Kauai Ferments, located in Puhi Plaza Village in Lihue, HI, utilizes the traditional method of fermentation to transform and preserve local produce into nourishing probiotic foods such as seasonal ferments, kimchi, raw sauerkraut, and sparkling water kefir. If you aren’t familiar with the importance of probiotics, it’s good to understand that they are a crucial part of maintaining a healthy gut intestinal microbiome. This in turn is key to proper digestion, optimal mood, overall well-being, and a healthy immune system.
Started by Amanda Rosenthal in 2018, Kauai Ferments is committed to making homemade ferments whenever possible. Being located on Kauai means that this brand is blessed with an abundance of local produce and has access to a consistent water supply. They use local produce and believe in promoting food independence throughout the whole island of Hawaii. The motto is live, local, and probiotic!
Kauai Ferments hopes farmers will reach out to them and allow them to ferment local fruits and vegetables, which can prolong their lives and make the flavors more complex, all while adding important probiotics. Since most of their fermented products are locally sourced, you can be assured that all Kauit Ferment products are alive with beneficial bacteria goodness.
Fermentation as a process is far from new. In fact, certain foods like dairy, water kefir, chocolate, coffee, cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha have been prepared using the process for thousands of years. Fermentation is mostly completed without oxygen and is a process carried out by microorganisms. These organisms convert the natural sugars or even added sugars in food into compounds that produce energy.
Yeast and bacteria produce ethanol and lactic acid fermentation that gives fermented food its unique texture and flavor. It has been proven by science that consuming fermented foods and drinks is a nutritious and safe way to enhance the body’s overall health. In other words, it is good gut health!
When it comes to what products are available at Kauai Ferments, the most popular item is likely the sparkling water kefir. This is a centuries-old fermented drink that is loaded with beneficial enzymes and probiotics that our bodies love. It is also gluten-free, dairy free, and vegan-friendly.
Kauai Ferments use the grain part of the kefir culture to ferment sugars into probiotic goodness. These grains are not the typical grain you would think of, like rye or wheat. Instead, these grains are colonies of live bacteria and yeast. The kefir grains are fed organic raw cane sugar, following a time-perfected recipe that utilizes a two-step water-based fermentation. All the carbonation is created naturally, and each bottle of sparkling water contains between 30 and 40 different bacteria strains and billions of probiotics.
The sparkling water kefir is sold in a 32 oz glass growler or available as “kefir by the glass” in the shop. Flavor options include elderberry, ginger beet, ginger turmeric, ginger lime, lilikoi, hibiscus lime, pineapple ginger, and seasonal flavors. Some flavor options that might be available (based on what is in season on local farms) are the dragon fruit lime, soursop lime mint, lychee mint, mountain apple, and watermelon lime.
Kauai Ferments also produces a variety of fermented vegetables using filtered water and Hawaiian sea salt. It’s important to note that all ferments are unpasteurized, vegan, and wild fermented. The fermented market veggies will vary based on local farm availability. One of the most popular and regular options are red radish, daikon, carrot, cauliflower with chili pepper, and garlic in sea salt brine. Other fermented veggies include chayote, kimchi daikon spears, spiced bitter melon, naked napa kraut, raw Olena kraut, raw ruby kraut, and wild vegan kimchi.
-Drinking kefir water first thing in the morning is key to establishing a solid foundation and promoting good gut health throughout the day.
-All fermented foods and beverages contain a small trace of alcohol due to the fermentation process. The amount is so minute, though, that they are categorized as a non-alcoholic beverage or product.
-It’s a good idea to store fermented foods in the fridge to preserve the flavor.
-Kauai Ferment products can also be found in various shops around Hawaii, like the Local Beet, Living Foods, Healthy Hut Market & Cafe, and many more.