Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fun with Fermentation

Reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan has almost convinced me to give up on vitamin pills entirely. He points out the giant holes in the science of nutrition, and argues that eating the food itself is the best way to go. I'm going to try to be more conscious of getting enough nutrients, since I'm a vegematarian... I should be keeping an closer eye on my consumption of zinc, omega fatty acids, and minerals.

Enter beet kvass, which I read about on Doug DiPasquale's site. Apparently kvass is good for the blood, liver and digestion. Fermentation makes the nutrients from the beets more available for absorption. DiPasquale lists a really easy way to get whey, which you need to get it started.. you simply strain some organic yoghurt with cheesecloth, use the solids as fresh cheese, and use the liquid as your starter.

I have to say, I really like the stuff. I've been having 2 oz of it a couple of times a day. Rather hard to describe, it tastes like beet juice mixed with salty tonic water. Not delicious, exactly, but refreshing in a strange kind of way. I knew that it was addressing some gap in my diet when I got home from a long day at work and thought to myself "I really want some beet kvass right now." Wierd. It may be the sea salt that I'm craving -- I have read that people with 'delicate constitutions', ahem, benefit from drinking sea salt and water as it supports proper adrenal function. I am going to add ginger juice to the kvass next time around and I think I'll have a winner.

I'm going to have to try some other lacto-fermented recipes, like ginger ale and homemade orangina. Googling the topic led me to, an amazing blog, and her awesome post on kefir, called "Water Kefir is Like Fresca for Hippies". So now water kefir is on the list now too. I am NOT a fan of yoghurt kefir, I thought it was pretty nasty. But I'll try anything once.