Growing up with a German father meant that sauerkraut was in abundance in our home, even if a variety of his actual main dishes wasn’t!
Had no idea that it had so many health benefits; was packed with beneficial probotics, digestive enzymes and necessary nutrients.
Fermentation maybe a trendy new thing to do with food these days, though the process itself has been around for centuries, mainly as a food preservation method before refrigeration was available.
The process is easy and simple - salt and water break down raw vegetable, producing lactic acid that does the actual preserving part, that in turn encourages good bacteria to flourish along with enzymes and yeasts - once eaten help the guts good bacteria to really thrive. Good news all around!
Other benefits include nutrient content is enhanced; choline, folic acid and most of the B vitamins are available as fermentation increases food’s digestibility in huge ways.
Also loads of people are paying more and more attention to maintaining a healthy gut as our first brain. A couple of symptoms of an unhealthy gut are sleep disturbances such as insomnia or poor sleep, and therefore lead to chronic fatigue. The majority of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut. So gut damage can impair your ability to sleep well.
Medical researchers are continually finding new evidence of the impact of the gut on the immune system. It’s known now that an unhealthy gut may increase systemic inflammation and alter the proper functioning of the immune system. This can lead to autoimmune diseases, where the body attacks itself rather than harmful invaders.
These two reasons are alone are enough to make gut health a priority, fermented foods are a very easy easy to get that process started..
Here are a few of my Fermented Faves:
Kimchi; is pickled chilli cabbage, big in both parts of Korea, has fast become my favourite side dish to any meal as the flavour and kick is so tasty!
Kombucha; is fermented black or green tea, has all the catechin and tannin antioxidants you’d find in a regular brew, but better!
Kefir or kephir, is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt that is made from kefir grains, a specific type of mesophilic symbiotic culture. The drink originated in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Russia, where it is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains.
Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji and sometimes rice, barley, seaweed or other ingredients.
Tempeh is cooked, whole soybeans are fermented into a firm, dense, chewy cake that tastes nuttier and more earthy. It possesses more protein, dietary fibre, and vitamins
Tofu; Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food prepared by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into solid white blocks of varying softness, big in China for thousands of years, now a staple of vegan diets.due to it’s versatility An excellent source of amino acids, iron, calcium and other micro-nutrients.
Gherkins are fermented cucumbers. The fruits are held in large vats of brine. The salt leaches out sugars from the cucumbers and bacteria in the normal flora on the surface of the fruit ferment these.
Sauerkraut is finely cut raw cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. It has a long shelf life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid formed when the bacteria ferment the sugars in the cabbage leaves. Huge in Eastern Europe, Germany and my dad’s kitchen growing up!
Try a couple of these out this week, adds so much flavour to your meal and is clearly good for you!