Fermented Foods will change your life.
Yes. Sounds strange, you are right on that. But fermenting food and beverages is an ancient practice that can turn ordinary food into nutrient dense superfoods.
Fermented food and beverages can provide us with great nutrition that our society is especially lacking in today- that nutrition being live enzymes and healthy bacteria. Read more about the benefits and importance of fermented foods here.
Why would you want to eat fermented foods? Well, in short- they are full of probiotics, vitimins, and live enzymes which:
1. Help remove toxins from the body
3. Strengthen the immune system
4. Improves digestion
5. Help the body absorb and use nutrients
The good news is, you can incorporate fermented food and drinks in your diet in countless ways!
Types of Fermented Foods and Beverages
Different fermented foods contain different strains of beneficial bacteria and live enzymes. Different starter cultures are used depending on what type of food or drink it is.
1. Kombucha: A fermented tea beverage that is frequently drank in countries such as China and Russia. It is nutritous in many ways and can help with everything from acne to weight loss. Kombucha is slightly carbonated and comes in a variety of flavors.
Starter culture: Scoby
2. Sauerkraut: Made by fermenting cabbage. It is enjoyed almost daily throughout Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Eastern Europe.
Stater Culture: Sea salt and optional liquid whey
3. Kefir: Is traditionally made by fermenting raw dairy but can also be made by fermenting fresh coconut milk or water as well.
Starter Culture: Kefir Grains
4. Kimchi: Korea’s national dish that is served with almost every meal. It’s spicy, tangy, and delicious. It is made by fermenting cabbage, radish, carrots, spring onions, ginger, and garlic.
Starter Culture: Sea salt OR sea salt and liquid whey
5. Condiments like salsa, mayonnaise, and ketchup can also be fermented to add live probiotic enzymes and a nutritional punch that would otherwise not exist. This is done by adding liquid whey to the mixture. Check out this video how to make REAL Mayo that is so delicious and full of nutrients!
How to Ferment
You can ferment anything from cucumber, carrots, and beets, to milk, water, and tea!
Different items require different starter cultures. Things like kombucha and kefir require physical cultures, while fermenting vegetables can be done using only sea salt.
I like to make a big batch of fermented vegetables that lasts for about a month, and eat a small portion at each meal. I also love me some home brewed kombucha and raw goat milk kefir!
The best way to ferment vegetables among other things is with liquid whey. Here is how to make whey from raw milk. If you do not have liquid whey, real sea salt works as well.
Easy Sauerkraut Recipe:
Keep it simple OR follow the same instructions and add other veggies with it like carrots, garlic, and radish!
1 large head green cabbage
1 tbsp sea salt
Quart-sized mason/canning jar
Wooden pounder or meat hammer
1. Cut the cabbage in half and slice finely.
2. Put the sliced cabbage and sea salt in a bowl and pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer or just squeeze with your hands for about 10 minutes to release juices.
3. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly with a pounder or meat hammer until juices come to the top of the cabbage. If there is not enough liquid, add water until cabbage is fully submerged. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.
4. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.
Large stainless steel stockpot
1 gallon glass jar
Thin dishtowel or cheesecloth or coffee filter
4 organic black tea bags
1 cup organic white cane sugar
1 kombucha scoby (can purchase online, or get from friend brewing kombucha)
1/2 cup kombucha tea from a previous batch
3 quarts filtered water
1. Add the filtered water to pot and bring to a boil.
2. Turn off the heat, pour in the sugar until it is dissolved.
3. Add the tea bags, and let stand until cool, could take a few hours.
4. When the tea is at room temperature (make sure it is not too hot), pour it into the gallon glass jar.
5. Add 1/2 cup of kombucha from a previous batch (or store-bought kombucha), and add the scobie.
5. Cover with a dishcloth, cheesecloth or coffee filter and wrap a rubber band around it to keep it on there.
6. Leave it in a warm dark place for a few days. The warmer the area, the faster it will ferment. If you like sweeter kombucha, it can be ready in 5-7 days. If you want a stronger brew, let it sit longer.
The scobie will multipy, producing another scobie that usually forms on the top.
7. When the kombucha tastes the way you like, remove the now two scobies and and place into a new batch of tea.
8. Pour the kombucha into glass bottles or mason jars, seal, and store in the fridge.