Giana here! For those of you who don't remember me from my previous posts, I am a Yoga Teacher and Food Enthusiast. Recently, I've become fascinated (obsessed really) with fermented foods because they are delicious and full of health benefits for your gut. (Gut health, or the absence of it, is one of the most concerning health and wellness related issues today.) Fermented foods and drinks are things like sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kombucha and sourdough. They're packed with natural prebiotics, probiotics, and minerals.
Last year, I went to the Wild Fermentation Workshop Fall 2015 at Bed and Bistro led by Nadia from Hampton's Brine, an artisan sauerkraut company. Since then, I have started brewing my own kombucha and making sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles. After almost mastering these techniques, I decided to give the-mother-of-all-ferments - sourdough - a try. I can't lie, I was super inspired by the 4 episode Michael Pollan series Cooked on Netflix too. Highly recommended if you haven't seen it!
"The wonderful thing about food is you get three votes a day. Every one of them has the potential to change the world." Michael Pollan
To make sourdough, you have to first make a "starter". This is what ferments and what is used to "start" your dough recipe when it is time to bake without using packaged yeasts. You add equal parts water and flour and let the natural bacteria and yeasts do their thing. Some people have sourdough for generations and generations, passing down recipes and old wooden spoons to stir the starter. Mine is coming up on 2 months old and is active and alive, young starters work just as well. They do require some care and love as you have to "feed" them flour and water twice a day! You can let it hibernate in the fridge and feed it once a week, but I like the idea of having the starter ready to go whenever I feel like making a delicious treat. So far, I have made sourdough bread, bagels, cinnamon buns, and several sourdough chocolate coconut cakes!
The sourdough is a work in progress and it's like a science experiment that you can eat because you are creating natural yeasts to rise the dough! It is so fun to work with. Check out my Instagram @gianarosa for new sourdough and fermented food endeavors.
*For a sourdough starter recipe, click here.
Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of Giana Rosa