Fads- can’t live with them, can’t live without them (as they would have you believe). They all swear they’re the next best thing, but become a distant memory soon enough. But is that the situation with fermentation? Is the fermentation fascination here to stay?
What is Fermentation?
Fermentation, or more specifically, lacto-fermentation of food is very popular lately. Long ago, our ancestors used to ferment all their food. This was because they needed to survive the winter without the convenience of being able to go to the local supermarket. With processed foods becoming more readily available, as well as other modern conveniences, people stopped fermenting their food.
This is sad because fermented food is very good for your body. It has a surprising number of benefits. Since you may not be familiar with the concept, it might seem scary. But don’t let that stop you. It is a very easy process that will do you a world of good.
You can even do it yourself at home. You just need to understand a few things first.
There are a few ways in which you can start the fermentation process.
- Starter- you need to introduce a bacteria, yeast or mold to the food
- Natural- this is when the bacteria/mold/yeast is already on the food
From there, you will either achieve alcohol fermentation where the yeast turns the sugar into alcohol. Or, acid fermentation where the sugar is turned into lactic or acetic acid (yogurt or kombucha, for example).
Now that you know the basics, you need to know why you should try your hand at fermentation.
- Fermented food is easy to digest
- Can be stored for a long time
- It is full of good bacteria
- A lot of nutrition is left inside the food
- The food is wonderfully probiotic
Is It Safe?
Well, that all depends on you. You need to be conscious of keeping everything clean when fermenting food. If things are kept hygienic, then there should not be a problem. All the bad bacteria will be killed by the brine or lactic acid and alcohol. The same conditions that are used to create healthy bacteria also kills bad bacteria. Factors such as botulism are not a problem.
What Can You Ferment?
Veggies- For example, cabbage turns into sauerkraut and cucumbers into pickles. Fermented veggies are wonderfully probiotic.
Milk Kefir- You will need starter “grains” to make your own milk kefir, which can be ordered online. Kefir has a large variety of healthy bacteria which help to colonize the digestive tract. Long story short, it is very good for your gut.
Yoghurt- You need a starter for this one, and there are a number of different ways to make your own yogurt. Home-made yogurt is much healthier than store bought, and a lot more satisfying too.
Obviously, you can do a lot more with fermentation. The world is your oyster, so go out and ferment it!
Is It Worth It?
In a word? Yes. Fermented food is good for your body. It is easy to do, and thanks to the fermentation craze, there are tons of easy to follow recipes online. True, we don’t need to ferment our food to survive the winter, but our bodies will thank us for taking the time to introduce some healthy bacteria.
So, do yourself a favor and ferment your food and allow your body to thrive.
And if you HAVE tried it ~share your tips and advice in the comments below!