Between 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by a gastrointestinal disease. From Leaky Gut Syndrome to Irritable Bowel Syndrome to a litany of other GI issues, that’s a lot of people living with stomach problems! Dietary choices are the top reason for stomach disorders. That’s why you need to incorporate more gut health foods into your diet–like fermented fruits.
Fermented fruits are probiotic foods that fall right in line with a healthy gut diet plan. That’s because the fermentation process facilitates the growth of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria will help restore balance in your microbiome. Ultimately, consuming gut healing foods like fermented fruits may provide relief with gastrointestinal problems.
So, what are fermented fruits and why are they considered gut healing foods? Let’s take a look at this staple in a gut healing diet and then get into some delicious recipes.
What Are Fermented Fruits?
In case you missed our crash course of Introduction to Fermented Fruits and Vegetables, we’ll provide you with some highlights. Fermentation is like the OG of preservation. Our ancestors realized that canning their foods extended their shelf life. Today, we can confirm their theory to be true.
When we preserve organic fruits and vegetables, they are placed in a jar and combined with:
• Distilled Water
• Sugar/Salt (Optional)
• Starter Culture (Whey Protein, Kefir, Yogurt, Yeast, Kombucha)
As the ingredients sit in the jar, the fruits will begin to decompose. When this happens, the fruits will secrete sugars/carbohydrates. The microorganisms (starter culture) will feast on the carbs, creating probiotics foods.
Fermented fruits are much easier for those with GI problems to consume. However, they may still pose a problem for someone following a low FODMAP Diet. To follow this gut health diet protocol, you’ll need to take one extra step.
By submerging your fruits in a lactose-free yogurt, kombucha, or in coconut kefir, some fruits may actually fall into a low FODMAP gut healthy diet. That’s because FODMAP-friendly starter cultures will consume a good portion of the sugars that cause GI issues. If you are following a low FODMAP diet, be sure to research the probiotic food you are trying to make.
Tips About Fermented Fruits for a Healthy Gut Diet Plan
Fermentation is easy…but it’s not as simple as putting food in a jar and going about your business. This is especially true for fermented fruits.
Fruits have more sugar than vegetables. This causes the fermentation process to speed up. Therefore, it only take 2 to 10 days for fruits to be ready for use. Whereas, fermented vegetables can take up to a month! In the world of fermentation, fruits are Amazon Prime and vegetables are the snail mail.
When you are making fermented fruits, try using a weight. No, don’t go stealing one from the gym. We’re talking a glass weight like this:
Glass Fermentation Weights will hold the fruit in the brine. This action will help preserve the fruit. As the fruit remains submerged in the brine, it is safe from the growth of mold.
The Stages of Fermented Fruits
While fermentation of vegetables can take a while, fruits ferment at a rapid pace. This acceleration is much in thanks to these foods’ high glucose, sucrose, and fructose levels.
Sugar quickly converts to alcohol. While we all enjoy a nice beverage or two, you can’t exactly serve that to the kiddos during a nice summer picnic.
This name might sound familiar. Lactic acid is what our muscles secrete to provide us energy during a strenuous workout. When making probiotic foods like fermented fruits, the lactic acid is drawn from the produce by the cultures outside of it. Yeast and bacteria convert sugars into lactic acid, creating gut healing foods ideal for snacking, salads, or jams.
Here, the pyruvic acids in the sugars are now broken down. Well-fed, the yeast molecules inside the jar grow. A byproduct of this is carbon dioxide. This process is what causes probiotic foods and beverages to bubble at the top. As the sugars get fermented, it creates alcohol. Now that you mention it, I could use a glass of wine right about now…
Acetic Acid (Vinegar)
You ever hear your elderly family members raging about the benefits of apple cider vinegar? This is created when apples hit the third phase of fermentation. Yeast continues to break down the sugars. Over time, this creates a pungent, sour vinegar. While potent, vinegar is one of the greatest allies in a gut healing diet.
How to Make Gut Healing Foods like Fermented Fruits
Making probiotic foods at home is fun. You can really get in tune with what your tastes are. Besides, nothing tastes better than the fruits of your own labor…literally.
So, to get started you will need a mason jar. Make sure to get one that is airtight, preferably with a lid that has clasps. For longer ferment periods, you will want a jar that you can open for 30 seconds every couple days. That way you can release some carbon dioxide pressure.
However, most people who consume fermented fruits use the product within two to ten days. So, this isn’t always a necessary step. With that side rant out of the way, it looks like you are ready to make some of the best fermented fruits for a gut healing diet.
Fermented Fruit Chutney
Image Via Zero Waste Chef
This recipe is chock full of foods in line with a gut healthy diet plan. What stands out to us is the inclusion of ginger. Ginger has shown in studies to be a potent anti-inflammatory.
Fighting off inflammation is essential for anyone struggling with conditions such as Leaky Gut Syndrome. With less inflammation spurring, then harmful bacteria are unlikely to stick around. Therefore, the symptoms associated with gastrointestinal distress will slow its role. The exodus of inflammation opens the door for probiotic foods like the fermented fruits in this recipe to do its thing!
• 4 cups chopped mixed fruit
• 1 cup chopped onion (preferably red)
• 1 red pepper
• 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 1/4 cup ginger bug
• 2 lemons, juice and zest
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp mustard seeds
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 1 tsp salt or to taste
Get the full recipe: Zero Waste Chef
Fermented Fruit Kvass
Image Via Green Kitchen Stories
We’ve all heard about kombucha for a gut health diet, but what about the Russian fermented drink, kvass? Kvass is a lot like kombucha in that it’s an effervescent probiotic beverage that has become a staple in gut health foods. The difference? It’s not a tea.
Also, traditional kvass from the Baltic region was made with beets and rye bread. Today’s recipe is a lot more simplified, with whey acting as the starter culture. While some feel this is not as authentic as the OG, this kvass is refreshing, delicious, and most importantly, conducive to a healthy gut diet plan.
• 1/4 of a large glass jar of mixed organic ripe fruit (we used fresh peaches and blackberries)
• 1 tbsp unpasteurized honey
• 1-inch fresh ginger, peeled
• Pure water to almost fill the jar (you get the est result with filtered or mineral water)
Get the recipe: Green Kitchen Stories