Live Superfoods is thrilled to announce our new site category: Fermented Foods! From kefir, yogurt and vegetable starters to coconut aminos, ready-made drinks, Garden of Life Kombucha capsules, SoTru Fermented Nutrition and Dragon Herbs KimQi kimchi powder, it's easier than ever to find the fermented foods you crave.
Fermentation is a tried and true food preservation method that’s been around for centuries. Its benefits reach far beyond preservation, however; during this process, lactobacilli, the “friendly” bacteria that populate our gut, begin to grow and beneficial digestive enzymes are created. This is why consuming fermented foods is so nourishing to our health; it helps reestablish and re-balance our intestinal ecosystem, where approximately 70% of our immune system can be found.
In Korea, a traditional fermented cabbage condiment called kimchi is often consumed with meals, and sauerkraut, or “sour cabbage,” was was consumed in ancient Rome and medieval Europe, and used in the 18th century to help prevent scurvy at sea. These foods are created through a process called lacto-fermentation, where natural bacteria feed of sugar and starch in the food and create lactic acid.
In recent years, consumption of probiotics and enzymes has sharply declined, replaced by processed, and often sugar-laden, foods. While this may be upsetting, its never too late to incorporate fermented foods into your diet. Fermented veggies, kefir, (fermented milk), and yogurt are all simple to make at home with the help of a starter culture.
Try adding a bit of raw sauerkraut to your plate with each meal. It’s refreshing and can really cut through the heaviness of rich foods. You may even notice a decrease in sugar cravings; a frequently-reported “side effect” of fermented foods.
Cultured Cabbage & Kale Recipe From Body Ecology:
- 3 heads green cabbage, shredded in a food processor
- 1 bunch kale, chopped by hand (optional): 2 cups wakame ocean vegetables (measured after soaking), drained, spine removed, and chopped
- 1 Tbsp. dill seed
- Body Ecology Culture Starter
To Use Body Ecology Culture Starter
Dissolve one or two packages of starter culture in 1½ cup warm (90*) water. Add approximately 1 tsp. of some form of sugar to feed the starter (try Rapadura, Sucanat, honey, Agave, or EcoBLOOM). Let starter/sugar mixture sit for about 20 minutes or longer while the L. Plantarum and other bacteria wake up and begin enjoying the sugar. Add this starter culture to the brine (step 3).
1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Remove several cups of this mixture and put into a blender.
3. Add enough filtered water to make a "brine" the consistency of a thick juice. Blend well and then add brine back into first mixture. Stir well.
4. Pack mixture down into a 1½ quart glass or stainless steel container. Use your fist, a wooden dowel, or a potato masher to pack veggies tightly.
5. Fill container almost full, but leave about 2 inches of room at the top for veggies to expand.
6. Roll up several cabbage leaves into a tight "log" and place them on top to fill the remaining 2 inch space. Clamp jar closed.
7. Let veggies sit at about a 70 degree room temperature for at least three days. A week is even better. Refrigerate to slow down fermentation. Enjoy!