Join me to boost your health and add flavor to your life!
A dozen of us had so much fun cooking up and tasting rich, delicious bone broths last month. If you missed that, never fear, on January 13, I’ll be teaching a class at Root Whole Body on my other DIY food passion – fermented foods. I’m not sure which subject I’m more passionate about, bone broths or fermented foods. Let’s just say they are numbers one and two on my all time favorite healing foods list.
I’ll be showing you how to make different kinds of sauerkraut, pickled (the live kind) just about anything, cultured condiments like mustard and salsa, beet kvass – a cultured beverage, kombucha, and more. You’ll have a chance to taste it all!
Fermented, or cultured, foods have been part of the human diet for millennia, and for good reason. They are rich sources of probiotics, or beneficial bacteria. It’s a tragedy that we, as a society, have contracted a sort of culinary amnesia around certain foods and methods of preparation that kept our ancestors healthy and strong well into old age. Not only have we lost the art of fermenting foods to preserve them, add flavor and amp up their nutritional value through the roof, but we are short on time. Oh, wait, cancel that last one! You can put together a jar of cultured vegetables in minutes. Then set it on your kitchen counter and walk away. Let nature do the rest. In a few days or weeks, you’ll have a jar of real, live pickles or sauerkraut. And did I mention that this costs very little and uses equipment you probably have around the house already?
Why fermented foods?
Fermented foods are a culinary and nutritional treasure trove that has been almost lost in modern society. The health benefits are so unparalleled, it’s more than worth the work, and fun, of unearthing this buried treasure. Sally Fallon, in her more-than-just-a-cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, says:
“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti carcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”
In fact, our habits of pasteurizing, sanitizing and antibiotic-ing have purged much of the bacteria from our lives, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Our guts were made to permanently host a large party of bacteria. They help us digest our food, nurture our gut, and even make vitamins for us. These beneficial bacteria even help keep the infectious bacteria in check. Because of this it behooves us to add good bacteria to our diets. Some of the possible benefits of fermented foods include:
- Protection from colon cancer
- Maintain a healthy digestive tract
- Reduction in dental cavities
- More vitamins than in the unfermented version of the food
- Improved digestion
- Better absorption of nutrients in the gut
- Reduction of mineral-binding phytates in fermented grains, seeds and legumes
- Restore proper balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut
- The enzymes in fermented foods can prolong life
- Fermented foods keep longer than fresh
- Flavor equals nutrition – fermented foods taste great!
- Easy and inexpensive to make at home
Please join me on January 13 for fun, flavor and wellness!