Happy Friday, fellow foodies! Today we are going to take a look into fermented foods and find out why they are so good for us. This ancient practice came about out of the necessity to preserve food (read: long before refrigeration existed!). It is only recently that we have realized how beneficial fermented foods are to our bodies…
According to Wellness Mama, fermented foods have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. This natural fermentation process preserves nutrients in food and converts it into a more digestible form. This, along with the bevy of probiotics created during the fermentation process, could explain the link between consumption of fermented foods and improved digestion. Common foods that are fermented are kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt — even pickles!
Since we believe that the health of our stomachs directly correlate with the rest of our health, we try to incorporate fermented foods as much as possible. Our founder, Nina, is known for putting fermented cabbage into her smoothies — trust us, you can’t even taste it!
According to Paleo Leap, even though the fermentation process might seem long and complex, fermenting at home takes nothing but a few basic instruments and ingredients. At its basis, most lacto-fermented foods are noting more than whole, chopped, sliced or grated vegetables placed in a brine of salt and water for a period of time at room temperature to let the beneficial bacteria develop. The important thing to keep in mind is that the vegetables should stay submerged all along to prevent mold from forming. Lactobacillus bacteria is a facultative anaerobic category of bacteria, meaning that it doesn’t need oxygen for energy production.To make your own fermented cabbage at home, all you need is a mason jar, 5 lbs. of organic cabbage (or whatever other veggie you decide), 3 Tbsp. salt, and distilled water. Follow this link here to learn the process.
Tune in next week for a more detailed account of fermented food’s health benefits, plus a look inside our fermented food preparation workshop!