Fermentation, one of the oldest forms of food preservation, is popular again. Today, medical professionals and culinary artists praise fermented foods and drinks.
Fermentation creates foods and beverages that are good for you and provide some health benefits. During fermentation, microorganisms, such as yeast and bacteria, break down sugars and starches, creating foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi. Probiotics are the “food” for the microorganisms that live in our guts, which helps with digestion, immunity, and overall health. To learn more about gut health and probiotics, click here and here.
- Finely chop or shred the vegetables and put them in a mason jar so the fermenting process works quickly.
- Make the brine, which should be a ratio of 1 tablespoon of salt per cup of water, with whatever seasoning you desire. Add it to the jar of vegetables until they are submerged.
- Tighten the mason jar’s lid until it’s almost closed. Not tightening the lid all the way helps the carbon dioxide leave without letting oxygen back in.
- Store the jar in a dark place where the temperature is between 65 to 70°F.
Some popular fermented foods are sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, fermented juice, sourdough bread, and drinking vinegar. You may be thinking, Can’t I buy these? Of course, you can, but it is more fun to ferment on your own. Making your own fermented foods lets you personalize the flavors to your tastebuds and can even be a fun rainy-day science project for kids.
Click here for more information on how to ferment the right way.