Fermented foods have been around for a very long time. They are a healthy way of processing and storing foods.
Another term used is “cultured” food.
You can find a history of food fermentation in just about every native diet on the planet.
The processes used to culture these foods produce different types of microbes that are beneficial for the healthy body and immune system.
A healthy digestive tract can promote a healthy weight loss.
It has also been shown that a healthy digestive system will produce serotonin – usually considered a brain chemical and responsible for a good mood.
** Is that why they say the way to a mans heart is through his stomach? **
Added Benefits of Fermented Foods
Fermented foods can also help the body detox from different toxic invaders. Its even been shown to help detox from heavy metals.
To reap the benefits of fermented foods a person doesn’t need to have a huge amount.
It is recommended to eat about 2oz to 4oz each meal. This can be fermented vegetables or properly prepared raw yogourt.
It’s common for people to think that if a little is good – more will be better. In this case it is a good idea to understand that when you ingest detoxing foods your body will begin to detox.
Beware of Side-Effects
Common side-effects of detoxing too quickly include headaches, drastic bowel changes, maybe even a sudden case of acne.
Doing something healthy causing uncomfortable side-effects can keep a person from staying on the healthy path. Begin the process of detoxing gradually.
Types of Fermented/Cultured Foods
Making your own cultured foods can be very rewarding. It can also be time consuming so fortunately you can buy them too.
Cultured fish like mackerel
Condiments like salsa and mayo
Making your own fermented foods may seem a little daunting. Fortunately there are a lot of good “how to” guides available.
Another good way is to get involved with a pickling or canning group in your neighbourhood. Grandma’s super recipes may seem like a thing of the past but she had it right!
Using a starter bacteria culture will jump-start the process and speed things up. So will making your fermented food directly in the canning jars rather than first stewing in a crock pot. Doing it this way is one less step, cleaner, and will allow you to make smaller amounts so’s not to stuff the cupboard unnecessarily.
How to Ferment Vegetables
I would suggest you get a good book on the topic but generally speaking this is what you need to do.
First you want to cut and shred the vegetables you will be fermenting.
The next step is to make a “brine” for your stash. You do this by juicing celer. Using celery ensures you have a natural source of sodium without having to add salt. Added salt will prevent pathogenic bacteria from growing. The sodium in the celery keeps the vegetables anaerobic to prevent rotting.
As noted previously using a “starter” is helpful. After awhile you can use your previous batches to jumpstart new batches but in the beginning using a kefir grain or even a powered probiotic can do the job.
For canning and storage use a jar with a wide opening like the Mason jar.
You need to keep air out of your jar too so a “vegetable stomper” aka kraut pounder will pack down the vegetables and knock out the air.
Before you put on the lid place a cabbage leaf over the top of the vegetable pile and top off with more celery juice. Right to the top so there are absolutely no air pockets.
Seal the jar.