Last night, after long study session for my upcoming biology exam, I grabbed an evening snack of paté (recipe coming soon) and carrots before heading to bed. Unfortunately, my brain was so fried from memorizing the role of the sodium-potassium pumps in neuron membranes that I forgot to put the paté container back in the fridge. Thankfully, there was only a few spoonfuls of paté left so I wasn’t too distraught when I dumped the sour-smelling leftovers down the sink in the morning.
In general, we try to avoid fermenting our foods by leaving them out at room temperature. But while soured paté is certainly not appetizing, purposefully fermenting fruits, vegetables and dairy produces delicious and probiotic-charged results. As a matter of fact, I try to eat a form of fermented food (usually my homemade yogurt or homemade sauerkraut) with every meal.
A few days ago, I discussed the #1 Missed Opportunity to Boost Your Immune System. I explained the role of gut flora in the immune system and how consuming sources of fermented foods bolsters your immunity. I encourage you to go read that post so you can learn how:
bacteria from fermented foods reduces an autoimmune response in the body
a certain fermented food was shown to drastically increase antibodies
special probiotics play roles in reducing inflammation and strengthening immunity
How does fermentation work?
Purposeful fermentation (think yogurt, traditional sauerkraut and creme fraiche) involves fermenting a food with microbes, leaving it at room temperature for a specified period to allow the flora to reproduce, and then transferring the jar to the fridge for longer storage.
During the fermentation time, the microbes flourish and transform the ingredients. Crunchy cabbage wilts into tangy sauerkraut. Milk thickens into pleasantly sour kefir. Even black tea turns into a fizzy kombucha.
Want to Start Fermenting?
I was so tickled to have the opportunity to review Alex Lewin’s book Real Food Fermentation. (You can find Alex at his blog, Feed Me Like You Mean It.) Alex’s book provides the perfect starting place if you have never touched kefir grains in your life. He gives a thorough explanation of the fermenting process which is very useful for beginners.
For those who have some fermenting already under your belt, this book will expand your fermenting horizons with recipes like Peach and Plum Chutney, Ginger Ale and even Corned Beef!
My favorite part of the book? The pictures! Alex gives you step-by-step pictures for nearly every recipe so you will never be alone in your fermenting journey! And I’m sure you’ll agree that photographs are the best part of any cookbook.
Take a Sneak Peak
Preview time!Alex let me share this recipe for Cucumber Pickles with you all!
Enter the Giveaway!
Alex is also offering a free copy of Real Food Fermentation to two lucky winners! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
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