Food fermentation is the process by which natural bacteria (the good kind that strengthen your immune and aids digestive system) feed on carbohydrates creating lactic acid. This process which is known as lacto-fermentation preserves food and breaks it down in a manner that the body finds easy to digest. Preserving foods this way also increases the availability of nutrients, enzymes, omega acids and certain probiotics. It also results in interesting flavours, textures, aromas and smells. The overall benefits are not only limited to you immune system or your digest system but they contribute to your overall wellness. Some of the benefits of fermented foods are:
- An excellent source of nutrients
- Detoxing properties
- Very cost effective - fermented foods can be stored in the refrigerator for weeks compared to fresh produce which only lasts a couple of days and they contain more probiotics.
Food Fermentation: How does Lacto-Fermentation work?
Lacto-fermentation is a simple process which requires an anaerobic environment (an environment that is absent of air). All you need for lacto fermentation is your produce, water, fermentation jars (we recommend ceramic fermentation pots) and depending on what you are fermenting some salt. With just these key factors, a suitable environment is created.
The process of fermentation as a preservation method has been used by many cultures to an extent that they have created trademark fermented dishes that are now enjoyed worldwide. These include kimchi from Korea, sauerkraut from Germany, natto( fermented soybeans) from Japan and Amasi from South Africa, to name a few. Other fermented foods that you are possibly familiar (although some might have names that are not too common) with include:
Types of Fermented Foods
- Kombucha (fermented tea)
- Cottage Cheese
- Vegan cheese or nut cheese
- Miso (fermented soy beans)
- Sourdough bread
- Crème fraîche
- Homemade ginger beer
- Fermented juices