Love your Guts
The most common type of fermenting is lacto-fermentation. This is the process by which sugars (carbohydrates) are converted to lactic acid by yeasts and bacteria when placed in a controlled, oxygen-free environment such as a glass jar or fermenting crock. This method of preserving food has been practiced for centuries; it’s safe, hygienic and responsible for some of your favourite foods, such as chocolate and yogurt. After fermentation, vegetables take on a deep umami flavour and become rich sources of probiotics. Probiotic is the term we use referring to the living micro-organisms found in fermented foods and our guts. The role they play in our wellbeing is to keep our digestive systems functioning, as well as helping to regulate hormones. The key to keeping our gut health in balance is consuming a variety of probiotic foods everyday. This is why it’s important to know there is more to fermenting than sauerkraut!
Jaimee ferments whole watermelons with garlic, makes traditional Russian kvass (a rye-bread fermented beverage), miso, fermented vine leaves and sambals for our cafes and retail. Her passion for fermented foods comes from her Russian heritage and her love of research in the areas of health and food heritage.
We asked Jaimee what her favourite fermented foods are and how to get them into our everyday meals.
Miso – an unpasteurised miso is a great spread on toast. My kids thought it was Vegemite for about 10 years!
The brine from fermented vegetables – This is gold! The brine is full of probiotic goodness as well as flavour and if you mix it with a little olive oil you have a delicious and easy salad dressing.
Milk kefir – By far my favourite ferment! I use kefir and flour to make a simple dough. I serve it in place of sour cream on taco night, soak my oats for bircher as well as in banana smoothies.