I have really grown to love getting the good bugs into my body through fermented foods.
My favorites are the 3 K’s.
I love them all. They are sour, delicious, and loaded with probiotics.
But home fermentation is scary.
Everything has to be about as sterile as an operating room.
Ask anyone who has fermented at home. Every step has to be done with complete sterility, or a whole batch of raw sauerkraut can smell worse than a sewage treatment plant.
My friends and family are constantly giving me crap about home fermentation, and joking about the possibility of getting arrested for making moonshine and homemade hooch.
(Can’t you just see me sitting in a paddy wagon, drinking fruity tea from a Mason jar?)
I discovered raw kraut a few years ago because of Kimberly Snyder. She is a beautiful person, inside and out, who swears by eating raw kraut for superior digestion and beauty. My first few tries making it at home were down right scary. But my tools and environment were not sterile. Then I discovered Dana. Dana is one of my favorite bloggers ever. She is hilarious. She is also all over the place dietarily….like me. She is constantly searching for her holy grail. These two gorgeous creatures taught me how to make kraut the right way. Check out their blogs if you are interested in learning to ferment at home. It will save you tons of money. A quart of raw kraut can cost $10-25 at the local farmer’s market, and you can make it at home for less than 50 cents.
Kimchi is much like raw kraut, only the veggies are usually chopped instead of shredded, and there is usually a fair amount of spice and heat to it. A pint of kimchi costs around $3 at our local market, but I can make it at home for less than 25 cents, and the bonus to that is I can also adjust the heat. The kimchi from the market is usually too spicy for me to eat without adding it to something else. My neighbor is Korean and makes the most beautiful kimchi in the world. But the last time I ate some with her we had to call the fire department.
Now to my favorite ferment….kombucha. I L-O-V-E it. The combination of tart and sweet and fizzy is amazing. It took me several tries to get this one right, but I was determined. A pint of this stuff is $4 at Whole Foods, and pales in comparison to the goodness you can make at home.
The hardest part is the timing of the fermentation. And finding a good SCOBY.
The genius blogger, Emma Christensen, is where I found my winning recipe. I adore her. She has a book in print called True Brews, where you can learn to make anything from kombucha to beer to cider. Her strawberry kombucha recipe is amazing. You can find it here. It is the most brilliant thing ever. All you will need are some good black and green teas, a gallon glass jar, some sugar, (it ferments out) paper towel, a rubber band, a SCOBY, and of course strawberries. I paid $25 for a good quality SCOBY from a colonic hydro-therapist in the area, but you can buy dehydrated ones online, or even make your own. Wellness Mama has some great tips on kombucha making. (LOVE her!)
Regardless of which ferment you choose to try, any and all of them will improve your digestion and elimination with a good raw source of probiotics.
Any tips on fermentation? Please share your recipes and tips in the comments below. Happy fermenting!