Natural Probiotics: Homemade Fermented Foods

We became interested in homemade fermented foods about the same time we started researching whole food eating styles. This is partly because we found out the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics. Naturally, we wanted to find the best way to encourage good gut health.

First of all, you can buy both probiotics and prebiotics in a bottle and take them like you would vitamins, or other supplements. However, you will never really know what you are getting. Not a problem with homemade fermented foods.

There are a variety of foods that enhance gut health by providing you with probiotics and others that work to promote probiotic growth and flora balance.

It is more interesting, and probably better health-wise to process homemade fermented foods that you make yourself. Plus, you gain some new knowledge about preserving fresh food at home. Also, you have the satisfaction of making these foods. Not to mention you will save money, too. If you have a garden, even better. You can start to ferment your own homegrown foods.

Types of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods include fermented drinks like Kombucha and Water Kefir. In this post we will talk about actual food, and save the fermented drinks for another post. Our experience is with creating small batch sauerkrauts, kimchi, fermented pickles, and fermented vegetables.

We want to talk mostly about the benefits here, and not so much about recipes. There are plenty of good "how-to" videos on the subject that you can find online. Plus, there are entire food blogs devoted to the subject of fermenting, pickling, and brewing these prebiotic and probiotic foods.

Essentially, fermented foods provide added nutritional benefits. The process of fermentation increases nutrtional content naturally, and creates better bioavailabity. Aside from boosting many essentail vitamins and minerals, these foods provide instant energy.

We have this fermentation process perfected and can make small batch sauerkraut ready to eat in 3-4 days. However, it does get better tasting the longer you leave it to ferment. Now, we like to make other fermented foods like pickles, Kimchi, and a variety of pickled vegetables. You can pickle green beans. carrots, onions...really just about any fresh vegetables.

Benefits of Fermented Foods

One of the best strategies to ensure that you have optimal good bacteria levels in your body is to consume fermented foods. Remember that 80 percent of your immune system is in your gut, so inoculating it with beneficial bacteria can set you on the right path towards longevity and good health.

Apple Cider Vinegar as a Prebiotic

Additionally, another great homemade prebiotic is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV for short). No doubt, you have read about the benefits of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. The most recommended product is "Bragg" organic raw apple cider vinegar. This is a great product, but you can learn to easily make your own ACV. Here again, there are numerous DIY videos online.

Apple cider vinegar is a natural vinegar obtained through the fermentation of apples or apple cider. Apple Cider Vinegar called for short ACV is also known as cider vinegar, and is a pale to medium amber liquid, with an acidic PH, and is used for cooking and as a medicine for many ailments.

Finally, here are some good resources on home fermentation. Here is a video we found useful for "Fermenting Vegetables". Rain Country also has a great video on how to make and use a "Fermentation Starter". Follow this link for a website that is devoted to "Homemade Fermented Foods".