Maybe it was spending lots of time upstate NY on my family's farm OR maybe it was visiting my paternal grandmother, uncles, aunts and cousins in rural Ohio OR maybe it's just that I enjoy making foods that have long been forgotten. Whatever the reason, I have been experimenting a lot lately with bringing in some nourishing, nutrient-dense and fermented foods in my life and the lives of my family.. can't forget my new granddaughter, Ava, who propels me to figure out what I can make next in terms of aiding her immune system and keeping her little gut healthy. Actually, her mommy and daddy do a great job with that but you know us grandmothers....
I'm not sure how it all started but I guess that's how life is -- always evolving and forever changing. I credit my passion for trying my hand at anything that our ancestors did to the time I spent with my dad -- picking up the rocks in the garden, making, kneading and rolling out the pie dough (he made the best pies!!), lifting the lid off the jug of pickles he had fermenting, adding fresh herbs to the salads, picking the fruits from the trees and digging for potatoes. He made everything from scratch and I guess that's what I tend to do these days.
It's been a process for me.. first, learning about nutrition when I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, receiving a certification for attending a holistic digestive intensive series and then just forever researching, attending seminars, connecting with like-minded people and reading lots of great health-oriented books. I started with an interest in eating only raw foods, tried that for several months and then felt the need to bring in some lightly steamed vegetables. I stayed away from meat and dairy for many years and, through my research, brought in some raw goat milk and started making kefir. I felt so good while drinking it and knew my strength was markedly improved. This led me to explore and make more traditional foods like fermented cabbage (kraut), bone broth, sourdough bread, kefir cheese, kimchi and now KOMBUCHA! I am so excited about the kombucha as I was buying it for a past several years in limited quantities because it's a little pricey for my budget -- $3.79 for one bottle! I have to say that I have been wanting to make kombucha for a few years now and kept putting it off out of fear -- in all my research, I've read about how things can go wrong and I just felt that I needed to wait until I could buy all the necessary equipment to make it. Well, guess what? I just made it in a glass jar, a couple of green tea bags, organic cane sugar (don't worry - the mother eats up all the sugar) and a mushroom (or mother - you can purchase online). I absolutely LOVE the taste and am excited about experimenting with the flavor by adding in some medicinal herbs and spices.
So, I hope I have piqued your interest in bringing back some of these nourishing traditional foods. You won't be sorry if you start incorporating them into your diet.. you will feel amazing!! They bring in the needed probiotics that our guts depend on for good health.
To your good health,