With the current COVID-19 pandemic and consequent stay-at-home orders in full swing, it's a good time for a MTHFR to, well, stay home. But who says that spending more time at home needs to be boring or unproductive? It's actually the perfect time to try your hand at a variety of hobbies that you've never previously found the time for. If you've ever dreamed of fermenting your own food but never got around to it, now is the perfect time to get started! All you need to do is get the tools ready, prepare the food to be fermented, and store it in a safe place for the amount of time the recipe recommends.
Food fermentation is basically the natural process of using microorganisms, such as yeast and bacteria, to convert carbohydrates into alcohol or organic compounds. While this sounds really complicated, the main takeaway is that the fermented food (or beverage) provides loads of good bacteria to improve gut health. While taking a probiotic supplement is fantastic, nothing can beat getting these gut-supporting organisms from diet.
Some common fermented foods and beverages include:
-Pretty much any vegetable you can think of (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
Now before you get too excited, it's important to note that store-bought pickles, for instance, are typically not actually fermented. Therefore, you don't get the health benefits of a fermented food with many store-bought versions. This not always the case, but often is. If you're ready to get started, you have a couple of options:
1. Use a store-bought fermentation kit
This can include a "starter culture" packet to ferment with. If you bought a kit before the quarantine but never got around to using it, then you're good to go. If not, it may be difficult to get your hands on one for a bit. But it's no biggie because there's always option #2...
2. Use your own tools at home
This includes mason jars and salt to create your own "brine" solution.
There are lots of great resources online with detailed food fermentation instructions and recipes. Click here for some great inspiration from Kitchn to keep you busy (and healthy) while spending more time than usual at home. Some recipes take a few days of fermentation to complete. Others take a month or even longer! So if you get started now, you can enjoy some fruits of your labor, er, relaxation, at the end of this stay-at-home order.
A word of caution... Food fermentation may not be the best choice for you if you have histamine intolerance, as it could cause a negative reaction. It's also important to keep food intolerances in mind. While fermented foods are generally healthy, you may still respond negatively to a fermented food that your body just can't tolerate.
Have you ever tried fermenting your own food? What is your favorite? Tell us about it!