, and something slightly healthier, lower in calories and alcohol. A beer that would be about ‘savouring the moment’  all of us could enjoy as a refreshing drink that would enhance not compete with the food. So something complementary and experiential, vegan, and the most important criteria- a great taste!

So does Binary Botanical deliver?

It certainly does, gently sparkling with a taste that reminds me of a dry fruity white wine with hints of elderflower. Served chilled and in a wine or champagne glass, a great alternative to Prosecco with 4% alcohol / vol , which is only 0.5 units of alcohol in a 125 ml glass.

The fruit flavours are complex with hints of pomegranate, peach, guava, grapefruit , pepper and rosemary- refreshment in a glass!

So how did Danielle achieve this? By creating a light beer and infusing it for 5 days with organic hop leaves. The name Binary has a dual meaning. It refers to the bine or stem of the hop plant. Traditionally beer is made with the cone shaped hop  flowers, that impart the bitter characteristic. Binary is also a  language used in computer processing made up of a series of characters  0 and 1. So from two digits a whole language was created, and Binary takes a similar  approach combining simple ingredients and creating something complex in character, with no compromise on taste and quality. So the name Binary really reflects the ‘science & technology meets  art’ approach to create this botanical  drink.

After drinking it  I was inspired to create some recipes to utilise its complex fruity flavour. I decided to create two granita recipes that are easy to make and a perfect dessert for the May Bank Holiday Weekend in U.K. , Memorial Day Holiday  in USA and a Summers Day where ever you live.  Binary Botanical is available on line and in independents in U.K., check out  their website, on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter  @binarybotanical. If you can’t manage to get hold of Binary, although I urge you to try it (list of stockists or on line from their website below), I have included an alternative. The recipes are vegan,  and can be made alcohol free and without refined sugar.

Binary Botanical,  Lime & Lemon Thyme Granita

Ingredients ( serves 4-6):

1 x 250 ml bottle of Binary Botanical or alternatively Fever Tree Tonic Water with no artificial sweetener

Zest and juice of 1 lime

25ml  of caster sugar ( I used golden) or agave syrup

75 ml cold water

20 fresh lemon thyme leaves washed ( or use standard thyme)

Optional: If you use tonic you could also add a 25 ml measure of gin


Add the sugar ( or agave syrup ) and water to a small saucepan and heat gently for 3-5 minutes until fully dissolved. Take off the heat and add the lemon thyme leaves to infuse until cool.

Binary Botanical, sugar syrup & lemon thyme infusing

Add the Binary Botanical ( or tonic water & gin , if using), lime zest and juice and stir to combine. Add this to a shallow metal baking tray.

Ready to Freeze!

The easiest method is to put the tray into an empty drawer in the freezer and then add the liquid to avoid any spills.

Freeze for 30 minutes, then carefully remove from freezer and use a fork to break up the mixture that will start to freeze around the edge.

After 30 minutes in the freezer

Put back in the freezer, freeze for 30 minutes and repeat 3 times so the granita is made after 2 hours of freezing and forking the mixture. Breaking up those Ice Crystals with a ForkTransfer to a lidded container and store in the freezer until ready to serve.After 2 hours freezing - granita done!

Watermelon, Binary Botanical, Mint & Lime Granita

Ingredients for Watermelon Binary Botanical Mint & Lime Granita

Ingredients ( serves 4-6):

350g fresh watermelon cut into chunks & seeds removed

1 x 250 ml bottle of Binary Botanical  or alternatively you could use Prosecco. If you want to make alcohol free just add 250g of extra watermelon.

25ml agave syrup ( or caster sugar)

75ml water

15 fresh mint leaves washed & finely shredded

Zest and juice of 1/2 fresh lime


Blitz the watermelon in a food processor or blender until a pulp. Sieve out any remaining seeds.

Watermelon pulped!

Add the agave syrup ( or sugar) and water to a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes until dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the shredded mint leaves to infuse until cool.

Agave syrup, water and mint infusing

Add the watermelon pulp, Binary Botanical ( or Prosecco), lime zest and juice and combine.

Ready to freeze

Freeze in a shallow metal baking dish using the method in the 1st recipe above, forking the mixture to break up the ice crystals.

Breaking up the ice crystals with a fork

Binary Botanical Granita – Summer Refreshment in a Glass! Thanks Danielle Master Brewer & creator and Tamar, Binary’s Marketing Manager for a refreshing fermentation story- Cheers!