Fermented Foods

According to Wikipedia, Fermented foods are produced or preserved by the action of microorganisms. Fermentation typically refers to the transformation of sugar to alcohol using yeast, but other fermentation processes involve the use of bacteria such as lactobacillus, like in the making yogurt and sauerkraut. Many pickled or soured foods are processed with brine, vinegar, or another acid such as lemon juice.

Fermented foods are rich in probiotic, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Below is a list of reasons why we should be eating fermented foods…

1. Fermented foods improve digestion and helps us to absorb the nutrients we’re consuming.

2. Fermented foods restore the balance of bacteria in the gut.

3. Raw, fermented foods are rich in enzymes as well as have increased vitamin content.

4. Fermenting food helps to preserve it for longer periods of time and increases the flavor.

5. Fermenting food is inexpensive.

Tip: To add more fermented foods into your daily diet, drink fermented beverages like kefir and kombucha (available at many health food stores). Serve food with pickles, sauerkraut, salsa, ketchup, sour cream, kim chi, mayonnaise and other naturally fermented condiments.

Try this recipe for Fermented Hot Chili Sauce (from the Nourished Kitchen)


  • 3 pounds fresh chili peppers (Scotch bonnets, jalapeno, serranos etc.)
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar, optional
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
  • vegetable starter culture dissolved in 1/4 cup water, or 1/4 cup fresh whey


  • Snip the stems from the chilies, but leave their green tops intact.
  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor, or mince by hand, until chopped to a fine pasty texture.
  • Spoon the chili paste into a glass mason jar and allow it to fermented, covered, at room temperature for five to seven days.
  • After the chili paste has bubbled and brewed for about a week, set a fine-mesh sieve over a mixing bowl and spoon the fermented chili paste into the sieve. With a wooden spoon, press the chili paste into the sides of the sieve so that the sauce drips from the sieve into the waiting mixing bowl.
  • Once you’ve pressed and pushed the chili sauce through the sieve, pour the sauce from the bowl into jar or bottle (makes about a quart) and store in the refrigerator. The sauce will keep for several months.

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