Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fermented Foods

For those of you who have never eaten and or made fermented foods, let me tell you...try them. They are one of thee earliest ways people stared to preserve their foods. I have made a few of my own fermented dishes and plan on trying more. Most the recipes I am pulling from are from Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions. Now, before you run out and buy this book (which I did off of eBay) be forewarned, she does promote the eating of meat. I let that go and the rest of her book is dead on. She slams our food industry and how we have been led to believe what 'real' food is as opposed to what we know it should be.

She has her book broken down into chapters, but her first chapters, once you get past the introduction is Fermented Foods. Most of them are vegetable based. But many of them require whey. For those of you who are vegan, I say omit that ingredient.

I have made homemade dill pickles, and the first time I bit into one I wrinkled my nose up, wanting to know why they did not taste like what I knew to be dill pickles. Well DUH, what we have been eating for the last few decades is so far removed from natural fermentation that is nearly a crime. Then I relaxed my taste buds and began to enjoy the new-found pickles.

All you need is a few mason jars, lids and some counter space, and like with all things made form scratch, you need time. You see, fermented food is not something you 'cook'. The cooking process occurs when you leave it sit in its own juices accompanied by the water and spices indicative to that dish. Savanah and I just made an Arabic style fermented turnips. Simple ingredients, we just had to wait for mother nature to do its thing.

What I can and will say is that if you are not fond of vinegar...don't waste your time. For these dishes hang on the side of an acid tasting dish. But oh the benefits it does for the body. Another highly fermented food/beverage I have grown accustomed to is Kombucha . If you can get hold of a mother, then by all means do so. Talk to the people at your local health food store, see if they know anyone who has a mother/starter. If not then there are ways around it, they are just more time consuming. Again, if you are squeamish around vinegar, read no further, for this beverage will not appeal to you one little bit.

Fermented food is good for us due to its predigestion, and anything we have to break down less is a good thing. So give these things the once over and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

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