Fermented foods: sauerkrauts, kombucha, yogurts – represent a staple aspect of traditional foods across the globe; that is, traditional cultures around the world each practiced the art of fermentation. And while many fermented foods were born out of practicality – a way to preserve the harvest of summer well into the dark days of winter – even those tropical and equatorial peoples who had no need to preserve food still fermented at least some of their foods.
Supporting Wellness with Fermented Foods
Fermentation imbues our foods with probiotics – that is beneficial bacteria. These bacteria, when ingested, populate the intestinal tract and begin to interact with the body in a positive way by training the immune system, manufacturing vitamins and keeping opportunistic bacteria at bay which is why it is an essential aspect of not only a traditional foods diet but also an essential aspect of healing protocols like the GAPS diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the Body Ecology Diet, all of which provide protocols for healing the gut, and addressing issues of digestion as well as systemic health.
Fermented foods are typically also raw foods; however, fermented foods can be cooked after fermentation (think of sourdough bread). Cooking damages the probiotics present in fermented foods, but it Wild-fermented foods require little but vegetables, salt and time; however occasional recipes require the use of a starter culture (consider water kefir, milk kefir and kombucha) and those undergoing specific healing protocols may find benefit in using a specifically formulated starter culture in all ferments which provides the added benefit of culturing very specific beneficial bacteria.
Fermented foods are healing foods.
Fermented foods offer a plethora of benefits. They support systemic wellness, digestive system health and proper functioning of the immune system. The links below provide you with quick reads and simple information covering the benefits of fermented foods as well as the history of fermented foods.
- Fermented Foods & the Benefits of Lactic Acid Fermentation
- Probiotics & Prebiotics
- 10 Cultured Dairy Foods
- Dairy-free Probiotic Foods
- Kombucha: a Reintroduction
- Fermented Foods that Kids Love
- Healthy Foods to Heal a Leaky Gut
- 8 Easy Ways to Support Digestion Naturally
Ready? Make These Recipes
Ready to dive in? Start with these simple recipes for fermented foods. For those new to fermented foods, for reluctant spouses and for picky children, it’s often best to begin the introduction of fermented foods by fermenting foods they already enjoy: homemade ketchup, fermented chili sauce, homemade yogurt, salsa and sour pickles are good choices.
- Fermented Hot Chili Sauce
- Brine-pickled Garlic Scapes
- Fermented Berries
- Raw Milk Yogurt
- Homemade Horseradish
- Probiotic Apple & Beetroot Relish
- Milk Kefir
- Sour Pickles
- Homemade Sauerkraut
- Water Kefir
- Brine-pickled Jalapenos
- Salsa Verde (Fermented Tomatillo Salsa)
- Fermented Beets with Orange and Ginger
- Homemade Root Beer Recipe
- Kombucha Vinaigrette
- Jun Tea
- Cinnamon Spice Kombucha
- Fermented Green Tomatoes and Hot Peppers
- Brine-Pickled Pepperoncini
- Ginger Bug for Homemade Sodas
- Probiotic Lemonade Soda
Get Started with These Resources
Now that you’re ready to get started, you’ll need to know where to get starter cultures, fermentation crocks and good quality sea salt for your fermented foods. And if you really like how it goes, check out the online cooking class designed to teach you to ferment anything as well as the cook books and other goods.
- The Nourished Kitchen: My cookbook with LOADS of fermented foods
- Oh Lardy’s Guide to Fermented Fruits and Vegetables
- Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin
- Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz
- My Favorite Fermentation Crock
- Where to Buy Sourdough Starters, Milk Kefir Grains and More
- Where to Buy Kombucha Tea and Jun Tea Starters