Fermentation 101

Last night I attended a fermentation class at FireFly Kitchen in Seattle. As one does on a Thursday night ;) If you're local, they are located in Fremont. Such a cool, small (6 employee) company. And their krauts are so delicious. My favorite is the Emerald City Kraut. On eggs. Check out one of their classes if you get a chance! If you'd like to try one of their krauts, you can find them at Whole Foods, PCC, and several local farmers markets.

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We learned how to make kraut. And the importance of gut health. 

Our gut plays a major role in maintaining the immune system and can even affect our mood…which I find seriously fascinating. Our gut lining is essentially a tightly woven net. When it’s healthy, balanced, and full of good bacteria it’s only permeable to small molecules. Unfortunately things such as toxins, pesticides, antibiotic overuse, stress, and excess sugar can disrupt or irritate this “net” (a.k.a. leaky gut) allowing more harmful molecules and larger undigested food particles in, causing an immune response. And eventually daily symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, inflammatory skin conditions, food sensitivities and allergies.

Maintaining a healthy gut lining comes down to having a good balance of beneficial bacteria. And one of the ways we can maintain this balance is by eating fermented foods. Fermentation is the act of preserving foods (raw veggies in this case) in a low oxygen container at room temperature. This environment allows the lactobacilli and naturally occurring enzymes to multiply. Rich in minerals and contains some serious health benefits.

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*Improves gut health by making changes in your pH and protecting your gut lining.

*Aids in digestion. The enzymes in fermented foods assist in digesting foods eaten at the same time.

*Detoxifies the intestines.

*Reduces sugar cravings. Yep, overtime, eating fermented foods will reduced the amount of bad bacteria (the kind that craves sugar) in your gut. 

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If you’re new to fermented foods, start slow. 1 tsp/meal and build up. It’s not uncommon to experience some gas and bloating at first. But stick with it. 

Want to try making your own? Check out this recipe below. Here’s to happy gut health!

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Did you know I have a page of free downloads on my website? Created just for you to help with eating, working out, and self care. Check it out here.

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