The Many Benefits of Preparing Cultured Foods
We get it. You’re a parent who just wants your children to be healthy and nourished. You’re a person who wants to take your health and eating habits into your own hands. You’re someone who wants to change the world through the most basic of human habits: gathering around the table. We get it because we do too.
Never in human history have our eating habits been so important. All around us we see food allergies, children with diseases that only adults should have, and an industrial food complex that could put us all in danger.
That’s why we at Cultures for Health want to encourage you. What you put in your body matters: for you, your children, and our world. And how that food comes to be can shift the paradigm in your home and in our society.
But it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can take small, simple steps towards a more nourished way of feeding your family. And we are here to get you started with some of the most traditional food cultures on the planet.
We know you can walk right down to the grocery store and purchase kefir, kombucha, or sauerkraut these days. And while we are thrilled that these wonderful foods are finding their way into more and more mainstream stores, we are still convinced that culturing food at home is so much more beneficial: for you, your body, and your pocketbook.
You Control Ingredients
You probably choose to make most of your family’s meals because you want to know what goes into them. Even some so-called “organic” food has long lists of illegible ingredients.
Similarly, if you choose to culture food at home you know exactly what ingredients go into it and with whose hands they are prepared. There are no mysteries and you know exactly how much care goes into your food preparation.
Besides knowing what goes into your family’s food, this may be one of the biggest benefits of culturing food at home. Cultured foods purchased in the store, if they are truly cultured, must be kept refrigerated or at a consistent temperature. They must be handled carefully since some contain the gases that are naturally occurring in fermented foods. They must be transported quickly and carefully from the place of manufacture to the place of sale.
Storage and distribution costs add up to cultured foods that can be surprisingly expensive. Culturing food at home can save you a bundle! Where you might pay three or four dollars for a bottle of kombucha in the store, you can make your own for less than a quarter. And for the same amount of money as a few quarts of milk kefir, you can purchase milk kefir grains that, if cared for properly, will give you milk kefir indefinitely.
Careful Watch over Allergens
Far too often we are seeing food allergies in our children. While some are benefiting through cultured foods, others still must stick to a strict list of foods they simply can’t come into contact with. Wheat, milk, peanuts, corn, and soy are among the most allergenic and are often found in factories that produce much of the food you find in the grocery store.
Making cultured foods at home guarantees that your food is free of whatever it is your family wants to avoid. There can be no cross contamination when you prepare foods safely in your own home.
Flavor Control through Fermentation Control
There are two main factors in the flavor profile of a cultured food: ingredient quality and time. Time is another factor you can control at home. Kombucha’s acidic kick is determined by how long it ferments. Milk kefir becomes tangier the longer it cultures. Fermented vegetables become more flavorful the longer they ferment.
Whether you are looking for a tangier kombucha or a more mild milk kefir, you can only achieve that if you have complete control over the culturing period. When you prepare it at home you can tweak not only the ingredient quality but also the culturing time, and ultimately the final flavor of your cultures.
Passing It On to the Next Generation
Every single culture we supply has a long, rich history. These foods were born out of a need to preserve foods before the days of electricity. They were designed to nourish our bodies when very little food was available. And they come from ancestors who lived long, healthy lives with the most basic of possessions.
It is because of these ancestors who passed their wisdom down to their children and grandchildren that we have these foods today. The grandmothers of Germany taught their families to make sauerkraut and so the tradition continues. The fathers of the Caucasus Mountains passed down their kefir cultures to the next generation and today we benefit from this most basic and loving of acts.
And when you gather your children with you in the kitchen to knead the sourdough bread or watch the bubbling water kefir, you too are continuing this rich tradition of passing both nourishment and knowledge down to the next generation.
|Water Kefir Grains
|Kombucha Tea Starter Culture|