Fermented foods are food that have been through a process of lacto fermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and various strains of probiotics
Consuming fermented foods and drinks will introduce beneficial bacteria (probiotics) into your digestive system. Having the proper balance of gut bacteria helps you absorb more of the nutrients in the foods you eat. Probiotics have also been shown to improve immune system function, improve bowel health, protect against overgrowth of harmful bacteria and yeast, aid digestion, and prevent or help many auto immune disorders and gut diseases.
Sauerkraut - Fermented cabbage
Kimchi- Fermented vegetable mix
Pickles and Vegetables – There are other fermented vegetables that you can buy in most health food stores. Be sure to look at the ingredients. Organic and raw should be on the label and you should not see vinegar in the ingredient list. Here is a good article explaining the difference between “fermented” and “pickled”.
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We prefer raw milk (either goat or cow) yogurt as a fermented food versus buying pasteurized yogurt in the store. The pasteurization process makes store bought yogurts difficult to digest which sometimes outweighs the benefits of the probiotics contained in them. If you are able to tolerate dairy and wish to purchase yogurt opt for the organic, grass-fed, pastured, whole milk yogurt. If you would like to make your own raw milk yogurt, https://ww.rockfarmersmarket.com, is a great co-op in DFW area that has raw dairy products along with many other healthy food choices.
Kombucha – fermented tea
Kombucha is all the rage right now and you can find it at all health food stores as well as many big chain grocery stores. We caution you to check the labels before shelling out $3-4 per bottle. Many kombucha companies only ferment their brew for a short time leaving a fair amount of sugar in the finished product. Look for store bought kombuchas that contain 5g or less sugar on the ingredient label. Look at different flavors of the same brand as some contain more or less sugar than others flavors do. Also, beware of anything that is pasteurized – that is not true kombucha.
Don’t be afraid! It is easy and very inexpensive! If you are interested in making your own, please check with us. We may be able to share a starter scoby with you.
Jun Tea – similar to kombucha but uses green tea and honey. It is considered the “champagne” of kombuchas and has a completely different flavor than kombucha. If you are interested in making Jun Tea, let us know. We may be able to provide you with a starter culture.
Milk Kefir – fermented milk
As with yogurt, we prefer raw milk kefir to pasteurized. There are many pasteurized versions available at the grocery store but they are frequently laden with sugar. If you are interested in making your own it is a very simple process. You can find raw milk near you here… http://texasrealmilk.org/links/.
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Water Kefir- fermented water
Beet Kvass – fermented beet beverage. Excellent tonic for the liver, gallbladder, the blood and a powerful anti-inflammatory.
There are two methods of making it. The quicker method (#1 listed below) uses a starter culture of whey or sauerkraut juice. The second method (#2 listed below) takes longer but does not require a starter culture.
*An easy substitute for whey or sauerkraut juice is this Farmhouse Gut Shot product
It is available at Sprouts and many other health food stores.