CULT FOLLOWING // Where To Find Fermented Foods In The Southern Highlands
Promote awesome gut health by adding fermented deliciousness to your diet
Fermented foods have got all the good stuff going on. It’s good for your guts and super delicious!
But, what makes them so impactful?
“They can restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tract by improving the diversity of intestinal flora,” says local naturopath and fermented foodie fan, Sara-Jane Cleland.
Why is that balance so important?
“This diverse flora / microbiome affects your immune and nervous system, as approximately 80% of your immune system exists in your gut and 80% of serotonin is produced in the gut,” Sara-Jane says.
“Research is showing far reaching effects of microbiome health, with many links between poor gut health and a range of health conditions..... from obesity right through to neurodegenerative diseases.”
Okay, so it sounds like adding fermented foods to the diet is a smart and healthy choice, right? So what does the fermentation process do?
“It transforms the chemical make-up of the raw materials and enhances their nutritional value,” says Sara-Jane.
“Fermentation not only preserves food, but it also transforms food into a probiotic supplement, increases the digestibility of food and the vitamin content.”
And that all adds up to improving gut health.
So, what should we be looking for on the shelves of our local stores?
- Apple Cider Vinegar
The key is doing your research and making sure that what you buy has actually gone through the fermentation process. Many mass-produced items may not be. For example, most apple cider vinegars sold in supermarkets do not contain probiotics. Only raw apple cider vinegar that contains ‘the mother’ is fermented.
“Check the ingredients and how the product has been fermented if you’re unsure,” Sara-Jane recommends.
Okay, so here’s a list of stores you can head to so you can get your fermented food fix in the Highlands!
We love this place, so many goodies that are good for more than just your guts! You’ll find red kimchi, white kimchi, beetroot and ginger sauerkraut, green cabbage and turmeric sauerkraut and so much more.
Fermented deliciousness at Raw + Wild Market + Cafe
These guys sell loads of fermented foods including Japanese Natto, fermented black beans, sauces and pastes. They’ll also order in anything you need.
With a newly opened store on Throsby Street, Moss Vale this dedicated and passionate group are all about reducing waste so will ferment and pickle anything they can get their hands on! They have kimchi, kombucha and loads of fermented items on the shelves, all housemade.
Huge range of fermented foods (and more yummy stuff) at The What If Society.
You’ll find these guys in the courtyard at The Mill and they have a range of take home ferments from kimchi to pickles to cabbage and their own kombucha on tap.
This local dairy has just released a natural organic yoghurt and it’s delicious, smooth and creamy (and good for you!). You can find their products at Ashcrofts Super IGA, Robertson Cheese Factory, Anchors Fruit & Veg, Highlands Fresh, Robertson Supermarket and The Village Grocer in Bundanoon.
This store does healthy (and sustainable) so well. You can pop in to get jars of sauerkraut, kimchi, cultured cashew cheese and kombucha on tap. They also sell apple cider vinegar and tamari, which is a wheat free soya sauce.
The Source Bulk Foods in Bowral stocks a number of fermented foods.
These guys make their own kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, cashew cream and more under their delicious housemade brand Handcrafted @ The General. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the Valley.
While a large supermarket, Harris Farm has a great range of authentic fermented foods. And even Coles and Woolies stock kefir or fermented milk drinks from brands like The Culture Co or The Milk Thief. They also have a huge variety of yoghurts and different brands of kombucha.
You’ll find a selection of yummy pickles at this Moss Vale Café and kombucha on tap.
The Vale Cafe stocks local brand, Highlands Picklery.
You can also try the Organic Whole Food Store. Please note, at the time of writing our understanding is you are unable to enter the shop with a mask on. This contravenes government health orders. Please check this information direct with the store owners if intending to shop there, as it may have changed.
Now, if you’re keen to find out more about how to incorporate fermented foods into your diet, give Sara-Jane a shout. She also runs cooking classes covering off on everything from wholefoods to how to include superfoods into your diet. There is a Broths & Ferments workshop Sara-Jane hosts too. She can run this privately for small groups 4-6 in her kitchen or for bigger groups in private homes. Get in touch and have a chat!
Okay, we’re off to get our kimchi! Yum!
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