Sunday, March 20, 2016

Zymbiotics: a Milwaukee based fermented foods producer

I'm diving into the world of fermentation today, which is totally a trending topic right now! I see it popping up in the news almost daily. This article from the past week boasts how fermented foods are great for building immunity, beneficial to heart health, brain health and more.

When I was feeling ill with IBD symptoms this winter, I did a little research and decided it would be beneficial to add more fermented foods to my diet. I believe they are helping my digestion! According to the UCer website I regularly consult, "In reference to Colitis: Certain strains of bacteria that result from fermentation inhibit the growth of some harmful bacteria and are known to possess potential therapeutic anti-inflammatory properties. They can also help to strengthen and re-balance the gastrointestinal tract (sometimes referred to as the GI, which is made up of the stomach and intestines)."

I recently met with Jeff Ziebelman, a Milwaukee-area based food producer and owner of the business Zymbiotics to learn more about his naturally fermented products. The "zy" in Zymbiotics comes from "zymology" which is an applied science that studies the biochemical process of fermentation and its practical uses. Jeff is passionate about his products and when I tasted them, I could see why! I also love that he uses locally produced jars & lids to make his products and works with farmers to obtain his ingredients.

Jeff's current products include Zimchi, Zauerkraut, Vegan Kimchi, and Ginger Zarrots. He is working on releasing a fermented beets recipe soon.
I popped open the zaukekraut to add it to a recipe and had to snap a photo of the beautiful cabbage color!
I enjoyed the bright and flavorful zaukerkraut on a tempeh and avocado sourdough sandwich.
I'm so excited that Jeff's vegetarian friend urged him to create a vegan kimchi because I am not fond of fish sauce. (I shared the zimchi containing fish sauce with a colleague). I loved pairing an egg with the zimchi. I am sure it will also be great in a quinoa bowl or on top of a salad. The Zymbiotics website has a number of recipes to check out. 
I found Jeff's products at Good Harvest in Pewaukee, but Zymbiotics can be found in numerous Wisconsin locations like Woodman's, Clock Shadow Creamery, Beans & Barley, Health Hut, and more. The jars range from $6 to $8 each, depending on the product. If you live outside of Wisconsin, you'll be able to order his products online soon. 
There are endless uses for fermented foods, so if you haven't added them to your diet recently, what are you waiting for? The health benefits are numerous and if you're a local reader, it's wonderful to support your local producers like Jeff.

More about Jeff Ziebelman: BS UW Madison has refined the recipes and is working on maintaining the quality of our ferments as we scale up the process. He is talking with our customers, chefs, retail stores and restaurants to learn to craft the products to meet the needs and desires of our customers. Jeff’s background includes starting and running several companies, as well as extensive experience in sales and marketing. He looks forward to growing Zymbiotics, LLC and in helping to educate our customers to the health benefits of fermented foods.

Do you currently eat fermented foods? How do you like to enjoy them?

Disclosure: I was provided the four jars of Jeff's Zymbiotics products in exchange for this review. I was not compensated in any other way. 

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