Fermented food, heating and other questions

wertach zone 7-B SCNovember 14, 2012

I have severe IBS-D and it has been suggested (from a nurse) that I eat more fermented food. I don't have any home made, I have to buy it. I'm looking in to fermenting stuff, my cabbage is almost ready. Next spring I will have more to ferment.

Question 1: For now, since I am buying from the grocery store, does canned kraut have the same benefits? Should I buy the kraut in the cooler?

I do seem to do better if I eat a little kraut.

Question 2: Does heating fermented food kill the beneficial bacteria? I don't like it cold, room temps are OK.

Question 3: Cheeses are supposed to be good, what is best and can they be heated? I love any kind of cheese, but sometimes I want it melted.

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laceyvail(6A, WV)

You don't want to buy canned kraut; get the stuff in the cooler. It's my understanding that heating it kills the enzymes you're after, but I think you can surely warm it to room temperature.

There are many other fermented foods other than kraut; in fact you can ferment nearly any vegetable. Also, you may want to look into kefir, a yogurt type substance, though thinner.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 6:24AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Thanks Lacey.

My Question # 2: should have been, Does heating fermented food "IN A MICROWAVE to room temperature," kill the beneficial bacteria?

I left that out by mistake. I can use a pot if it does.

I like the cooler stuff better, even though it is expensive I bought it.

I think I found a good selection of fermented foods in jars this morning at an Indian grocery store. They had fermented rice, carrots, beans, and other stuff. I bought the rice carrots and beans and I am having a little of each for lunch in a few minutes.

I hope it's good!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:13PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Microwaves generate heat they just do it in a different fashion. Can't imagine why microwave heat would have any less effect on bacteria than any other form does. Of course the duration of the heat plays a role - the shorter the heating time, the less the effect.

But I think all of the studies that are available on lacto-bacillus, probiotics, and fermented foods in general make it pretty clear that heat of any kind should be avoided for the most benefits and that the bacterial benefits, while still there, will decline as heat is applied.

There are literally 100's of resources on these issues available on the web.

Dave

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 1:52PM
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jimnginger(9)

Microwaves (at least mine) create real hot spots and heat outer areas super hot first. I would NEVER use a microwave to heat fermented vegetables.
While many taste best cold, others heat their fermented vegetables either in a dehydrator with the shelves removed (a good one like a Excalibur) where you can set the temp. to 118 degrees F. so you warm nicely but not kill the pro-bacteria. I would guess that cheese makers are used to controlling temps. accurately (good thermometers). Some yogurt makers, if settable to this low temp. may also work just fine.
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 7:21PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

Since you will be fermenting your own foods at room temperature, you will be able to consume them within a couple days. For long term storage, you will need to refrigerate your homemade products. I am very pleased with fermented beet greens that I made this summer. I was happy that I found a recipe that I liked with beet greens, since I normally add these to the compost pile.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 9:44AM
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cannond

Apart from the destruction of water soluble vitamins, caused by high temperatures, enzymes and phytochemicals are lost.
In Italy food is served at eating temperature (plenty warm, but not piping hot). Italians feel flavor is enhanced this way, and I'm inclined to agree.

Here's what I do. I remove the ferment from cold storage about an hour before it's to be consumed. When it has achieved room temperature I serve in as a condiment on the food. Mexican food is a good example; just drizzle fermented salsa over the top. Kraut can be served at room temperature on hot grilled sausages, and my German friends use it in salad, the juice of which is mixed with a good olive oil to make dressing.

Ferments are really intended to be taken in small quantities.

Deborah

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 6:04PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Thanks to all! I haven't fermented anything yet but I have been eating a little kraut every day.

I finally got in to a double blind drug study the Tue. after posting this.I could have the placebo or the real thing. But my symptoms improved greatly the first week.

Then the second week I started on the second package of drugs and after 2 days the symptoms returned. Maybe the first week was the real thing second week placebo? Or it could have been our pot luck Holiday lunch on Wed.? I don't trust some of my coworkers cooking! LOL

So I don't know if kraut is helping or not.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 11:45AM
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oliveoyl3

Have you tried kefir (milk product made with special grain-like globby cultures)? It is fermented at room temperature & stored in refrigerator if not consumed after straining. Holds in frig well if you want to stop making it for awhile. Eventually you're starter will have multiplied enough to pass some on to others or ferment quarts of milk. We adapted ours to soy milk instead of dairy milk.

Try your local freecycle, plant swap, or health food store. Our source was freecycle. You can purchase kefir already prepared, but it won't have the grains to use as starter.

Corrine

Here is a link that might be useful: kefir information

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:19PM
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