Fermentation is a prehistoric food preservation technology prepared by adding microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, to food. People used this technique to preserve food for the off-season in ancient times. However, fermented food is very popular in the current situation because of its many health benefits.
Fermentation of vegetables started so many years ago, dated as 7000 BC in Asia, and Milk fermentation was begun in the Middle East region about 8000 BC. When looking back to history, most Eastern people in the world used fermentation foods as medicine to cure diseases related to the gastrointestinal tract.
The science behind fermentation is complex sugars in foods are partially broken down into various types of acids with the help of enzymes of microbes in anaerobic conditions. There are many popular fermented foods in different cuisine of the world. Such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, tempeh, miso, etc.
The main purpose of this article is to explore the health benefits of fermented food, giving some easy and simple recipes for fermented foods which can be made in your kitchen.
1. Health Benefits Of Fermented Foods
Fermented food is the healthiest food option, with many health benefits for humans.
Probiotics: Probiotic foods contain full of gut-friendly bacteria. Many fermented foods are a good source of probiotics and give many benefits when included in your diet.
Improved digestion: Complex sugars have partially collapsed in fermented foods, facilitating digestion and absorption in your gut.
Nutrient profile enhancement: ‘Anti nutrients’ factors are found in some foods, like vegetables and almost cereals, which are removed by fermentation. When removed, the anti-nutrients can be enhanced the nutrient profile of foods.
Mental health and mood: Commonly fermented foods contain Lactobacillus helveticus, and Bifidobacterium longum bacteria strains that reduce depression and anxiety in humans. Cortisol hormone production is also reduced by one of the strains of probiotic bacteria and controls the stress condition.
2. Easy Fermented Food Recipes To Try At Home
2.1 Homemade Sauerkraut
You can prepare homemade sauerkraut by using these two things: cabbage and salt. Here steps are given below.
1. Clean your cabbage thoroughly and shred it into thin slices.
2. Add a little salt to shredded cabbage; if you like spices, add them with salt.
3. Take a glass jar, fill it up tightly, and close it airtight.
4. Leave the jar for one to two weeks to act with microbes and produce the characteristic flavour of sauerkraut.
2.2 Simple Kimchi
Kimchi is a famous Korean fermented food. You can prepare this simple kimchi using the below method in your home.
1. Cut the napa cabbage, add the salt and leave for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Wash and drain the cabbage in water
3. Prepare the spice (garlic, ginger, sugar, fish and shrimp sauces) paste
4. Mix the cabbage and vegetables (radish and Asian chives leave) with the spice paste.
5. Fill up the kimchi into the jar and leave for 1 to 5 days
6. Keep in your refrigerator for usage.
2.3 Kefir Smoothie
Kefir is a drinkable fermented food which is made from milk. This is an easy recipe for preparing a kefir smoothie and is perfect for breakfast with high probiotics.
1. Add kefir, frozen strawberries, frozen pineapple cuts, banana, maple syrup and ice cubes into a blender.
2. Blend the ingredients until the buttery texture
3. Pour into a glass jar and drink immediately or in the refrigerator.
2.4 Kombucha Tea
Kombucha tea is a fermented tea with loads of beneficial bacteria. This simple recipe for homemade kombucha.
1. Prepare the tea base and add the starter tea.
2. Pour into a glass jar and add the scoby.
3. Leave for 7-10 days for the fermentation process, and remove the SCOBY from the glass jar.
4. Fill the kombucha into bottles and carbonate them.
5. Keep in refrigerator to prevent fermentation.
2.5 Miso Soup
Miso soup is a fermented Japanese umami-flavoured soup in a boiled rice bowl. This is a quick recipe for making miso soup.
1. Add dashi granules into the water and boil the content.
2. Low the flame and add the miso paste.
3. Add tofu cubes and green onions and boil gently.
4. Serve the soup with boiled rice.
Finally, fermented food plays a major role in keeping our gut healthy. Consumption of fermented food has increased recently because people are aware of their health benefits. Fermentation is not only a preservation technique of food but also increases the nutritional value of foods. You should try this simple recipe in your home. Eat healthy food and stay wealthy life!