Spring is here!
I am feeling frisky and having dirty thoughts.
I am thinking about the soil our food grows in.
I am thinking about the decomposed matter, microbes (bacterial), fungi and mycorrhiza in the soil.
I am thinking of the earthworms that slowly churn the the soil, break down the organic matter and leave behind castings that provide natural fertilizers for the soil.
This lovely dirty chemical free soil provides us with the nutrients needed to produce the healthy and delicious vegetables we eat.
No chemicals required!
Thinking dirty thoughts is good for you!
I have always loved sour and spicy flavours.
So fermented foods and pickles are a staple in my diet.
For many centuries prior to refrigeration, people all over the world fermented and pickled foods, in order to preserve them for consumption between the growing seasons. Remember, people used to only eat what was available to them in their region, before modern day transportation networks made it possible to carry fresh foods over great distances.
- retain all of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants of the foods. As we know antioxidants act as scavengers of harmful free radicals that contribute to degenerative diseases like cancer, arthritis, and ageing.
Fermented foods are also a great source of probiotics:
- Probiotic means – for life
- they are live lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus plantarum, L. casei, L. acidophilus, and Streptococcus lactis
- these are bacteria that are beneficial to us
- they improve our intestinal balance
A few of the benefits of supplementary probiotics:
- can lower the risk of colon cancer
- can reduce serum cholesterol
- can be beneficial for the immune system
- can improve digestion
- can prevent diarrhea
- can improve liver function
Some fermented foods:
- sauerkrauts, olives,
- Kimchi and Kombucha.
- carrots and beets.
For more information on fermented foods and the fermenting process go to my favourite fermenter: Pyramid Ferments
I take a swig of of his sauerkraut and kimchi juice at least once a day – right from the bottle!
- also retain all of their nutrients, so have some of the same health benefits as fermented foods
- but will lose the riboflavin if they are exposed to light, so it is important to keep them refrigerated or a dark cellar!
- do not contain probiotics but do they have other benefits because they are made using vinegar
The benefits of pickles:
- pickles are made with vinegar or acetic acid. The acetyl group in acetic acid is used in the the krebs cycle, a metabolic process in the cell that converts carbohydrates and fats into ATP (energy). So, pickle juice may increase metabolism – but don’t go crazy thinking you can eat everything you want and wash it down with pickle juice!
- vinegar helps with digestion
Now I don’t like just any pickle – I am very particular – other then my mom’s (please tell her I said this!). My favourite pickler is Toorshi Foods
So go ahead, put some zest in your daily diet with these fermented vegetables and pickles!