Fermentation is essentially one of the oldest forms of food preservation and is natural process of “good” bacteria growth in foods.
There are many fermented products offered in the market as yoghurt, cheese, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, miso paste, tempeh and many others. But it is always great to make your own fermented product at home according to your preferences and to have it pure avoiding lots of preservatives.
If you are the same enthusiast in the kitchen as me and feeling excited to make a small laboratory in your kitchen, bear with me to follow my kitchen experiments. I will be sharing with you ideas and tips for different product fermentation.
PROBIOTICS. One of the way to make fermented food at home is to use probiotic pills sold as dietary supplement mostly in pharmacy.
What are probiotics? Probiotics are these “good” bacterias, which participates in food fermentation.
Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host. According to research, probiotics can help with health conditions that involve your gastrointestinal system and other parts of your body. This leads to health benefits and reduces illness. Probiotics can also help your body produce needed vitamins and recover after using antibiotics. “Friendly” bacteria such as Lactobacillus can help us break down food, absorb nutrients, and fight off “unfriendly” organisms that might cause diseases such as diarrhea. But probiotics advantages are not still fully proven and we also have to consider that probiotics can be harmful for people with health issues (for example, weakened immune systems).
SCOBY. The name of it comes from abbr. “Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast”. Due to its appearance, it is sometimes called a “mushroom” even though it is not actually a fungi. Rather, it is the mother culture, which is used to make kombucha tea – brewed tea drink. Kombucha is another way of food fermentation. You can make kombucha at home or purchase it at the grocery or healthy food store. I make my own kombucha at home. It includes tea, sugar or juice, water, and a colony of bacteria or yeast.
In fact, scoby is growing quite fast in sweetened water during fermentation process and you always can split it and share with your neighbors or friends.
KEFIR GRAIN. Kefir is made from gelatinous white or yellow fraction called “grains.” It is quite unique form, since no other milk culture forms grains. Kefir grains are combinations of yeasts and bacteria living on a substrate made up of a variety of dairy components. You can buy “Milk Kefir Grains” or a powdered culture starter in specialized shops. It is made specifically for making kefir at home.