Falling into Fermentation
Fall is creeping in and the garden is producing an abundance of veggies. Now, what to do with all of the zucchini, cabbage, carrots, and other goods? Yes, canning and freezing are both options but there’s another great solution for preserving your bounty, fermentation.
Fermentation, it’s how some of our favorite beverages and foods are made. Not only does this process create some delicious flavors but it also enhances the nutrient supply and health benefits in many foods and beverages.
Why try it? It starts with something called probiotics.
Over the years we’ve learned that the human body is composed of a variety of microorganisms. In fact, our bodies contain more microorganisms than cells (that’s a lot!). A very important family of microorganisms called the gut microbiome reside in the gut. We often refer to the beneficial bacteria that reside in the gut as probiotics.
These probiotics that make up the gut microbiome play a crucial role in gut health and overall health. They are largely responsible for important body functions and have the capability to affect the body’s mineral and vitamin absorbency, digestion, hormone regulation, immune response, and the body’s ability to get rid of toxins.
So, what does this all have to do with fermented foods?
Fermented foods and beverages are rich in natural probiotics that help seed the gut with beneficial bacteria and maintain a healthy balance in the gut.
So, how do we do it? Fermenting food might seem like a tough task, but the reality is that it’s a method that humans have been utilizing for over 10,000 years. So, let’s get to it!
- Tools and Equipment. The main piece of equipment is a glass container. We recommend sticking with glass for its purity and visibility.Next, you’ll need cloth or coffee filters secured around the lid with a rubber band as the fermentation process takes place. You’ll also need lids to cap the jars and preserve your creations.
- Your Favorite Veggies. Chop up your vegetables and fill the jar. Smaller bite-sized pieces are ideal as it helps to speed up the fermentation.
- Whey, Salt, or Starter Culture. Depending on your ingredients, you will need one of these to ferment your foods. When deciding on a recipe, a quick internet search will help you determine which to use.
- Keep it Under the Brine. It is important to keep your vegetables weighed down under the brine to avoid spoiling. Place your heavier ingredients towards the top to help.You can also use small rocks that you boiled for 15-20 minutes and scrubbed thoroughly to keep everything weighed down.
- Storage. After fermenting place a lid on your jar and store your creations in a cool place to preserve.
Fermentation is a great way to get more out of your food. Courtesy of the probiotics present, fermented foods support your gut microbiome and promote balance and regularity, bringing you one step farther on your wellness journey.
Of course, fermented foods are not the only way to obtain these beneficial probiotics. You can ensure you are continually seeding your gut with beneficial bacteria with the help of a daily probiotic supplement like Spectrabiotic. Regardless of what you choose, your body will thank you for a consistent supply of friendly probiotics.