Posts Tagged ‘Body Ecology’

Kombucha, Kefir and Kickapoo Kimchi! Oh, My!

Just a day in the (extremely probiotic) life:

Nessalla Kombucha --Seasonal

I love our local and homemade options for friendly gut health! For those who don’t know, kombucha is a fermented beverage made from tea, sugar and a special “SCOBY” culture that creates friendly bacteria and symbiotic yeast. For details on health benefits, you can click right here. I don’t drink it often, but when I do, I love supporting Madison’s very own kombucha brewer, Nessala. Today’s flavor? Seasonal Hibiscus-St. John’s Wort-Siberian Ginseng. You can also make your own ‘booch with their handy dandy starter kits. I’ve not braved kombucha making yet, although I do have an unactivated SCOBY back from my Sedona 2007 days. I’ve heard stories about the SCOBY’s taking over, but our friend, Sue, feeds her chickens the leftovers and they seem to thrive on it!

Seed starters, fermenting kefir and soaked and dehydrated buckwheat groats.

Kefir is another fermented beverage and currently one of my favorites. According to the local-ish Moonwise Herbs, who prepared our gorgeous Wild Edibles Gourmet Dinner last year:

“Kefir is a refreshing probiotic cultured-milk beverage, which is believed to originate in the Northern Caucasus Mountains many centuries ago. Kefir has a uniform thick creamy consistency, a slightly sour refreshing taste, with a mild aroma of fresh yeast. Kefir also has a slight naturally carbonated effervescent ‘zest.’

“Kefir’s tart and refreshing flavor is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, but it contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria found in yogurt. The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir combine symbiotically to give superior health benefits when consumed regularly. It is loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals and contains easily digestible complete proteins.

“Kefir can be made from any type of milk, cow, goat or sheep. Non-dairy beverages can also be cultured with the grains. We have cultured coconut nectar, homemade juice from the berries in our yard-one of my favorites is cultured currant juice as well as lemonade and fresh fruit.”

As you know, I provide information only on this blog, so I can’t make any “real” health claims except from personal experience. That said, kefir rocks! At various times in my life, I’ve had coconut milk kefir, coconut water kefir, raw milk kefir, and it all makes me feel good! I first learned of coconut milk kefir from my friend/former neighbor, Cecilia, who used Body Ecology Starters with fresh coconut meat/water blends. She even had some success with a bottled version of flash pasteurized coconut milk. Kefir “grains” add so many enzymes and digestive aids that, while fresh is best, you really can’t go wrong with kefir — provided it’s homemade. The commercial brands filled with guar gum are quite another story, at least in my experience! Rumble, rumble, if you know what I mean. When I drink homemade kefir, my body hums. I’ve also heard enough testimonials from people with formerly autistic children to know there’s something powerful in that fermentation.

If you want a superfood version of Breyer’s Peaches ‘n Cream ice cream, try frozen organic peaches blended with milk/coconut milk/nutmylk kefir and a splash of vanilla stevia. Wow.

Fully "ready" kefir and kimchi from fizziology.

And the kimchi! I just can’t say enough good things about our local fizzeology fermented veggies. Sure, we could make our own and sometimes do. David has a “Perfect Pickler,” which truly does make perfect pickles and no-stink-up-the-kitchen kraut. But we met fizzeology’s Mike Bieser at a health expo where I spoke last year. He puts burdock root in his kimchi! Enough said. I love, love, love burdock! Can’t get enough. I also love the other flavors, especially ones with a Mexican flare. When you can find fermented foods this good and this local, and you’re this lazy, it just feels right to go support your local co-op, which now stocks Mike’s tasty, healthy treats. I particularly like Kickapoo Kimchi on avocados or wrapped in nori sheets for fast, satisfying snacks.

Between b-vitamins, enzymes, bio-available protein, adrenal nourishment, and friendly flora, you just can’t beat fermented foods! “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” I doubt Virginia Woolf meant kombucha, kefir and kimchi, but that’s probably cuz she hadn’t tried them. 😉