Rooted In Wonder:
Nurturing Your Family's Faith Through God's Creation
Master Naturalist, Bible teacher, author, wife, and mama of four! Join our adventures of discovering God while adventuring in creation.
The room was dark, and a little bit stuffy. I could feel the cold of the metal chair through my pants as I chose a seat near the front. The cement floors and walls only added to the chill; I pulled my coat tighter around me, took out my notebook, and waited.
The room began to fill one by one with more people than I had anticipated. The chairs filled around me, and then beside me.
The cheap folding tables standing before us supported various sizes of mason jars. One was home to a jellyfish sort of creature floating in a mucky brown liquid. Next to it sat several jars of bright strands of vegetables; a rainbow of colors submerged in clear liquid, with crystallization creeping down the outside of the jar rims; while other jars contained a bubbly white substance.
The young woman took a roll call to see if we were all there, and then took her place standing before us. As she began to tell us her story, I was taken back by how presentable she seemed. Despite the homey look about her– a denim vest with sleeves torn off, and worn-out fabric pants that somehow complimented the pile of dreads tied together atop her head– she had a certain type of approachability about her.
She was an organic farmer with a rebel past, an oddball from a family of physicians with entirely different beliefs about health from her own. A “Bad Seed”– as she calls her farm. I liked her. And I was drawn to her authenticity and passion surrounding real food.
Despite the strangeness of the evening, I left my first class on fermentation with a greater understanding of naturally-fermented foods, and a resolve to incorporate these foods, along with their vast health benefits, into my family’s every day diet.
Perhaps what intrigued me the most about these foods and drinks was that they are nothing new. They are not some “fad diet” food that is here for a few months only to be proven worthless and tossed out with the tabloids.
No, these are ancient, traditional preparations of food that have been used for generations, and proven over time to offer incredible flavor and nutrients through natural methods of preservation. They are tried and true, and they have been a revelation in my family’s Whole Food Way of Eating.
Some of you have expressed curiosity concerning the pet jellyfish that we keep in our kitchen. Anytime we have guests over, it’s one of the first things they notice; which doesn’t surprise me—the thing is strange.
We’ve grown quite fond of our jellyfish, and I want to share with you just how she (yes…she) has greatly benefited my family’s health over the past year.
Kombucha is an ancient preparation of fermented tea. You begin with tea (usually green) and sweeten it with a bit of sugar; it is then fermented using a “Scoby” (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.).
This “Scoby” is the jellyfish I refer to. The scoby is basically a rubbery substance composed of healthy bacteria and yeast, and is very similar to the substance which is used in creating vinegar.
The bacteria and yeast in the scoby eat the sugar in the tea, creating a slightly-sweet, fizzy tea chock-full of probiotics!
Probiotics are a type of bacteria that aid in digestion, gut health, and well—your health overall!
Probiotic-rich foods can play an incredible part in keeping you at top health. These are foods and drinks such as kombucha, kefir, (truly fermented) sourdough, sauerkraut, kimchi, and other naturally-fermented vegetables.
I am absolutely convinced that my family’s daily enjoyment of fermented foods and drinks has played a major role in the fact that we almost never suffer from common illnesses.
If you have friends who brew kombucha, great! Ask them for an extra scoby (the scobies duplicate with each batch of kombucha made).
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!