Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Kombucha, Sauerkraut, and Yogurt, OH MY!

Hello all! It's been a gorgeous few days. I spent some time down at the park by the lake and laid in the sun. I really enjoyed that time soaking in the sun. I have sorely missed it.

Turmeric, ginger, and carrot kombucha, one of my favorite
I'm really excited about the warmer temperatures not just because I won't freeze anymore, but it's helpful for the ferments I've got going on. Fermented food is a regular part of my diet because it might help keep gut microbes in check and healthy. I say might because there are still all kinds of studies exploring the effects our gut microbiome has on our whole body, not just the digestive system. Studies haven't determined if these probiotic foods (fermented foods) are helpful in any way, but I personally find them incredibly helpful in keeping my body and health in good condition.

I highly recommend reading The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health by Erica and Justin Sonneburg. They do a great job of summarizing past, present, and future research on the food we eat and its effect on our gut microbiome and health. I love this book and have actually given a few copies out to friends. 😄

My kombucha brew set-up. It looks like time
to take some SCOBY's out to make room
for more. 
Anyway, in order to support my fermented food habit I always have a gallon jar of kombucha brewing and every few months I put together a couple mason jars of sauerkraut. I'm not very creative when it comes to sauerkraut, but that's mostly due to lack of room in the pantry and refrigerator. That's ok though, we like it simple. I put a little bit of sauerkraut on pretty much everything I eat and between Brad and I, it takes a month or so to go through a whole mason jar of it. I really like Cultures for Health overview and sauerkraut recipe, but instead of the airlock, I use mason tops. I've found these to give me the best results, and are not nearly as messy as airlocks can sometimes be. 

Kombucha is a different story. We go through that fairly quickly, and I like to flavor it with different herbs, fruits, and vegetable juices. Some of our favorite flavor combinations are ginger and lemon, ginger and blueberry, and carrot and turmeric. This week I am trying a new flavor with blueberry and mint. I'll probably make some ginger and lemon too, because that's Brad's favorite.

I highly encourage everyone to try fermented food. A great place to start is yogurt, but look for yogurt brands that aren't filled with artificial sugars. The sugar outweighs the probiotic benefits. My favorite brands are Brown Cow and Siggi's. Another great thing to try is Kefir. It is similar to yogurt, but is fermented differently, and is more liquidy so it's like a thick drink. If you are looking to give kombucha a try, GT's is the brand that got me hooked, but I also really enjoy trying new brands we find in the store. Target even sells kombucha now (and it's pretty darn good).

And if you are looking to make your own, which is fun, and so much cheaper, there are resources all over the internet to help you. I really liked Sandor Katz's books Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation. But really, Google will absolutely give you all the instructions you need.

What foods or recipes do you eat that make you the healthiest you?

💗 Courtney

Blog editing and advisement by adreamingone.

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