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HOW TO: Make Essential Food 2 - Fermented Dairy

This is the the second post on the Essential Foods series. I was going to write about Fermented Foods in general, but to be honest, I'm not sure that blogging a war and peace novel is all that attractive to all of you time-poor 21st century people. Fermented foods are SO important, and quite varied, and each type comes with it's own probiotic profile that deserves individual attention.

So I am going to talk first about fermented dairy products: Yoghurt and Sour Cream.

I'll start with these, because it is very handy to have had some practice making your own yoghurt, and dripping your own whey liquid out of it. This whey liquid can then be use to make a lacto-fermented sauerkraut, which is the next Essential Food!

Nothing goes to waste, because that is how we roll here at Good Mood Food.

From the GAPS website (www.gaps.me):

"Fermented foods are essential to introduce, as they provide probiotic microbes in the best possible form. Supplements of probiotics settle in the upper parts of the digestive system and generally do not make it all away down to the bowel, while fermented foods will carry probiotic microbes all away down to the end of the digestive system. Fermentation predigests the food, making it easy for our digestive systems to handle. Fermentation releases nutrients from the food, making them more bio-available for the body: for example sauerkraut contains 20 times more bio-available vitamin C than fresh cabbage.Fermented foods should always be introduced gradually: they are teaming with probiotic bacteria and live enzymes which may cause a “die-off reaction”."

{Explanation pause}: This is when the pathogenic bacteria in your gut release their stored toxins into your system as they die. It's a good sign: it shows you a) that you have too much pathogenic bacteria and you are doing the right thing, and b) it is a sign that the fermented food is working, and therefore helping to heal you. Everyone's die-off reaction are different. My daughter gets a rash under her chin, and her behaviour gets a it worse for a day or two. My son, however, gets cramps in his legs, which can only be settled by rubbing magnesium oil on the soles of his feet. This tells us that when he has die-off, his body uses up all his stores of minerals, especially magnesium. He has a hard time absorbing magnesium and other minerals because of the state of his GI tract.

"You’ll meet people who will tell you that they “cannot tolerate” fermented foods: the reason is that they suddenly had a sizeable helping of a fermented food and got a serious “die-off reaction”. Never start from more than 1 teaspoon of any probiotic food per day. Depending on the severity of the condition, different people can introduce fermented foods quicker or slower. Start with 1 teaspoon a day, and if there is a reaction, either settle at that amount or reduce it to half a teaspoon for a few days. Continue increasing the daily amount of the fermented food gradually keeping the “die-off reaction” under control. It is a good idea to introduce no more than 1 or 2 fermented foods at a time. I usually recommend to start from homemade yoghurt and juice from homemade sauerkraut, which in many cases can be introduced at the same time."