Fermentation is an ancient method of food preparation that consists of letting probiotic bacteria break down foods to change their attributes. That’s how we turn milk into yogurt, grapes into wine, and it is how various traditional foods and beverages around the world are made, as this how to make kombucha guide shows.
If you have never given fermentation a try before, you should. Here’s why.
1 – Fermented foods are yummy
Getting into fermentation will give you access to a wide range of delicacies that you might have never tried before. Or that you could only get already-made from the supermarket. Popular fermented foods worldwide include kefir, natto, tempeh, miso, kimchi, and more. Most of these are made using commonly available ingredients; Kimchi, for example, is usually made out of fermented cabbage.
Learning how to ferment foods will expand your culinary range. You can also learn to make things you were already buying while putting your spin on them. There are many ways to make yogurt, for example, and your chosen preparation method can significantly impact the flavor and texture of the final product.
2 – Fermenting is easy
The basics of the fermentation process are relatively simple. However, preparing the food often comes down to getting the correct ingredient in the proper containers and letting them sit there for hours, days, or weeks as the bacteria do their thing.
Of course, different fermented foods require different ingredients and preparation methods. But the principles of fermentation are applied to remain universal, which will help you pick up more recipes after learning the basics of how fermentation works. And there are plenty of easy recipes for you to start with, as well as starter kits that will give you all the ingredients you need to start fermenting.
3 – Fermented foods last longer
One of the benefits of fermenting foods is that it helps to preserve them. TheThis is because the probiotics responsible for the fermentation process will outcompete other bacteria found in the food, which significantly reduces how long it takes for a given item to spoil. The result is that fermented or pickled fruits and vegetables can stay good for months without the need for refrigeration.
Of course, you should double-check the shelf life of any fermented online before attempting this. But in theory, the preserving nature of fermentation allows you to make large amounts of any given food and then store it to use as side dishes or parts of other recipes for months to come—all without having to give up space in your fridge or freezer.
4 – Fermented foods are healthy
Fermented foods typically don’t have as much nutritional value as of fresh fruits and vegetables, but the difference isn’t that big. And fermented foods are generally more nutritious than food items that have been canned or frozen, making fermentation one of the best ways to preserve foods without making them less healthy.
On top of that, the bacteria needed for fermentation are also beneficial to your health when ingested. This is because they become part of your gut flora, helping your body better break down and digest foods moving forward.