Even if you’re not immersed in the realm of ‘real food’ or natural health, you’ll know that there are plenty of commercial yogurt companies trying to sell you on their products based on the billions of good bacteria it has. Not sure what the benefits of good bacteria are? Read about “Good bacteria, best probiotics and what they can do for you”, and come back! While it might seem obvious then that probiotics will help to heal your leaky gut, their benefits can actually extend beyond gut health. For example, they can help in less obvious ways such as with depression, congestion, acne, immune health, and allergies.
It seems that when you mention probiotics, most people will think of yogurt. While yogurt can be a great source of probiotic bacteria, they can be problematic if you can’t tolerate any dairy, and many of these are loaded with sugar. Other foods, such as kimchi or sauerkraut can be full of good bacteria if you make them yourself. However, be aware that commercial versions are often pasteurized, effectively killing the bacteria, and removing any of the probiotic benefit.
While at first it seems a little daunting, it turns out that making your own probiotic, fermented foods is relatively easy! I know this because well, I used to think that it was worth the exorbitant amount for unpasteurized sauerkraut purchased from the healthfood store, when it turns out with some basic equipment (a mason jar, a knife, a cutting board, a funnel), and some time, you can do it yourself for a lot less money.
If you’re looking for somewhere to get started in making your own probiotic foods, I highly recommend Sarah Ramsden’s Fearless Fermentation course. Seriously, beyond her actually being in the kitchen with you and holding your hand as you chop cabbage (okay, that’s not actually an efficient way to work), Sarah’s videos have finally gotten me over my fear of the possibility of mouldy cabbage sitting on my counter. In fact, I’m in the process of trying to make Sarah’s Apple Raisin Sauerkraut (one of the more advanced recipes included with the Sauerkraut course).
Sarah walks you through making your first batch of sauerkraut, kombucha (or both) in a series of easy-to-follow videos. In addition to the video access, you also get a set of recipes, a journal to keep track of where you are in the fermentation stage and a troubleshooting guide that helps you figure out if your SCOBY is supposed to look like that?! If that’s not enough help, Sarah’s also got an online discussion group that’ll help with any questions you have along the way.
What you’ll notice with all of the materials is that Sarah has really put her passion about probiotics into this product. The accompanying PDF guides are all beautifully designed with photographs to illustrate the finer details of fermentation. My favorite thing about both the sauerkraut and the kombucha courses is that they both include a journal so that you can write down where you’re at with your fermentation and track when you’ve burped the jar! (Don’t know what I meant in that last sentence, well then clearly you need this fermentation course!)
If you’ve been looking for a way to get all the benefits of probiotics without spending a lot of money on fermented foods, or supplements, I highly recommend Sarah’s course. I love being able to make my own probiotic foods now for both the savings, and the ability to customize them based on my family’s tastes and preferences. Go forth and ferment… fearlessly!