Fermented foods are so important for good health because they restock your gut with beneficial micro-organisms that are vital for a healthy immune system. The tricky thing is to find unpasteurized fermented foods. The process of pasteurization uses high heat designed to kill bacteria, so all those beneficial bacteria and yeasts get killed off in the process. But there seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding them and many people believe they are difficult to make properly. One of my first introductions to fermented foods was when a friend gave me a ‘Manchurian Mushroom' and I started brewing, what I only discovered much later, was Kombucha. I was nervous at first, but it turned out to be easy and sparked my interest in trying other types of fermented foods. I still think Kombucha and milk kefir are two of the simplest fermented foods to make.
While fermented foods are fun and easy to make, many require or benefit from starter cultures. If you get good quality starter cultures to begin with, then follow the instructions just like any other recipe you'll probably have no trouble creating your own delicious and ultra-healthy fermented foods.
So, where do you get good quality starter cultures and supplies for fermented foods?
I've created a dedicated page of resources for kombucha and will be creating the same for the other fermented foods. There you'll find links to what I think are the best place sto get cultures and supplies. You'll also find links to all the recipes I've posted about making or using that type of fermented food.
Fermented Food Resources
- Kombucha: a fermented tea that was very popular in Russia. It's tart, slightly effervescent, and very refreshing. Click here for Kombucha Cultures, Supplies and Recipes
- Milk Kefir: a fermented probiotic cultured milk. It's runnier than most yogurts so it can be used as a drink or as a yogurt. The whey can be strained from it to make cheese. Unlike yogurt, milk kefir can actually colonize your gut with good microorganisms.
- Water Kefir: a sweet, sometimes slightly effervescent fermented probiotic drink. It can be flavored using different things like lemon, ginger, grape juice etc. Kids usually love it and it can be used as a healthier alternative to soda.
- Pickled Vegetables: coming soon