Why are fermented foods good for health?
Fermented foods have recieved much attention in the last decade or so and traditionally fermented foods have been used by many cultures to improve health and the nutritional content of foods.
The process of fermentation helps to increase the potency or nutritional content of foods, especially the enzymes. The body systems which benefit from fermented foods are the immune system and digestive systems as well as intestinal health.
Make your own Yoghurt
The most important ingredients required to make home made food is a good sense of humour, a willingness to make mistakes and to learn from them. Don't worry if things go wrong, the first few attempts are all about getting the feel for it. Home made foods are a part of a healthy wholesome lifestyle that is forever evolving, gathering knowledge and developing skills.
The second most important ingredients for making your own yoghurt are:
- 500ml organic whole milk
- 3 tbsp live, plain whole-milk yoghurt
- 25g dried milk powder (to help thicken but is optional)
- Honey (to sweeten but is optional)
The first step
Pour the milk into a saucepan. If you would like it sweetened then drizzle in the honey first.
Slowly heat the milk until it forms a skin on the top, alternatively you can stand a cooking thermometer in the milk and stir gently until the the temperature reaches 46 degrees.
You can also whisk in the milk powder at this stage.
2. Take the saucepan off the heat and pour the milk into a clean container that has a lid and whisk in the live yoghurt.
3. Put the lid on the container and wrap in a towel to keep warm. Another good idea is to use a wide mouthed flask as the container.4.
Leave overnight (6-8 hours to allow the bacteria from the live yoghurt to ferment) and it should be set and ready to eat. Homemade yoghurt is naturally runny but it may take a few times to get the consistency just right. Transfert the yoghurt into a clean container and store in the fridge for up to five days.
Keeping a yoghurt starter culture
3 tbsp of this yoghurt can be used as the starter for the next batch and if you want it to last for longer than five days put a small amount in the fridge until needed. This culture chain can be repeated for a number of time but eventually you will need to buy a new batch when the yoghurt becomes to tangy.
Other Fermented foods include:
- Probiotic supplements
- Tamari and Shoyu