by member Brandi Monson

Several years ago I read Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions and it challenged me to incorporate traditional style foods into our diet. We already ate most ‘home-made’ foods, you know,  things that didn’t come out of a box. But I wanted to incorporate the lacto-fermented veggies and condiments that the author so praises.

I started with sauerkraut thinking that it couldn’t be so hard, countless Germans have made this and it’s just cabbage after-all! To my surprise it was not only ‘not hard’ but super simple and turned out a delightfully light & crisp kraut that even my husband appreciates. (nothing at all like your store-bought canned sauerkraut.)

Next I tried fermented mustard. Okay, so I wasn’t so sure about this one. But I followed the recipe, mixed it up and let it sit on the counter for a few days. Then I put it in the fridge, and left it there. I would take it out every now and then and look at it, open the lid and smell it, still afraid to taste test it!  No one I knew had ever made this and I wasn’t feeling much like being a royal tester. So back into the fridge it would go.

Eventually I worked up the nerve to sample it, and much to my surprise, not only was it good, but it was fabulous.  Better than any gourmet mustard I have tried in the past, and I’ve tried a few. It had such a full mustard flavor, almost tasted  like it had horseradish in it, although it had none. Delicious. I even coaxed my health-food avoiding brother-in-law to sample it and he loved it. Needless to say, it didn’t last long.

So once again I’ve got the fermenting bug. I’ve tried kraut, kimchi (very good!!), mustard, ginger carrots, pickles (which didn’t turn out right, to the compost it went) and recently I fermented some lemons (more about those in another post). I would like to encourage everyone to give lacto-fermenting a try. It’s easy and wonderfully healthy, like yogurt supplying beneficial bacteria to your digestive system.

Go wild and ferment something tonight!!

P.S. Another informative book on fermenting foods is called Wild Fermentation by Sandor Elix Katz. Katz chronicles his health struggles as a gay man with full-blown AIDS. He maintains that his good health has come from eating raw fermented foods.


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