According to my Facebook feed, the Huffington post, many newspapers and
magazines, fermented foods are the next big food trend.
It does indeed seem that fermented foods are the food trend of 2015, however, I would argue that fermented foods are not new but are in fact a food process that our forefathers used to store food before the advent of canning and other methods of food storage.
So why are they making a comeback and what exactly are fermented foods?
In this modern era, many people struggle with digestive issues and chronic health complaints and the suggestion is that fermented foods can help with many of these. If you have heard of fermented foods, the chances are you have heard of them in relation to their probiotics benefits. Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lacto fermentation,where natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process helps preserve the food, creating beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics, which are good for your gut health.
85% of our immune system is situated in our gut, hence the benefits of fermented foods and all the probiotics they produce. A leading experts in gut flora Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, has been treating patients with fermented foods for many years.
Fermented foods are reported to help with skin disorders, weight loss, allergies and type 1 diabetes, prevent cancers and improve mental health to name but a few of the benefits.
So where to start?
I have in been eating sauerkraut for a while to help with my digestion rather than taking probiotic tablets. After an unsuccessful attempt at making sauerkraut myself I was excited to hear of a workshop being held in Nottingham on how to make fermented food and the health benefits associated.
The workshop was fascinating and it was lovely to be with a group of people so passionate about their health and have an interest in this lost art of food preparation. The workshop began with a tasting of different fermented vegetables, everything from fermented garlic, sauerkraut to kimchi (a Korean fermented dish) and surprisingly, fermented fruit.
Fermented foods have a distinctive taste, slightly sour and sharp.
We then got stuck in to making out pots of fermented vegetables, it turned out to be a very therapeutic and messy affair. Once you have the basic process of fermenting you are really only limited by your imagination. My little pot, then had to be left for a minimum of two weeks. Fruits ferment much more quickly. I have just recently opened it, I have to say I am very pleased with it, I will be making more to aid my gut health.
To find learn more about fermented foods and how to make them check out Go Fermental
Edited: Carla Moore