Improve your health and Start fermenting at home!
The world of nutrition is contradictory and confusing. Some say paleo, some say raw, some say vegan and others say ‘eff it, eat what you like and you’ll be right’.
Thank goodness there is a no-brainer that everyone agrees on. Fermenting foods is one of the best things you can do for your health. It’s not a new concept. In fact, it’s an ancient food preservation technique that’s been around for thousands of years. But we lost the art form with the arrival of the trusty fridge and a distrust of healthy, living bacteria.
Say What - Bacteria?
Before we head into the nuts and bolts of fermenting, let me introduce myself.
I’m Lisa Corduff, creator of Small Steps to Wholefoods, an eight-week online program that covers the basics (and then some!) of wholefood eating. I created it for people who want to transition away from processed and packaged foods and eat more ‘real food’ but want it delivered in a real life kinda way.
I’m all about taking it slow, I’m never about guilt and restriction. I keep it real. But I do care deeply about the health of my family and my kids.
And there was always a missing piece of the wholefoods puzzle for me.
We were spending a fortune buying amazing, but expensive, fermented foods and drinks. But when we thought about making them on our own, we figured it was …
to get started making ferments.
That’s until my husband took a look at a receipt one day! Not sure if it was his ego or his empty wallet that got him started - either way - the man was on a mission.
He devoured books on fermenting and started to get creative. He’s an engineer AND an artist - so I think the whole alchemy thing got him excited. Or maybe it was the fact that he found kefir the perfect drink for a hangover?
"Our ancestors were smart folks. I realise this more as I get older".
"My old man and nono (grandpa) used to make wine. I was young but I remember them travelling to regional Victoria to source crate loads of ‘muscato’ grapes. (I’m guessing their wine probably wasn’t that good because my nona had an endless supply of vinegar!) Then as a teenager I found out my other grandpa homebrewed beer. So I began making homebrew with my dad and it was cool to talk about it with my grandpa and watch my dad pretend to enjoy it. (So really, it was booze and my male ‘elders’ that got me into what fermenting actually was!)……oh, and my nona’s bean soup with sauerkraut (jota)."
Nick Kos - Ferment Enthusiast
FERMENTING and gut health
“ALL diseases begin in the gut”
– Hippocrates, Father of Medicine
Did you know 60-80% of our immune system is found in the gut?
Years of processed and inflammatory foods damage your gut and can lead to more than just bloating, gas, diarrhoea, and food sensitivities. Your gut is considered your ‘second brain’ and all manner of diseases are now being linked to poor gut health. And if one system in your body is not functioning then it’s going to affect others.
Dr Sarah Lantz (co-founder of Buchi Kombucha and our fermenting expert in Small Steps to Fermenting) is an absolute beacon of wisdom and knowledge on all things fermenting.
During our exclusive chat I learnt many things…
Did you know that an unborn baby can already have up to 200 chemicals in their system? Pesticides, herbicides, plastics, food packaging, food additives, HAIRSPRAYS?! This reality really frightened me, but it’s one of the shocking truths of living in a toxic, polluted world. We are born with compromised gut health. The odds are against us straight up. (That is unless your mother lived in a bubble!)
The truth is we need to go a step further to supporting our bodies. And incorporating fermented foods and drinks is an EASY and POWERFUL way to do that.
The gut is “no simple plumbing” in Sarah’s words. This is a super complex and highly underrated system in the body. 100 million neurons exist in the gut - the same amount as the spinal cord! And 95% of serotonin - which affects mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning and so much more - is created in the gut.
“What this means is that if your gut is not healthy and that mucosal lining has been damaged, you will have a repressed immune system and getting sick all the time AND be most likely depressed, stressed, anxious, not sleeping well, irritable, moody etc. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, for a lot of people it is all too familiar.” - Alysha Lynch, Naturopath
So here’s how fermenting can get your gut health up to scratch:
When certain foods are fermented, natural bacteria feeds on sugars and starches eventually producing a range of healthy enzymes, vitamins and probiotics. Filling your digestive system with all this good stuff helps balance and heal your gut, improve digestion and boost your immune system. You’ll hear peeps in the know talk about HEALING and SEALING the gut. This is a complicated and multi-facted process that is assisted by adding fermented foods into your diet.
It’s something we all need to pay more attention to.
So if you partake in the odd fish and chips on a Friday (like Nick and I) then we need to counteract it with some good stuff... Hello side of sauerkraut!!
Are you prepared to give it a go? Want to be given step-by-step instructions on how to make this happen in your home? Then read on!
