KIt's harvest time again, and now that I've mastered tomatoes, sugar free jams and dehydrated everything, it's time to add fermenting vegetables.
The research on fermented foods and probiotics continues to grow and this truly seems to be our missing link to optimal health. As more studies are published, we realize that we know very little about the microflora in our gut, but everything from depression, obesity, allergies, immunity and better digestion is being linked to these little guys. Consumption of healthy bacteria from fermented foods and maybe even the soil our food is grown in is something that our modern day culture has become unfamiliar with. In addition to eating the bacteria themselves, consuming prebiotics to help the proliferate is also overlooked as a means to optimize health.
Even people who are consciously trying to choose a healthy diet but are buying pre-washed greens may not be achieving the results they want. There is something to the soil and the microbes present that may help us achieve better health. Try to grow a few of your own greens or make friends with a farmer who grows greens without pesticides in healthy soil. Then you don't have to wash the vegetables as well. This science is in its infancy so far, but it is worth the shot!
Counting on sugary or artificially sweetened yogurts for your probiotics may not be enough either. Fermenting your own vegetables is a great way to increase your intake of healthy bacteria. The beauty of fermenting is that you can preserve the harvest in small batches. At this point, I'm not an expert, but I suggest getting yourself a book on it and just trying a mason jar or two at a time.
Day 2 and my cucumber pickles smell amazing already!