Have fermented foods been a part of your heritage?

When I was young, my Dad, having been raised in Austria, every once in a while would excitedly prepare one of his favorite ‘back home’ recipes – bratwurst and sauerkraut. He would make a trip down to old Robinson Strasse (remember it?) and took great delight and shopping for the authentic foods.

As a child I remember loving sauerkraut but as I got older and my diet consisted of more refined and packaged foods, the fermented foods and strongly aged cheeses tasted and smelled too strong and I had no interest in eating them anymore. I preferred my sweet/salty carbohydrates, thank you very much!

Fast forward several years, my diet is cleaned up and I am enjoying once more the flavours of these amazing fermented foods. Although they are gaining popularity and now more readily available to purchase, they are still quite expensive. I was always afraid to try making them myself, but as I learned more and more about their health benefits, I was determined to learn all I could about the process – which of course I did – and I share this age old process with you in my workshop, Fermenting For Health. (watch for new dates)

Collection of fermented foods.

Fermentation Is Fabulous!

Fermenting brings foods to life – literally! Through the act of fermentaton, millions (some reports say trillions) of beneficial – live – bacteria are formed. It’s these beneficial bacteria that support our health in so many ways. It’s a process that changes…

  • milk into cheese (or yoghurt or kefir)
  • flour into sourdough bread
  • soybeans into miso, tempeh and Tamari (soy sauce) cacao beans into chocolate
  • cucumber into pickle
  • cabbage into sauerkraut or kimchi.

Why Is Fermentation Fabulous?

Besides the fact that they taste great and really grow on you, there are several great reasons to start making and eating fermented foods:

  1. Beneficial Bacteria! Eating fermented foods and drinking fermented drinks like Kefir and Kombucha will introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system. Probiotics have also been shown to help slow or reverse some diseases, improve bowel health, aid digestion, and improve immunity!
  2. Nutrient Absorption– Having the proper balance of gut bacteria and enough digestive enzymes helps you absorb more of the nutrients in the foods you eat. Pair this with your healthy real food diet, and you will absorb many more nutrients from the foods you eat. You won’t need as many supplements and vitamins, and you’ll be absorbing more of the live nutrients in your foods.
  3. Budget Friendly– Incorporating healthy foods into your diet can get expensive, but not so with fermented foods. You can ferment many foods very inexpensively right in your own kitchen. Drinks like Water Kefir and Kombucha can be made at home also and cost only pennies per serving. Adding these things to your diet can also cut down on the number of supplements you need, helping the budget further.
  4. Preserves Food Easily– Homemade salsa only lasts a few days in the fridge- Fermented homemade salsa lasts months! The same goes for sauerkraut, pickles, beets and other garden foods. Lacto-fermentation allows you to store these foods for longer periods of time without losing the nutrients like you would with traditional canning.

Bring on the Bacteria!