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Taking a new look at fermented foods
Donna Krug

Just this week I listened in on a Zoom training that reminded us again about the health benefits of adding a little fermented food to your healthy plate. Fermentation is a process where the natural bacteria found in fresh vegetables utilize the carbohydrates to reproduce and excrete lactic acid, which preserves the vegetables and creates a characteristic tangy flavor. There is evidence that the lactic acid bacteria present in fermented products helps create a healthy gut. 

The fact sheet I wrote two years ago titled, “Taking a New Look at Fermented Foods,” is as relevant today as the day it was written. In fact, there seems to be a good deal of interest in preparing fermented foods at home. 

A couple spots remain in an upcoming Fermentation workshop I am leading where participants will learn how to make Kimchi. Kimchi is a Korean condiment made from Napa cabbage and a few other ingredients to spice it up. The workshop is set for Monday, Aug. 29th, from 6-9 p.m. There is a $25 registration fee payable before class at the Cottonwood Extension Great Bend Office, 3007 10th Street. Registration covers the ingredients and equipment to make a 1-quart jar of Kimchi. 

The practice of fermenting foods has been around for thousands of years. There are many claims to how fermentation was discovered, but now, every culture with access to salt, makes some kind of fermented food. The simplicity of this food preservation method coupled with its unique flavors and reported health benefits has made fermenting food popular worldwide.

Many foods and beverages are created through the process of fermentation: sourdough bread, yogurt, beer, wine, sauerkraut, and kombucha to name a few. Workshop participants will also get to sample an assortment of fermented foods and learn about various home fermentation kits on the market.

If you have questions about the workshop, give me a call!

Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. Contact her at 620-793-1910 or