Food fermentation is the process of transforming foods with the help of microorganisms, like yeast and bacteria. These organisms release enzymes that can alter the chemical properties of the food, changing their attributes and even given birth to entirely new products. It’s through fermentation that milk can become cheese and yogurt, grapes can become wine, and sweet tea can become kombucha.
You have likely consumed plenty of fermented foods bought from stores and restaurants, but have you considered making your own? Here are some of the reasons why picking fermentation as a hobby can be a great idea.
Fermented foods are healthy
Fermented foods have been part of human culture for thousands of years, and when consumed in moderation, this type of food can be quite healthy. The chief benefit you gain from these foods relates to the aforementioned microorganisms that are part of the fermentation process.
The yeast and bacteria used for fermenting foods are also good for our health. Once ingested, they become part of our intestinal flora, strengthening our digestive system. If you ever heard of “probiotics”, this is what it means. Probiotics are microorganisms that are good for our health, and fermented foods are full of them. This makes fermented foods a great addition to your regular diet, and making your own will ensure that you always have some in the house.
Making fermented foods is easy
Although some recipes are more hands-on than others, fermenting foods is usually not a complicated process. Making Kombucha, for example, involves mixing a kombucha SCOBY and sweet tea and letting it ferment for a couple of weeks. How you make the tea and how you prepare the final product after the fermentation will have a big impact on the final result, but the basics are pretty simple, and no expensive equipment is required.
Making wine is similarly easy, and some cheese recipes can take as little as thirty minutes. It all adds up to fermentation being a lot easier than people realize. And after the initial learning curve, you’ll be able to ferment food for a fraction of what it would cost at your local grocery store.
You gain control over the ingredients
One of the challenges of looking for healthy fermented foods is trying to avoid additives. Lots of sugar may be to yogurt and kombucha, and big brands add all sorts of compounds to cheese to make it last longer and look more delicious. Additives like these can make it harder to control what goes into your body, and some may even make the food in question less healthy.
That’s not a problem when you make your own fermented food. You get to control exactly what goes into the mixture when, and you can even personalize it to your taste and food needs. And if you come up with a particularly delightful combination, you can share it with friends and family for some added satisfaction.
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