Zapping Sugar Cravings With Fermented Food

My eldest child LOVES sugar. He has literally said to me: “I love sugar so much I wish I could eat it all day long every day.”

I can lead by example. I can say that sugar makes your teeth grow in crooked or rot and fall out. I can say that sugar makes you sick, irritable, fat, and angry. This kid isn’t fazed. That’s why I was jazzed when I saw one of the articles in the most recent Wise Traditions journal was called “Growing Wise Kids: Zapping Sugar Cravings” by Jen Allbritton.

I was also very impressed by the second step she suggests we take to help our kids nix the sugar habit: eating more fermented foods!

From the article:

Many people find that once they begin to consume more fermented foods and beverages their yearning for sweets naturally disappears…. Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet, says “If you do give in to the temptation of sugar, consider having fermented foods and drinks along with them. The healthy micro-flora in fermented foods and beverages will use the sugar as its food, reducing the negative effects on your body.” Try a tall glass of fermented ginger ale along with a popsicle during a warm summer afternoon, or accompany a rich homemade carob coconut oil-based truffle with a fruity fermented chutney.

I have a confession to make.

My family has fallen off the fermented foods bandwagon. We used to make a special point of eating or drinking something naturally fermented at every single meal. Now we’re lucky if we get it once a week. Given the correlation Ms. Allbritton is drawing between sugar consumption and fermented foods, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that our sugar consumption has also gone up in this time!

That’s why I’m looking forward to Jenny’s upcoming class in fermentation. Get Cultured! How To Ferment Anything promises to be just what my family needs — a fresh look at fermentation so that we can get inspired to incorporate these nourishing, healthy foods as a regular part of our diet again.

Jenny has even done what I thought was impossible — perfected a lacto-fermented sweet pickle recipe. I’ve tried making sweet ferments before, and they’ve all come out alcoholic. Jenny’s April 4th lesson comes with a printable guide to sweet ferments! I’m stoked.

I’m sooooo excited by her course outline. Just check out what you’ll learn if you enroll!

What excites you the most? For me, it’s the fermented beverages & tonics along with the naturally fermented condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, and barbecue sauce. Why? Because I’m tired of feeling guilty if I let my kids have a juice drink or dip their fries in ketchup. These are easy, every day things that you can use WITHOUT GUILT so long as they’re naturally fermented!

This course is simply packed with information.

  • 13 Comprehensive, Multimedia Online Lessons
  • 52 Online Video Tutorials Teaching you how to ferment anything from yogurt to ketchup, salad dressings, sauerkraut and more.
  • Over 100 Recipes for Naturally Fermented Foods so that you’re always prepared to serve your family natural, enzyme- and vitamin-rich foods.
  • Over 60 Print Tutorials that you can go back to time and time again.
  • Get Cultured! A 36-page e-book detailing some of my favorite vegetable ferments.
  • Recorded Conference Calls so you can get your questions answered over the phone with Jenny.
  • Premium Instructor Support with priority email response within 24 hours.
  • Downloadable Print Materials to Take Notes & Organize Your Recipes
  • Sample Shopping Lists and Equipment Recommendations.
  • Discounts from companies Jenny knows, uses and trusts.

Click here to learn more about Get Cultured! How To Ferment Anything.

(photo by peskymac)


    • KristenM says

      Really? You don’t like yogurt? Cheese? Pastrami? Sourdough bread? Pickles? These are all foods that have historically been naturally fermented. Only within the last 100 years (or less, in some cases) has it become normal to make these foods with faster, more industrialized-friendly methods.

      • says

        Mmm sourdough bread and cheese. And cultured butter!

        I enjoyed reading this post, Kristen, thank you. I need to get more fermented foods on our plates, too.

        Gonna brew some more kombucha (which my daughter calls “apple juice”).

        Oh, and I just had a great idea. We had some friends over the other night for fish tacos. They brougth a couple of containers of salsa from the health food store. I was thinking, I should add a little whey to those and let them sit on the counter overnight. Otherwise they’re gonna go bad in a couple days.

        It never occurred to me before but there is no reason why you can’t make lacto-fermented salsa from store-bought salsa.

        We’ll see how it turns out.

        • says

          I’d love to know how that turns out, Anne Marie. The other day, I cracked open some lacto fermented salsa I made in August and it was in great condition! Totally delicious.

  1. Christina says

    New to your blog… I love it! This totally makes sense. I’m Korean and now that I think about it, they are not into sweets that much. I say “they” because I’m the opposite. I’m 2nd generation and grew in the states and didn’t like all the fermented stuff too much and I love my sugar. But if you look at Korean culture and it’s vast array of fermented food and see how they eat fruit or duk (rice cakes) for dessert. My parents and their generation are always complaining about how sweet American desserts are. I guess I should get back to my traditional roots and eat more fermented stuff.

    • Karen L says

      This IS interesting, Kristina! I was just talking to my mom last night about learning how to make kimchi. We had a dear Korean lady who taught us so much, but, being a kid at the time, I only cared how food tasted; not how nourishing it was for me. She’s gone now, but I can resurrect her memory by making some traditional, healthy Korean foods!

  2. says

    I didn’t know Pastrami was fermented! Now that’s exciting. I started making sauerkraut a few years ago and thought I would force myself to eat some everyday. Now I have to limit myself I like it so much. Never realized that it would be so different from that stuff they call sauerkraut in the store.

  3. says

    Ok, but what fermented foods will kids eat? My daughter eats probably a quart of homemade yogurt a week. Is that good enough? I also add beet kvass to smoothies.

    • KristenM says

      I would include fermented foods of some kind at every meal, if possible. My kids love the truly sour stuff like sauerkraut or kimchi sometimes, but served too often they’ll get bored of it. They NEVER tire of homemade ranch dressing made with buttermilk, kefir in smoothies, or lacto-fermented condiments like ketchup and relish. And, when all else fails, they love, LOVE, love fermented beverages like apple jasmine kombucha, lacto-fermented lemonade, or kefir soda to drink.

  4. says

    Man, I so have to start fermenting again!! This course sounds amazing. If I weren’t so pushed for time, I’d definitely do it, but just keeping up the blogging and looking after my 6 month old are a challenge enough at the moment! I did just make some REAL mascarpone at the beginning of the week. Cecilia, there’s NOTHING naaaaaasty about mascarpone!!!

    • KristenM says

      Well, you can always buy it now and actually look at the course materials later. You get lifetime access to the course materials when you buy it, and the price will never be this low again.

  5. says

    It is definitely easy to let fermented foods slip off our plates as we work so hard to make everything we eat be nourishing. We try to make sure we all get fermented foods at least once/day, usually in the form of kombucha or water kefir with dinner. But I always want to kick myself for forgetting to offer other things to my daughter, who loves sauerkraut and fermented beets. She also loves beet kvass (we call it beet juice).

    It’s funny to me that it is us adults who have a hard time remembering to include the foods, but the kids are happy to eat them when we do remember. These days, making homemade mayo is a great way to make sure we all get lots of fermented foods, as it is so versatile (being used as a base for salad dressing, tartar sauce, honey mustard mayo, etc).

  6. says

    One trick I have for adding more fermented stuff into our food is to use the leftover ferment juice (such as the juice from my turnip and beets ferments) as the base for salad dressing. A bit of that, some soy sauce, some garlic, salt and pepper and oil and toss it on a salad.

  7. says

    I actually have noticed this! First, the sour taste really cuts a sweet craving. And second, healthy intestinal flora starve out the yeasts that can make you crave sugar. (Did you know that a sugar craving is often the yeasts talking? Yuck!)

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