What’s The Big Deal?
With so much positive research and publicity on the happy gut- happy brain connection it’s no wonder fermenting food has taken off big time.
Healthy gut bacteria are essential not only for our gut but also for a strong immune system and a happy nervous system. In fact, as well as love, health and just possibly money it’s essential for happiness in general. And it’s just the quantity of bacteria that’s imnportant but the range of different bacteria. The greater the variety of gut flora, the healthier we are.
Pro & Pre-Biotic
Fermented foods are in themselves pro-biotic providing essential happy-gut bacteria in our diets.
But it’s unlikely that pro-biotic food themselves are able to provide us with anywhere near the necessary mocrobial variety we need.
Fortunately live pro-biotics contain a range of bacterial products, such as enzymes which feed the good gut bacteria, a phenomenom we call pre-biosis. Pre biotic foods are not confined to fermented products and include many fresh fruits and vegetables, some every-day ones like onions, garlic, apples, bananas and kale, and other slightly more exotic like dandelion greens, aspargus, burdock root, flax seeds, and on and on – and on
Vegans Take Note
Vitmain B 12 – essential for nervous-system function – is 100% the product of microbial activity. Carnivores famously get their dose from meat, but it was originally synthesized by bacteria. Vegetarians can get it from eggs and dairy. So what happens to vegans?
Vegans can get all the vitamin B12 they need from fermented products. And there is a surprisingly rich range of options to suit different tastes. Common sources include yeast extracts, kombucha, miso, tempeh and lacto-fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut, kimchi and our lacto-fermented plums described in the next post.
Fermented products are also famously rich in umami, or deliciousness, for which specilzed taste receptors have been identified.
What Do I Do With Lacto Plums?
Umami is not in itself savoury or sweet. Rather, it enhances and rounds off all other tastes
Now, imagine, lacto-plums: sweetly fuity, deliciously savoury, tangy, chewy, soft and moist. Try them
- sun dried, with a range of uses from a replacement for anchovies in dishes as far apart as pasta dressings and South Asian curries, to fruity components in North African tagines
- fresh in stir-fries, stews and fuit-salds and all manner of dishes.
- the plum vinegar a basis for sald dressings or adding a fruity-sharp twist custard-based tarts and ice-creams. I added the last batch to a rice and urid-dal batter for south Indian Dosa pancakes
- and the skins, dried till crisp. Flaked or ground to a powder to be sprinkled over – literally anything