A Guide to Choosing Healthy Fermented & Cultured Foods
- Cultured, or naturally fermented foods are very traditional foods, having been consumed by our ancestors throughout the ages
- Vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi, etc), fruits (chutneys and preserved fruits), beverages (water kefir, kombucha, beet kvass, etc), grains (sourdough bread), dairy products (dairy kefir, yogurt, crème fraiche, sour cream, etc) and condiments (homemade ketchup, fish sauce, soy sauce/tamari, fermented salsa, etc) are all examples of foods that can be naturally fermented or cultured.
- Cultured foods are rich in enzymes, vitamins and minerals, including some nutrients that are difficult to get from other sources, like Vitamin K and B vitamins.
- Fermented and cultured foods contain beneficial bacteria that help maintain balance in our gut. A healthy gut is a major factor in our overall health.
- Start your ferments with organic ingredients and use unrefined sea salt when called for in the recipe. Whey may also be used in some recipes, and is best from grass-fed cows.
- Starter cultures are available online for a wide variety of cultured foods and beverages. Once you have a begun a culture, very often it can be maintained or propagated long-term, sometimes for years.