Category: Food and Nutrition

Benefits of Fermentation

By Emily Yuen, ABT

Fermentation is the process by which microorganisms – bacteria, yeast, and mold – transform food and extend its usefulness.  Eating and drinking fermented foods introduces beneficial bacterial into your digestive system and help reverse certain health conditions and increase your immune system function.

Bacteria have the ability to convert sugars into lactic acid which is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacterial.  The fermentation process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. It also help preserve nutrients and makes the food more digestible which increases your ability to absorb nutrients.

Dairy Options

Some people find that fermenting dairy foods make them easier to tolerate.

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Aged cheeses

Non-Dairy Options

If you are sensitive to dairy, there are plenty of fermented foods that aren’t made from dairy.

  • Water or coconut kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickles
  • Fermented Veggies: beets, garlic, and other garden foods
  • Kimichi

Benefits to Making Your Own

Save money
Leave out foods you are sensitive to
Ferment to your taste
Spice to your taste
Use up extra garden veggies

Cut down on the need for supplements
Preserved foods last months & preserves nutrients

It’s Easy to Get Started

Wellness Mamma Benefits of Fermented Foods Article.
Body Ecology Recipes.
Body Ecology More Recipes.

 

Fermentation Is Easy

By Joan Haynes, NMD

I’m a big gardener.  I’m a naturopathic physician.  I’m fascinated by microbiology and the impact of nutrition on good health.  Fermentation was inevitable, but, intimidating.  What a wonderful surprise to learn how easy fermentation is.

Fermentation is the process by which microorganisms – bacteria, yeast, and mold – transforms food and extends its usefulness.  It makes foods more nutritious, and delicious. Many of our common foods and drinks are fermented:  cheese, wine, bread, beer, chocolate, coffee, pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt and more.

I used the book Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Ellix Katz.  Much more than a cookbook – his stories helped me connect in a new way with the vital connection we have with what we eat.  Sandor is HIV positive and obsessed with fermentation.  He lives in an intentional community and has experimented time and again with recipes on the members.  His experiences and stories motivated me to give it a go.  Plus, I planted a big batch of cucumbers, and they were ripe.

The recipe I used was called Sour Pickles on page 50, which works for any vegetable. I only needed 4 items:

  • Vegetables
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Crock
  1. We got an old crock pot at a thrift store.
  2. I sliced up cucumbers, carrots, garlic cloves and added grape leaves*
  3. I poured the salt water over the veggies. (A little less than one TBSP of salt per cup of water.)
  4. Put a plate on top, weighted it, and covered with a cloth.

*Grape leaves are for the tannins which make the pickles crunchy

That’s it.  Check it every day.  It’s ready in 1 to 4 weeks, then refrigerate.

Wow, are they good!