Fermented foods have been around since ancient times. The earliest evidence of fermenting a beverage dates back to 3000 BC; however, even in 2016, people can be squeamish around the idea of fermentation. Often we think of the classics: sauerkraut, pickles, yogurt, etc., but with the hype surrounding kombucha and its healing properties, we are branching out with our fermenting capabilities. What is it? Why is it supposed to be good for you? How can you add it to your diet?
Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lacto-fermentation, in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. It also preserves the nutrients in food and assists in breaking down the food to a more digestible form allowing us to absorb more nutritious benefits.
All of these factors are no wonder that fermented foods have been linked with improved digestion, boosting our immunity and even in helping us get leaner.
Soaking rice or quinoa overnight in yogurt makes it easier for the body to assimilate the nutrients, as yogurt contains enzymes that predigest the rice and removes phytic acid, introducing beneficial gut bacteria. An additional bonus is that the bone broth I wrote about in my last article, can even be incorporated into the fermentation process for a tasty kick! The broth, along with the fibre from the rice, will keep you full for hours after eating. It also detoxifies your body, and will leave you feeling energized and rejuvenated.
Broth Infused Brown Rice
- 1 cup short-grain brown rice
- 1/4 cup wild rice (optional)
- 3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 tsp salt
- The night before, place rice and wild rice in a glass bowl. Add 3 tablespoons yogurt and 1 1/2 cups of water. Mix until the yogurt is dissolved. Leave on the counter overnight. (This ferments the rice so it’s easier to digest.)
- The next day, put the rice in a strainer and rinse until the water runs clear.
- Place the rice in a four-quart saucepan. Add broth, 2 cups water, and salt. Cook on high until the rice begins to boil, then lower the flame to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir, then allow to cool. Transfer to a glass container.