Eating fermented foods is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. Fermentation increases the beneficial bacteria, vitamins and enzymes present in foods and makes the nutrients they contain more bioavailable. Our ancestors knew this implicitly: almost all traditional cultures that have been studied included fermented foods in their diet.
Fermented foods have powerful healing properties. I’ve written and spoken many times before about the importance of the gut flora, not only to digestive health, but also to the health of every system of the body. Low levels of beneficial bacteria and high levels of pathogenic bacteria in the gut have been linked to everything from depression to acne to diabetes. This means that maintaining healthy gut flora is crucial to promoting optimal health, even if you don’t have any digestive symptoms.
I often hear from patients and readers that want to include more fermented foods in their diet, but they’re unsure of how to get started. Sure, you can buy at least some fermented foods at the grocery store. But that can get expensive quickly (my local Whole Foods charges nearly $10 a jar for raw sauerkraut, which costs us about $1 per jar to make at home), and there are many others such as water and dairy kefir, sauerkraut, kim chi and beet kvaas that many stores don’t carry. What’s more, fermenting at home gives you more control over the final product. This is important when you’re using fermented foods for healing purposes. For example, many people can’t tolerate store-bought yogurt because it still contains about 4.7% lactose. But if you make your own yogurt at home, you can ferment it for longer than the store-bought brands, which increases the amount of beneficial bacteria and eliminates all of the lactose.
Fermentation isn’t brain surgery, but it is both an art and a science, and there’s a learning curve involved (you should have smelled my first batch of sauerkraut). One of the best ways to learn a new craft is from a skilled teacher. Enter Jenny McGruther, creator of one of the best nutrient-dense food blogs on the web, Nourished Kitchen. I’ve been aware of Jenny’s work for some time, and I recently had a chance to meet her at the Weston A. Price conference in Santa Clara. Jenny told me about a new fermentation course she has put together call Learn How to Ferment Anything, and it seemed like a perfect fit for those of you that have asked about how to learn more about fermentation at home. Jenny is a master of fermentation, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to learn it from.
The course features:
- 13 fermentation workshops
- 50 instructional videos
- Easy-to-follow print tutorials
- Fact-sheets and troubleshooting tips
- Regular Q&A conference calls
- Email access to Jenny so you can ask her questions
This is by far the most comprehensive fermentation course I’m aware of. For example, you won’t just learn how to make yogurt, you’ll learn how to make Greek, Bulgarian and Scandinavian yogurts, raw milk and pasteurized milk yogurts and even coconut yogurt. You’ll also learn how to make both dairy and water kefir, “tonic” probiotic beverages like beet kvaas, rejuvelac and sweet potato fly, fermented condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and mustard, relishes and salsas, chutneys and vinegars, sauerkrauts and lacto-fermented vegetables, and a lot more.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the course and get started. Jenny is running a holiday special until 12/1. The code BLACKFRIDAY will take 40% of the cost of the course, so don’t wait too long.
Note: I may earn a commission if you use the links in this article to purchase the products I mentioned. I only recommend products I would use myself or that I use with patients in my practice. Your purchase helps support this site and my ongoing research.
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