Fermented foods, we eat them almost every day! However, it is not uncommon for people to consume it without even realizing it. Let’s dive into the world of fermentation, starting with the basics.
What Is A Fermented Product?
Let’s start by determining what fermentation is: a transformation. Microorganisms produce these enzymes that change sugars into gas, alcohol, or even acids. Among these microorganisms, mention may be made of fungi, bacteria, and yeasts. A fermented food is, therefore, a food that has transformed the action of a ferment/enzyme. In the kitchen, we can mainly deal with three types of fermentation:
- Acetic (ex: vinegar)
- Lactic (ex: yogurt)
- Alcoholic (ex: beer)
Traditional Fermented Foods
Historically, fermentation was used to preserve food better and longer. Traces of this technique can be found all over the world. Among the best-known products in France are bread, sauerkraut, wine, beer, butter, pickles, vinegar, coffee, etc. How so? Is the bread made from fermentation? Eh yes! Yeast or sourdough acts on the sugars that are in the dough. Even more amazing? This is an alcoholic fermentation.
List Of Fermented Foods
As you can imagine, there are plenty of fermented products out there. Here is a non-exhaustive list :
- Dairy products (e.g., cheese, cream)
- Vegetables (e.g., beets, eggplant)
- Beverages (e.g., kombucha, kefir )
- Asian cuisine (e.g., miso, kimchi )
- Fruit (e.g., peach, apricot)
- Meats (e.g., sausage, ham)
- Fish (e.g., herring, trout)
What Are Fermented Vegetables?
As we saw above, many foods can undergo fermentation. Vegetables are no exception: garlic, onion, celery, cabbage, carrot, tomato, beans, etc.
What Are The Benefits Of Fermented Foods?
Lacto-fermented vegetables are full of benefits. For example, they are full of vitamins. Indeed, vitamins tend to develop during the fermentation process. They are also rich in minerals, strengthen the immune system, participate in the proper functioning of the digestive system, provide energy, etc.
Also Read: 15 Foods You Should Never Keep In The Fridge
Fermented Foods And Probiotics
Fermented foods are full of bacteria called “probiotics.” These are naturally present in our bodies. Did you know? Probiotics are also called “good bacteria.” Probiotics are beneficial for the body, especially in our digestive tract. Judge by yourself:
- Regulation of intestinal transit,
- Improvement of digestion and irritable bowel syndrome,
- Decrease in diarrhea.
Probiotics also play a role in our immunity.
Fermented Foods And Bloating
Lacto-fermented vegetables reduce bloating. The explanation is that lactic acid bacteria do the first job digesting fibers.
Fermented Food To Avoid
There is no particular contraindication to the consumption of fermented foods ( if the fermentation is carried out correctly ). However, like all good things, they should be consumed in moderation. Consuming too much can cause headaches or even bloating. In addition, the transformation process requires salt, and people who suffer from hypertension should consume it cautiously.
Where Can I Find Fermented Food?
Given the number of fermented products that exist, you can find them very easily in many stores. Do you not find your happiness in the trade? Never mind! So try your hand at the ancestral art of fermentation at home.
Fermented Foods: Our Recipes
Ready to start fermenting? Great! The editorial staff of Tout Vert offers a very simple procedure to start the fermentation of vegetables in style. First, remove the thick skins and cut the vegetables into pieces. Bacteria on the skin allow fermentation, so don’t peel them entirely. Add salt and allow time for the vegetables to drain.
How much salt? Plus or minus 2% of the total vegetable weight. If you want to ferment vegetables that don’t yield water, you’ll need to add water (this is called “brine”). Finally, you have to put your preparation in a pot. Make sure the jars are clean and airtight. Vegetables must be submerged in their water; this will avoid the presence of oxygen. Oxygen is an element that allows the development of molds and other yeasts.
Good to know: the longer the fermentation time, the more tender and tangy the food will be.
Do you notice a bad smell (rotten egg type) when you open the jar? Fermentation failed!
If you want to succeed the first time, try experimenting with vegetables that lend themselves well to this transformation: carrot, cabbage, beetroot, and pickle (cucumber).
A smoothie is perfect for filling up on good things. Mix bananas, strawberries, and kefir for a tasty and healthy drink.