The Art of Fermentation

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You may have heard the buzz around fermentation recently. Fermentation is an ancient method of preserving the seasons harvest. Fermented foods are found in the history of various cultures and were upheld for their special life giving properties. While fermentation itself is thousands of years old, its myriad of health benefits have only recently been discovered and analyzed. You may ask, “isn’t the same as pickling?” Although it seems similar, there is a vast difference in not only the process, but the benefits that go along with it.

Foods that are pickled are those that have been preserved in an acidic medium. In the case of various types of supermarket pickles, the pickling comes from vinegar. These vegetables, however, are not fermented (even though vinegar itself is the product of fermentation) and hence do not offer the probiotic and enzymatic value of homemade fermented vegetables.

Vegetables that you ferment in your kitchen using a starter, salt, and some filtered water create their own self preserving, acidic liquid that is a by-product of the fermentation process. Home fermentation of vegetables preserves without the use of any pressure or heat unlike supermarket versions of the same foods. It allows the ubiquitous and beneficial lactobacilli present on the surface of all living things – yes, even your own skin – to proliferate creating lactic acid which not only pickles and preserves the vegetables, but also promotes the health of those who consume it .

Fermentation helps increase digestion and bioavailability of nutrients, as well manage and prevent disease, including H. pylori infection, cancer, liver disease, arthritis and inflammatory bowel. Fermented foods are also filled with beneficial bacteria that work as reinforcement for the good bacteria in the digestive system. Since 7-80 per cent of the immune system lies in the gut, having proper balance of gut flora is very important.

Esther Beazer, certified Fermentationist, is a young woman who, herself, had suffered from digestive issues and began searching for ways to become healthier through fitness and overall wellness. She studied nutrition, which led to studying gut health and how it is the foundation to a healthy body. It was through this research she discovered fermentation and subsequently enrolled in a program with instructor, Summer Bock, to become a certified Fermentationist. It is her goal to share what she has learned about this fascinating ancient process with others through offering a variety of workshops. During these workshops you will discover the many benefits to your gut health, while learning the art of fermenting sauerkraut, traditional brine pickling, Kombucha, Kefir, natural sodas and cashew cheeze.

To learn more, or register for a class go to: www.estherbeazer.com

Jean Van KleekComment