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Lacto-Fermenting II

Lacto-fermenting may seem like one more thing to do in your already busy life, but the payoff is well worth it. The reality is, it just takes a couple minutes to coarsely chop a few veggies, place them in a jar, cover with a salt water brine and set it aside to ferment. You'll get a lot more bang for your buck than if you spend money on probiotic pills and supplements. Your body needs, wants and recognizes food, not a processed powder that's been formulated in a lab. Fiber, enzymes, microbes, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in real food are the real deal!

I have fermented lots of things over the years, but I tend to stick to just a few that our family likes and I know my kids will eat. When I rotate through making a different lacto-ferment weekly during my one hour preparation time, it's easy. I'm already chopping vegetables and I can easily toss some in a jar, add brine and put it on a shelf for awhile to work it's lactobacillus magic.

Incorporating Lacto-Fermented Foods

Maintaining a healthy gut flora is absolutely essential for our good health. In fact, 75-80% of our immune system is located in our gut. When we don't nourish it, we pay the consequences, often sooner rather than later. Adding lacto-fermented foods regularly to your diet is an effective way to establish and maintain a good intestinal flora.

I try to incorporate a fermented, or cultured food into my diet several times a day, especially at mealtime. When I have lacto-fermented foods on hand in my fridge, it's easy to do. For breakfast it's usually yogurt, or kefir. At lunch it's often some type of fermented vegetable in a salad, a lacto-fermented pickle, or lacto-fermented salsa is a favorite. We love pickled vegetables and they are a natural accompaniment to many cuisines such as Indonesian, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, and German. Before bedtime, or in the morning, I often have a small glass of beet kvass. Occasionally, I grab a spoonful of sauerkraut, or a lacto-fermented vegetable out of the fridge as a snack.

Start with something simple this week and next week do something else, the next week something else, and you'll soon have a fridge full of probiotic goodness to nourish you and your family.

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