It was a pleasure being in the 1st Fair of Organic Agriculture with the workshop Fermented Foods. I met incredible people and I came home with a big smile on my face.
1. Awaken your senses
When you start making homemade fermented foods you will discover a whole new world, especially in terms of smell and taste.
Sour is the main taste due to the fermentation process, so it´s normal if you feel reluctant to give it a try. After all, you are introducing probiotics in your organism and harmful bacteria are not interested in this! But believe in me that soon you will want it badly! The same happens regarding the smell. Fermented foods have an intense smell, which might be discouraging in the beginning, but habit is all you need and your organism will thank you for this.
Trust your gut (literally!) to understand if the fermentation process went well.
2. Include fermented foods in your diet, but don´t make them your diet
Less is more. In other words, you don´t need to eat large amounts of fermented foods to enjoy their benefits or you might be doing more harm than good. By the way, in the beginning it is best to start consuming fermented foods little by little because you might experience detox side effects, such as:
- Joint pain
3. Don´t use vinegar
Fermentation that is beneficial for our organism (a.k.a. with probiotics) is made with water and salt, not vinegar.
4. Probiotics don´t survive high temperatures
Fermented foods are eaten generally raw, but if you decide to heat them it is important they don´t reach high temperatures. It is also for this reason that pasteurized food end up having few probiotics or any at all.
5. Pay attention to temperature
High temperatures speed up the fermentation process. The contrary also applies, meaning that low temperatures slow down the fermentation process. For example, my kefir needs 2 days to ferment, but in Summer it ferments after 1 day at room temperature.
6. Be careful with the amount of salt
A lot of salt may slow down the fermentation process and little salt may speed up the fermentation process and create mold.
7. Control fermentation time
If you want a more intense flavor, then your fermented food needs more days to ferment. Regarding vegetables, the longer they ferment the less crunchy they will become. It´s a question of taste!
When I ferment sauerkraut and pickles the process takes 1 week at least.
Which fermented food would you like to try first?