Should I really tell you what the new ‘F’ word is? Ok well don’t say I didn’t warn you! Well, its FERMENTING is the new buzz word; it has been for a while. Kimchi, Kombucha, Kefir, sauerkraut and more familiar cottage cheese are just some of the new foods en vogue right know and with the huge health benefits from them there is more than just keeping up with the latest trends involved.
“Fermenting. It sounds like something we found growing in the fridge”
I know the word cultivates strange images in our head. Fermenting. It sounds like something we found in the fridge growing on something unrecognisable possibly the plated up slice of cheesecake my Mother forced into my hands two weeks ago last Thursday! Insert shudder as my finger accidentally slips into the hairy object. Don’t look at me like that we’ve all done it!
Yes why fermenting? Why are trendy health food bloggers and Instagram influencers raving about it?
Our digestive tract contains many different types of bacteria collectively known as gut flora or the gut microbiome. Gut flora is the trillions of Despite symbiotic microbes that live in our digestive system. Common perception, some of those species pl a positive role in human health.
Having the right balance of bacteria is much more important than we realise. The living bacteria involved in the fermentation process of fermented foods creates enzymes and vitamins to promote a healthy digestive system by supplementing and assisting good bacteria in our gut flora.
This is what facinates me...theories suggest that having unbalanced bacteria could contribute to some cardiovascular diseases and diabetes type II.
Also its thought that unbalanced bacteria could lead to obesity or unwanted weight loss.
What really shocked me bad gut health is linked with mental health, stress and anxiety.
The great thing about fermentation is that you can make lots of different recipes yourself. You will need to purchase special items like jars, thermometers and special cultures but once you have done you wont need to buy them again. Plus you can pass cultures onto friends (once social distancing is eased of course!) You can buy all of the fermented foods from your local supermarket know but its much more satisfying trying to make them yourself.
Milk Kefir is wonderful substitute for yoghurt, it can be used as a drink, a fantastic post or pre workout snack. It’s tangy, runnier than yogurt and slightly effervescent which is fermented by milk kefir grains. Trust me it tastes better than this explanation!
I’m afraid a pot of the sickly sweet Muller yoghurt with fruit or chocolate covered ball corners isn’t what I’m talking about. Look for a natural yoghurt, Greek, Probiotic types.
This is a drink made from tea and is popular in Japan, Russia and now the USA. It’s really tasty. You will need a starter culture in the form of a ‘scoby’ which stands for ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast’ which can be bought online or you can use a friends existing scoby.
I think we have all tried this and is the easiest place to start if you want to make your own fermented foods. Cabbage isn’t the only vegetable you need, you can use pretty much any kind of veg. Lactic bacteria does so we have to create a wet and salty environment that the good bacteria can live in which bad ones cant. Stored in sealable jar its a fantastic addition to sandwiches, salads, served with meats or stews.
Kimchi is like a pickle; a wonderful addition to salads, stir-fry, soups and stirred through rice. High in fibre yet low in calories the Koreans created this and is now a staple for them.
I adore this super quick Kimchi recipe that I make to keep in the fridge ready for a tasty addition to salads, sandwiches, lunches or suppers
1 Chinese cabbage (or whatever cabbage you can find) shredded
3 crunched garlic cloves
2 1/2 cm grated ginger
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp chilli paste
1 tbsp Golden caster sugar (use any sugar if you don’t have GCS)
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 large carrot thinly sliced into matchsticks
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