Fermenting For Dummies
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There are so many reasons of why you should consider fermenting your foods. Not only can you improve your health and change your entire experience with foods and flavors, but you also get to play with new kitchen gadgets! The following list gives you good reasons to get started with some fermenting recipes today.

Helping your body to function efficiently

Because fermented foods are loaded with probiotics and enzymes, they help your body digest foods efficiently. Your body has to do much less work to break down the fermented item. What's more, the boost of beneficial flora that's delivered to your gut helps you with efficient and effective elimination, which is key to digestive health and overall health and vitality. As they say, better out then in!

Boosting your immunity

Eating fermented foods help to boost your immune system. You are less likely to get sick when fermented items are part of your regular diet. Just a little dose of sauerkraut or kombucha can work wonders to keep you feeling well all year long! Many fermented foods have also been known to decrease allergic responses!

Becoming friends with bacteria

As you start to ferment, you gain an appreciation for all the little microbes that are at work in your food to generate the process of fermentation. They are not doing harm to your food as many worry; in fact, they are enhancing it. They busily work to create something delicious and wildly different for your palate.

Helping the environment

When you ferment your own foods, you are minimizing the consumer waste associated with driving to the store, purchasing a product, bringing it home in a bag, and discarding the packaging.

In addition, you are saying "no" to food processed and packaged in large-scale industrial operations. Think of all of the fossil fuels and water it takes to run these factories and ship food internationally.

Finally, plant-based fermented foods are a healthy alternative to pharmaceuticals, which is another industry dependent on fossil fuel. In other words, fermenting your own foods helps you reduce your overall environmental impact.

Saving money and time

Fermenting your own food allows you to become financially self-reliant. When you buy in bulk and purchase produce directly from the source (like at a farmer’s market when it’s in season), or if you grow your own food, you inadvertently save money! And you get to avoid the high costs of buying hand-crafted, artisan food products.

Furthermore, fermented foods can last for years without refrigeration, which means fewer trips to the supermarket. Finally, fermented foods make inexpensive gifts that are bound to impress your family members and friends.

Getting to know your food

Fermenting is a time-honored tradition that's been practiced all over the world. Fermenting provides you with an opportunity to connect to your family, your heritage, and your culture. This intergenerational knowledge exchange is important in our technology-driven society, as it helps nourish relationships. Not only will you get to know your food better and recover lost knowledge, but you’ll learn about the cultural significance of food and witness its role in community building.

Making your food last longer

Fermenting is a great way to manage the abundance of a seasonal food, and it's a way to take advantage of sale items at the grocery store or farmer's market. Fermenting doesn’t need much room or money to get started, and it can be done in the smallest of kitchens. The real food savings comes from buying foods in season and being able to preserve them quickly. Fermenting makes it easy and delicious.

Testing out new and fun culinary tools

Who doesn’t love gadgets? The great thing about the renewed interest in fermenting foods is that there has been a wonderful increase in new tools to work with. If you love to find easier ways to do everything, kitchen gadgets give you so many options to explore.

Experimenting with new flavors

Probably one of the best reasons to begin fermenting foods is the range of flavors you can create. Every food changes flavor at different times during the fermenting process, and you can enjoy eating a fermented food across a range of sour or fizzy stages. The art of fermenting adds flavor to basic food items and is definitely a more creative ways of cooking.

Learning new kitchen techniques

Working with fermented foods forces you to become more intimate with your subject. You have to know the stages of fermenting, the flavor profiles, and the different textures that foods go through during the fermenting process. After beginning to appreciate fermented foods, you will start to learn new techniques for working with all the foods you eat. Your cooking will change and improve as you incorporate these new foods into your diet, and you will develop new recipes for creating delicious meals with fermented ingredients.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Marni Wasserman is passionate about real food. She inspires people to eat well and live well everyday. She shares many of her recipes and tips at www.marniwasserman.com. Amy Jeanroy is passionate about healthy, homemade foods and has been making and eating fermented food for 20 years. She shares daily recipes on her site, www.thefarmingwife.com.

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