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Fermented food is food which has been partially broken down by active enzymes (such as those found in yeast and bacteria), causing desirable changes to the organic matter. This process can be used for improving taste, increasing shelf life, or heightening the nutritional value of different foods.
One of primary uses for fermentation is its encouragement prebiotic and probiotic development, aiding significantly with gut health (see more below!).
Fermented foods are foods which have undergone controlled microbial growth, meaning that microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast were added to the fresh foods left to interact within a contained environment. Over time, these microorganisms (or starter cultures) break down the larger food components into other products, such as alcohol, and encourage additional nutritional development, such as probiotic growth.
While this may sound overwhelmingly scientific, it is actually a very simple process involving a basic few steps: from selecting your vegetables and containers, preparing your vegetables, and selecting your starter cultures, to mixing the brine, pouring it all into the containers, and allowing the culturing process to naturally occur – you pretty much have the whole process right here!
…want to know a fun fact?
Any vegetable can be fermented, and flavours can be experimented with, through adding different herbs, spices and other extras to the fermentation brew!
Because fermented foods are already partially broken down, the body can absorb more of their nutritional and mineral content. Fermented foods are also rich in probiotics and prebiotics, meaning that they help to nurture a balanced and thriving gut environment.
Gut health impacts everything in the body, and so fermented foods provide a powerful way to aid in smooth digestion (often assisting with issues such as IBS), boost the immune system, and even influence positive mental health!
Additional research has indicated that fermented produce can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity and inflammation, among the vast range of other potential health benefits.
It is important to remember that the differing health benefits of fermented foods may be dependant on the type of fermented food used, alongside the microorganism involved in the process.
P.s. wondering what a prebiotic is? A prebiotic is the component of food that feeds good bacteria living within the gut, stimulating further probiotic growth.
While made from the humble cabbage (sauerkraut literally means ‘sour cabbage’), sauerkraut is packed with nutrients and probiotics, offering a delicious way to add that extra healthy punch to your daily diet!
Because Sauerkraut is a fermented food it is filled with beneficial bacteria (see more about the benefits of these in ‘The Health Benefits of Fermentation’ above), alongside vitamin C, B6 and K, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and other minerals.
Tasty served as a side, salsa, sandwich topping, or salad/stir-fry ingredient, sauerkraut can be used in many different dishes, making it a particularly good item to add to your fridge.
…and not to toot our own horn, but Knosh’s sauerkraut range offers you a whole selection of flavour choices, including turmeric and ginger, kimchi, and tzatziki!
Similar to sauerkraut, fermented vegetables refer to any vegetable varieties that undergo a fermentation process. Fermented foods really bring so much nutrition to your diet (particularly given that more and more research showcases the link between gut health and mental health), but one does not want to eat the same flavour every day!
Fermenting different vegetables offers you a way to tick off all those daily intake goals, while still allowing diversity and change in your diet. Knosh offers a whole range of fermented veg products, from mix veg options, to beetroot, carrot, and many more.
That’s the best part really – any and all veggies can be fermented!
While Kombucha may be a relatively recent trend, the fermented tea is actually ancient, having been consumed for thousands of years. Made from black or green tea, kombucha comes in a variety of flavours, from ginger, to rooibos, to ginseng, to all varieties of accompanying ingredients.
Bringing with it the health benefits of its source tea, kombucha is further rich in probiotics and antioxidants, making it a highly beneficial source of all things healthy! Studies have indicated that it may help particularly in the lessening of liver toxicity, the suppression the growth of undesirable bacteria, management of diabetes, protection against cancer, and even with the reduction of heart disease risk.
No wonder it has been deemed a miracle drink!
Inspired by Knosh’s owner Diane Wilson’s need to make her daughter a health-friendly chocolate spread, this spread is made primarily with organic dates and cacao, and has no refined sugar, gluten, dairy, colourants, artificial flavour or preservatives!
This product comes in a range of flavours, including mint, orange, original and ginger.
What to know an added bonus? Dates have an important prebiotic effect, meaning that they encourage the growth of health gut bacteria!
Bone broth is known for its incredibly healing effect to your gut, where it helps to repair the intestinal lining, as well as helps to reduce digestive inflammation. The collagen within bone broth further aids in assisting with digestive issues, joint health and arthritis and skin health!
Adding incredible flavour to your meal, bone broth is really is both delicious and nutritious.