Fermentation is an ancient form of preserving foods to stop them from spoiling, whilst at the same time adding beneficial bacteria to your gastro intestinal tract (or wherever you decide to put it on your body!) So, it's not a new trend and even if it was, it feels like it's here to stay.
Unbeknownst to me, my mum was brewing kombucha with her SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacterial yeast) back in the 1990s when I was a teenager running around with my short cut off shorts, black Red Hot Chilli Peppers t-shirt with flannelette shirt wrapped around my waist and Doc Marten boots.
I was too cool for kombucha and gut health back then but boy did I need it! Having suffered with poor gut health since being a teenager it's taken me some time to come around to what it needs in order to be healthy. It's something I'm still working on and probably will be for some time Healing a lifetime of gut health issues takes time after all.
My current path has lead me to doing a gut health program with Kultured Wellness. It's a pretty intense six month program that I'm still settling into and will be blogging about over on my personal blog - Cassie Hower - Learning Naturopathy.
If that's not a path you'd want to head down yourself, there are ways you can hack your gut health to give it a bit of fermented goodness on a daily basis. Here are my tips on ways you can do this.
- At this point in time on my fermented food journey, I'm using the Kultured Wellness culture starters to do controlled ferments of the fruit and some veg that I'm eating. Simply add 1/4-1/2 of a cup of the KW coconut kefir (once you've brewed it) to any fruit or veg that takes your fancy, top with water and let ferment on the bench for 1-3 days. Add your favourite flavours. Some of mine are turmeric and ginger to carrots and vanilla powder and cinnamon to bananas. You can buy the Kultured Wellness cultures here.
- Wild ferment your veggies. This means to use bacteria that is already available on the produce and within your environment. Sandor Katz, the fermentation master, says it doesn't matter if there is a lid on the fermenting vessel or not, as long as the vegetables are covered in brine and weighed down to keep them there. Either way it's an anaerobic method and will protect your ferments from aerobic bacteria that could be harmful. The environment underneath the top of the brine is high in lactic acid bacteria and creates the environment required to turn your raw, crunchy vegetables into still crisp but fermented vegetables. You could also get a kombucha SCOBY or some kefir grains from a friend (I've bought them online before!) and start brewing yourself some fermented beverages at home. It's like a science experiment and if you love experimenting with food then this is likely something you'll enjoy doing. Here's a simple and easy to follow recipe for making your own sauerkraut by Changing Habits.
- The third option is of course to simply buy it already made for you! This option obviously costs more because a labour of love has gone into producing these products for you. The products created locally by Buchi Kombucha and Gutsy Ferments are of the highest standard you'll find across the fermented market. They are super passionate about bringing you the best fermented goodness for your gut bugs. So if you can't make it yourself, then outsourcing this process to these guys is the next best thing. And you don't have to go very far as we stock them in our store.
Have you experimented with fermenting before or do you prefer to leave that to others and just enjoy consuming it? Have you found it's made a difference to your health? I'd love to know.