THE ONLINE SMALL STEPS TO FERMENTING PROGRAM
With the movement of going back to basics and filling our bodies with nutritious whole foods, many of us are rediscovering the taste and nourishing health benefits of fermenting. Fermenting at home may sound a little complicated to some, so we’ve created the Small Steps to Fermenting program which includes absolutely everything you need to get started.
Rather than scouring the internet for all of the information, we've created five family-tested (i.e. the kids love them!) easy to follow recipes and step by step details on where to find equipment and ingredients.
This is not info from fermenting masters who have spent their life perfecting the craft. This is the basics - to get you started and share exactly what my husband does to keep the good stuff flowing in our house.
Most of the time our kids are sitting on the bench making it too - putting seeds in here and cabbage in there. From our family to yours - here’s what we do.
IN SMALL STEPS TO FERMENTING, YOU'LL LEARN TO MAKE:
One of the most popular fermented foods, this salty pickled cabbage dish is chock-full of enzymes and probiotics just waiting to give your gut a huge high five.
Sauerkraut is the simplest way to incorporate fermented foods into our kids’ diet. They love a little pile on their plate to crunch on. A tasty, salty side dish that brings a meal to life.
Cucumbers preserved in vinegar or brine and seasoning. If you grew up with Eastern Europeans, you’ve no doubt sampled the homemade version. They don’t even compare to store bought–and they offer way more nutrients keeping your digestive tract top notch.
Add a juicy punch to sandwiches, salads, or eat them straight out of the jar!
(or kimchee) A sweet and spicy Korean dish made with seasoned fermented vegetables. Dating back to the 7th century, this energy-booster is high in dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, while remaining low in calories. Winner!
Kimchi is my favourite fermented food. Add it to bacon and egg breakfasts, stir through salads, or add to risottos (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!).
Refreshing and delicious, kefir is probiotic heaven! Made using kefir grains, sugar or honey and water, this centuries-old fermented drink is overflowing with nutrients and healthy bacteria. It aids digestion, boosts your immune system and serves as an anti-inflammatory.
Our kids fight over ‘daddy’s special drink’ and once you’ve started making your own, you’ll see why. Ditch the Yakult chemical cocktail and get yourself some kefir!
Made with tea, sugar, water and a ‘scoby’, this delicious probiotic fizzy drink can be flavoured with your choice of fruit: lemons, strawberries, oranges, whatever you like! Improve your digestion and fight that ‘foggy head’ feeling with your renewed source of energy.
Who doesn’t want a healthy fizzy drink? Ours sits in a cool Kombucha crock in the kitchen, and Nick loves experimenting with the hundreds of different flavour combinations.
SMALL STEPS TO FERMENTING MEMBERS ALSO GETS YOU EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO:
A dedicated member page
Log in anytime of the day or night. You get lifetime access to the materials so you can take your time and go at your own pace.
Simple recipes and how-to videos by Nick
(and I can’t help myself!)
You get everything in one hit. Each recipe is featured with a video to show you how it’s done, step by step to help you get the most delicious results.
Save time and money with our tips on where to buy equipment at a reasonable cost. We’ve done all the homework for you.
Expert interview with Dr Sarah Lantz from Buchi Kombucha
Sarah will fill you with valuable information on maintaining a healthy gut, inspiration to get your fermenting groove on and insights into the process.
Helpful tips, latest techniques, and storage ideas
You will also automatically receive any upgrades, new recipes and information added to the program.
“the part I value the most is the simplicity of the information that is delivered. I don't have to trawl the Internet to find out about things that are important to me and I also get to to understand things I didn't even know about. I find that extremely valuable”. - Shannon about Small Steps to Wholefoods
GOOD GUT HEALTH = GOOD OVERALL
Once you’ve gone through the program and gotten the hang of fermenting, you’ll start noticing the health benefits with your gut getting a regular supply of nutrients. In our house, we’ve noticed the kids don’t get sick nearly as often, and if they do it’s for much shorter periods. For our family, having fermented foods on hand means everyone is getting an array of good bacteria into their gut to give it the best fighting chance when bugs come along.
If you’re ready to improve your gut health and start fermenting at home, then get starting making small steps today…
Around $67 probably wouldn’t even get you one jar/bottle each of sauerkraut, pickles, kefir, kimchi and kombucha from your health food or grocery store. But by investing in Small Steps to Fermenting, you will learn how to make endless batches of each for a tiny fraction of the cost.
This is a great present for yourself and your family, or anyone looking to improve their gut health, save money and get themselves and their family back to food basics.