Several weeks back, I had the (tasting) pleasure of visiting Trupp Cooking School. I’m a bit excited about this post – it seems I’ve found a new love in fermented and probiotic foods. So there I was, back in class and all I could think about was how quickly could I start making all this glorious healing food and how excited will my readers be to have some instruction on how to do it! Because let’s face it – fermenting not only sounds bacterial (because that’s what it is all about!) but it also sounds hard! And who wouldn’t want to just duck up the shop and buy yourself your sauerkraut? YOU – because, you can’t buy the real deal in Australia. Your only sure way to truly fermented foods is to get busy in your kitchen and get your ferment on!
For thousands of years, people have been fermenting as a means of preserving foods. Nowadays, we don’t have the same need to preserve, with the use of fridges, vacuum seals and some pretty nasty preservatives that keep food lasting longer than I’ll be on this earth for. And whilst the fridge is certainly a handy invention, these fermented foods provide an essential part of our diet in the natural properties they possess – of digestive enzymes and pro-biotics (healthy gut bacteria). Our guts are designed to be lined with healthy bacteria, and micro-organisms that act as a defence, much like a military line up. These help shape our immune systems and ensure our guts are working well. But without vital gut flora, the body will suffer severely. All kinds of gut flora co-exist in there happily playing together, most good, some bad – but the good ones control the bad guys when the gut is working well and everybody is happy. And when it’s not – we can see all kinds of illness and disease.
The gut is the pilot of our health. When our gut is happy – the rest of our body just works. INCLUDING our fertility.
These gut bacteria line the walls of the digestive tract, providing us with this ‘defence’ which protects us against invaders. When these essential bacteria aren’t present, not only does it open the body up to all kinds of trouble from lack of fighting power, but it also means that the lining is unprotected – it has no defence and therefore can be easily vulnerable to damage. Gut damage = illness.
Now we generally accept that the main function of the digestive system is to break down food and use it as nutrients to fuel our bodies – but science also now tells us that without health gut function (flora), the digestive system can’t do this and so we can become very sick because a) it isn’t working and b) it isn’t absorbing meaning the rest of our body goes into meltdown. I talk about this in ‘fertilise yourself.’
On top of all of this – our gut is our second brain and our emotion centre. If it isn’t working well, emotional health suffers also.
Now you might be thinking – I digest ok (I think? Who really knows?), I’m relatively healthy and this isn’t applicable to me. Fine! But you don’t know until you try just how well you can be and by adding these types of foods to your diet, you will absolutely notice an amazing shift in health as your gut gets happy. Here is some food for thought though.
Your mum may have had you (ok she did have you), and been unable to breast feed (and yes, we all know breast is best, it isn’t a debate about that so let’s not make it one, we are just using it as an example), so you as a child never received the essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and immunity from her. Then when you were say 2, you had a nasty sickness and 2 courses of antibiotics. We’ll call that hit number two. Combine this with poor food quality, general lack in understanding of food as medicine, and by the time you are 5, you’re diagnosed with behavioural issues, you have asthma, eczema and you’re in a bit of a mess. Could it be all from the gut not being nourished properly? Hello! It certainly can be. If these healthy gut flora aren’t there from the get-go, we open ourselves up to all kinds of damage and illness – physically and emotionally. The key is knowing that diet is the most important form of treatment when it comes to healthy gut function and there are a huge range of foods you can use (from the mother to pass onto the child as well as when the child starts feeding). This kind of diet has been shown to benefit children with spectrum illness as well as all other kinds of digestive illness, diabetes, thyroid problems…. the list goes on and on. There is a specific diet for such conditions – I’ll gauge your feedback here as to if I’ll write more about that in the future.
Take a look at my instagram images from the night. (look me up on instagram – I’m natkringoudis)
So that night – I learnt HOW to ferment foods! Can you tell I had a blast?
And that scary looking sea creature in the jar… it’s a Kombucha Mushroom used to make Kombucha Tea!
It’s a spongy membrane made of bacteria. So clever! It forms over the tea to protect it and act as a seal – not a deep sea creature after all!
Dorota, Myself and Walter (from L to R) at the end of a delicious and nutritious evening!
What a dynamic duo! Walter is a world renowned and highly trained chef, and Dorota is a nutritionalist and environmentalist. Together they educate on many things including fermentation and pro-biotic healing.
Sound like something you want to learn more about? Trupp’s Cooking School run many different classes – see here. I attended their ‘Heal you Gut with the Lost Art of Fermention and Probiotic Food” class. In any case, you totally need to check them out! Follow them on Facebook or look them up. I’ll be getting all fermented on the blog over the next few weeks, so watch out for some simple lessons in fermenting foods for you to introduce into your day and put the ‘b’ back into your gut bacteria!
Trupp Cooking School – where the magic (and education) happens.