I’m having a hard time believing that it was almost a year ago when I was writing about the Corona virus and how to keep your immune system strong. It’s hard to believe that the topic is still relevant, yet here we are. By this time either you have experienced the virus and/or you definitely know someone who has had it.
I will say this again. We need to keep ourselves as healthy as possible right now.
I observed a lot of trends in the past year. Some of you went through old school comfort food eating (think Fluff and peanut butter), many of you upped your wine and cocktails in reaction to the all the emotions we were experiencing, and most of you cooked, because, hey, we had no choice.
And that was a good a thing.
Did you cook the right things? I wrote about the top immune supportive foods to add to your diet. Citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, yogurt, onions, garlic and spices are among my favorites. I also gave brief mention to “living foods”, those with healthy beneficial bacteria from fermentation that feed our microbiome, which in turn promotes good gut health, reduces inflammation, supports our immune system and helps everything run smoothly. Think of living foods as natural probiotics and stop buying those expensive supplements. You can learn to make your own living foods right at home.
What are Living Foods?
Living foods are food that are fermented. Fermentation is a natural process in which microorganisms like yeast and bacteria take sugars and turn them into lactic acids. It may seem high tech and scientific but fermentation has been in use for thousands of years as a way to preserve food. Our digestive tract is full of trillions of living bacteria that need to be fed everyday and fermented/living foods do just that. Our digestive tract is an incredible feat of nature. In fact, among other things, 70% of our immune system stems from healthy digestion. It is crucial to keep it running in top shape, and this is where fermented foods come in.
Examples of Living Foods
It is always better to get our nutrients from food and living foods should have a place in your everyday eating. Some great examples are: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, sourdough, tempeh and miso. Some are better store bought, such as tempeh or miso (since they are not easy to make) and some are better made at home. Store bought sourdough bread pickles and sauerkraut, for example, usually use techniques that actually kill the good bacteria so I would not trust them to be fermented and have the good quality bacteria you are looking for.
How to Make Your Own Fermented Foods
Like I said, fermentation has been used for centuries as a way to preserve foods. There are a lot of resources on the internet and I even have a sauerkraut recipe on my website. Making your own living foods can feel intimidating because you need to trust the process that they will ferment properly and not get moldy or turn bad if not done the correct way. I am having a Living Foods cooking series Fermented, Pickled and Sour in which we will deep dive into the world of living foods, why they are so vital for our health, (especially during the Corona virus) how to prepare them properly and use them in your everyday cooking. We will be making six important mainstays for good immunity – sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough starter and bread, fire cider and elderberry syrup. I hope you can join me for this fun, informative series. We begin February 2, 2021 for three weeks. Click HERE to join, get more information and get your health on track this year!