FERMENTED BEVERAGES (the non-alcohol variety)
With winter just around the corner, I have decided its time to schedule one of my workshops on fermentation. For our next workshop, I will introduce to the lucky attendees the what, why and how of fermenting nourishing probiotic rich beverages. Everyone who attends will recieve their own living cultures to bring away home so they can begin their own journey into the world of fermentation.
Fermentation is an ancient method of preserving foods and beverages. Countries around the world have their own unique signature 'cultured' recipes specific to their environment.
Beverages such as milk kefir, water kefir, beetroot kvass, kombucha and other fermented fruits/ vegetables involve many different strains of 'friendly' bacteria and yeasts. As a result of these multi-strains or species, these probiotic beverages may offer a variety of health promoting benefits such as strengthening the immune system. Isnt this everyone's goal to get through life resisting infections? The WHO/FAO defines probiotics as “live microorganisms, which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”,
Natural fermented milks have been shown to lower blood pressure, strengthen the body's immunity, and lower cholesterol. In recent human trials, they have been shown to aid in the treatment of IBS and to help alleviate constipation. Additionally, they have been shown to regulate/ improve brain function, and demonstrate anti-cancer potential. Of the traditional-style beverages, kefir specifically has been shown to positively impact the gastrointestinal tract, stimulate the immune system, and have anti- inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects. Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are the two main species of friendly bacteria often found in traditional fermented milk kefir and in addition those probiotic bacteria most fermented beverages naturally have a higher nutrient content. Milk kefir is particularly rich in vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate and enzymes.
Milk kefir is often a gateway fermented beverage for many beginners. I began my fermentation journey a couple of years ago now starting with kefir grains and now have a designated corner of my kitchen aptly named my fermentation station!!! In this little cupboard there are burping & brewing jars of milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha, kvass in addition to homemade saurkraut, kimchi, sourdough starters, fermented garlic & fire cider! Milk kefir especially is so easy to incorporate into anyones daily diet. We always add some to our smoothies, drizzle onto granola/ porridge, add to baked goods in place of buttermilk. Some of my previous workshop participants knock back a glass of this velvety milk drink EVERY morning to keep them in tip-top shape!
nourish life with Marian
Young at heart mother of one with a passion for food, foraging & fun with friends!