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Beneficial Bacteria: Why Fermented Foods Should Be a Part of Your Diet

“God made yeast, as well as dough, and loves fermentation just as dearly as he loves vegetation.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dig through the history books and it becomes increasingly obvious that our ancestors’ plates were heaped with beneficial bacteria. From probiotic-packed yogurts to nutrient-rich sauerkraut, these ancient foods endure from ancient palates to contemporary menus for a reason.

That mouth-puckering sour savor is showing up in more places these days, and that’s before we even address the $500 million kombucha industry. While it’s definitely trending now, it’s no fluke fad: fermented foods pack a nutritional punch that’s difficult to find elsewhere. Seek them out or get crafty at home; either way, get more of that nutritional goodness. Our enduring mantra? Eat better, feel better!

The most prominent benefit discovered from eating fermented foods is found in your gut. The day you’re born, you begin acquiring millions of beneficial bacterial creatures that help your system to function regularly (think symbiosis like bees + flowers). The short of this medical story is that these little stomach creatures are shown to love fermented foods. If you want to nerd out about it some more like we did, you can check out this link.

While there are a number of products on the market that feature probiotic and healthy fermentation processes, it’s easier than you think to make them at home. It does take some care, and fermented foods are only one tier in the balanced foundation of your diet, but with the proper preparation and consumption, it can truly do wonders for your health.

Raw milk yogurt is the most popular topic of conversation when healthy fermentation slips onto the radar. Treading somewhere between fresh milk and full on yogurt, enzymatic and probiotics are ever present. It’s awesome when served over hot cereal, in salads, as dipping sauces, and will sneak its way into any meal if you let it.

Here’s our favorite recipe from nourishedkitchen.com–slightly modified. (Hint: they have a myriad of delicious fermentation recipes that are worth checking out!)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 qt. fresh milk (sometimes hard to find, check out realmilk.com for locations selling it near you)
  • 2 tbsp plain, unsweetened, additive-free yogurt with live active cultures found at any grocery store

 

How to:

  1. Slowly heat milk in a saucepan until it reaches about 110° Fahrenheit / 43º Celsius.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 tbsp yogurt.
  3. Pour the mixture of into a 1 qt. glass mason jar and cover it with a lid.
  4. Place the full Mason jar in the center of your slow cooker and pour in warm water until it’s just below the lid of your Mason jar. Cover with a warm towel and leave in a warm spot to culture for 8 - 12 hours.
  5. After 8 – 12 hours, remove your still warm raw milk yogurt from the slow cooker and place it in the refrigerator to chill and solidify for an hour or two.
  6. Enjoy!

We’re convinced: eating better and knowing where your food comes from makes for a healthier, happier person. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more tips and suggestions.

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