People have used the benefits of fermentation for centuries. The method was passed down generations, and the world tasted the most wonderful national dishes. Lacto-fermentation is the common way to make fermented foods.“Lacto” stands foe Lactobacillus, a specific species of bacteria. These are found on the surface of plants, in the gastrointestinal tract, the oral cavity, and vaginas.
Lactobacillus bacteria was first discovered in milk ferments. It uses lactose and other sugars, and turns them into lactic acid. The interesting fact is that lacto-fermentation doesn’t have to be associated with dairy products.
Lactic acid acts as a natural preservative, and it inhibits the growth of dangerous bacteria. But, this isn’t the only power of the lactic acid. It offers an array of health benefits:
Enhanced digestion and nutrient absorption
Fermented foods are more easily absorbed than other foods, and this is their top benefit. They enhance digestion, and soothe the digestive tract. Give your intestines healthy bacteria, to help your body get rid of harmful bacteria. These bacteria gives the body a power to absorb nutrients from food.
Your intestines are your biggest ally against ailments. Healthy bacteria in lacto-fermented foods will help you build up a strong immune system. Healthy bacteria regulate the function of the immune cells, and prevent autoimmune reactions like inflammation.
Your brain shares strong connections with your digestive and immune system. Remember how your colds make your head feel fuzzy? It’s all about the vagus nerve.
This nerve is one of the 12 cranial nerves that carries information from the intestinal nervous system to the central nervous system. Obtaining a healthy range of friendly bacteria, and controlling the number of harmful bacteria strengthens the bond between the two systems. This contributes to a stronger prevention and improvement of cognitive issues.
Antioxidants in lacto-fermented foods destroy free radicals, and thus prevent cancer. These antioxidants reduce inflammation, and make your immune system stronger. This is crucial in the treatment of eczema, arthritis, and other inflammation-induced diseases. The same applies to ailments caused by an autoimmune response.
Healthy weight loss
Lacto-fermented foods provide strong hormonal balance. This will give you a hand in dealing with food cravings, and you’ll be able to suppress your appetite. Scientists have found that regular consumption of probiotics reduces the risk of obesity.
Make your own fermented foods to avoid artificial additives that are commonly added to store-bought products. Always use natural salt in your homemade fermented foods. Try Himalayan pink salt, Celtic sea salt, or kosher salt. These are packed with minerals. Commercial fermented foods are made with table salt.
You can use fermented onions in so many ways. Add these to your sandwiches, salads, tacos, and almost any other dish that fits your taste buds.
-1 kilogram (2.2) pounds small onions or shallots, peeled
-A handful of garlic cloves, peeled
-50g natural salt
-1l pure water
-You will also need wide-mouth jars with airtight lids.
Slice the onions. Some like to use them whole, but it’s up to you to decide what works best for you.
Dissolve the salt in your water.
Transfer the onions to your jars, and make sure that the jars are filled by half. Pour in the brine, and leave about 1-2 inches of space at the top.
Put the lids on.
Keep your jars at room temperature, and 60-70oF work best. Open the jars every day so that the accumulated fermentation gas is released. Do this in the first two weeks, and then do it every other day.
The fermentation process usually takes 1-2 months. You can let your onions ferment for 3 months, if that fits our needs.
If your onions smell strange after you open the jar discard them, and start over again.
Even beginners can do this. If you can handle the fermentation of onions, you will soon learn how to ferment any other vegetable.
The brine creates a perfect anaerobic environment. “Anaerobic” means that there’s no oxygen. Lacto-fermented recipes suggest that you keep the product below the surface of the brine so that the good bacteria grow well.
This fermentation technique is safe, simple, healthy, and cheap. You can store foods in this way from months, and you’ll be able to indulge in enzyme-rich foods during cold winter months. Your immune system will thank you.