Fermenting isn't only healthy but really easy: Interview by MyHealth

Fermenting isn't only healthy, but really easy!

I was interviewed by MyHealth Magazine in Switzerland about how fermenting isn't only healthy but really easy!

Here is the English version of my interview.

Fermenting is the name of the game right now, because it can be made very quickly, and turns vegetables into super-healthy vitamin bombs. Claudia shares her knowledge, recipes, and passion for fermentation in her workshops and blog. She also shares her favourite recipe with us.

What exactly is fermentation?

The type of fermentation I am interested in is called lacto-fermentation. This is the process in which the bacteria break down the sugars in foods and form lactic acid. Lacto-fermented foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles. Usually, the vegetables are soaked in brine (water with salt) in order for them to allow the bacteria to multiply. On the surface of the vegetables there is lactic acid bacteria, which multiply through the process of fermentation, and they are particularly good for the gut.

Is that the reason why they are so healthy?

Among other things. Fermentation also increases the formation of digestive enzymes, and the vegetables are broken up and easier to digest. The vitamin content, especially vitamin C, rises, which strengthens the immune system. The nutrients are also easier to absorb.

And how does it work?

Cabbage is easy to ferment. You need the vegetables, a glass jar, salt and water. A tablespoon of salt is added to one kilo of chopped cabbage. I let the mixture rest for about an hour. The salt draws liquid from the cabbage and it becomes softer. Then I knead the vegetables and pour them into the glass jar. I like to close the vegetables with a cabbage leaf and press everything down again. Then fill it up with water, close the lid, and let it stand for about 10 days to a month at room temperature.

Can you do something wrong?

Make sure that the vegetables are always covered with water. Otherwise add some more water. You can tell if it is completely fermented when the colour of the vegetables change slightly. Or just try it. After opening, the glass should be kept in the fridge.

What is suitable for beginners?

Carrots are very easy to ferment: Simply cut them into sticks and put them lengthwise inside a glass with a few slices of ginger. Then fill up with the brine (salt water). As the carrots rise during the fermentation process, I use a slice of kohlrabi to seal the vegetables. The slice of vegetable serves as a cork.

The salt preserves the vegetables. How long does it last?

It is said to last up to a year. I leave the ferments in the fridge for up to six months.

Where does your passion for fermented foods come from?

I suffer from seasonal allergies and did a lot of research for a long time. I wanted to get rid of it in a natural way. Numerous studies point to gut health. So I continued my research on that area, and came across the beneficial effect of fermented foods on the intestinal flora. Since then I have always had a glass of some pickled vegetable in my fridge and I add small portions to my meals.

Has your allergy improved?

Yes, I don't need any more medication. The allergy has become much milder. I also notice that I don't have a craving for sugar when eating fermented vegetables. But above all, I find it delicious, cheap and easy to make.

Could you tell us your favourite recipe?

I love the garlicky cauliflower recipe, you can find it here. A great side dish that goes well with almost everything and is extremely healthy. I cut cauliflower and one onion, crush two cloves of garlic, fill everything into a glass. Fill the glass with the brine (water with salt) until everything is well covered. Then close, leave to stand for three to seven days and top up with water if necessary. After it has fermented, I put the glass in the fridge and always have a small portion ready. I eat the pickled vegetables as a cold side dish with my meals.

Link to the interview in German is here. Check out their many other interesting articles, or their magazine at your doctor's office in the German and French part in Switzerland!


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