Happy Digestion is a fermentation course that will give you the opportunity to meet friendly bacteria, discover fermentation and learn to trust your gut, during a day of superfood tuition at River Cottage.
Kimchi, kombucha, miso… it’s official, fermentation is one of the hottest food trends around. But it’s more than just a passing fad; humans have used pickles and probiotics for thousands of years, while many recent studies have shown the powerful potential of ‘friendly’ bacteria in relieving the symptoms of IBS and other conditions. And they have serious gourmet credentials too.
So join us in the tranquil, rustic surroundings of River Cottage for this one-day fermentation course and learn how to soothe, treat and supercharge your digestive health. In six sessions we’ll teach you the basics of fermented, prebiotic, probiotic and anti-inflammatory food, with new flavours, ingredients and techniques to get to grips with – and, of course, plenty of delicious River Cottage cooking to start you off on the right track.
Hugh recently took part in this course and is a big supporter of it...
"I’m so delighted that Naomi and the team have devised this course. The science around “gut health” is developing fast and I’m convinced that a simple understanding can make a massive difference to your personal wellbeing. So join us in the tranquil, rustic surroundings of River Cottage, to learn how to soothe, treat and supercharge your digestive health with our resident expert nutritionist Naomi Devlin." Hugh
09:30 - 17:00
Arrive at River Cottage
You’ll be met at the top of the hill and transported to River Cottage HQ by tractor and trailer.
Make yourself at home
Meet your host and settle in with some gut-friendly seasonal snacks, fresh from the River Cottage kitchen. These could include lacto-fermented porridge with pickled plums and raw milk, or salsify fritters with garlic yogurt and linseed dukkah.
You’ll start the day by learning how your gut works, from top to bottom. You’ll discuss ways to soothe troubled digestion and improve function and immunity.
Next you’ll try some fermented drinks and pickles, and learn about the role of friendly microbes in the body – plus how you can keep your microbiome happy with starch, fibre, fats and fermented foods.
For lunch you’ll make a seasonal prebiotic and probiotic salad, to accompany soup rustled up by the River Cottage chefs. Depending on the season, we might use dandelion leaves, walnuts and pickled vegetables with labneh cheese and honey dressing, or perhaps chicory, sweet roast beets, pumpkin seeds and Dorset kimchi with crispy parsnip shreds.
Time to enjoy your handiwork! Then take a wander around the vegetable garden or visit the Park Farm animals, before diving into the afternoon sessions.
Next you’ll learn that herbs have great health benefits, from soothing upset tummies and frayed nerves to providing much-needed nutrients. You will collect herbs to create your own personalised tea, followed by a jar of digestive bitters to take home. Using foraged ingredients like dandelion root, citrus peel, milk thistle, hawthorn berries and fresh ginger, these will stimulate digestion and support liver function.
Learn how to soothe inflammation and restore balance through food. You’ll cover the main sources of anti-inflammatories in our diets and make a snack that brings some of these foods together, such as steamed purple sprouting with anchovy butter and seaweed sesame salt, or linseed crackers with vegetable hummus.
Still hungry for information? You will round off the day with a Q&A session and an overview of some of the diets that can help with digestive and immune issues.
There will be time to chat to your fellow scholars and the River Cottage team, before being whisked back up the hill by our tractor and trailer with your jar of bitters, and any leftover snacks from the day. Then it’s off home – to start listening your gut.
Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.
On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.
This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.
We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.
If you need local accommodation we have a full list available.
We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.
This course can accommodate dietary requirements with advance notice. Please let us know if you require wheat-free, gluten-free, grain-free, yeast-free, cow/goat dairy-free, egg-free or low FODMAP options and we will do our best to provide an alternative on the day. Please only select these options if you have a food intolerance.
- Sustainable Restaurant Association
- Food Reader Awards 2014
- The British Cookery School Awards 2014
- Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2015 Gold