First off, what the heck is a "fermented food" anyway? You're in luck, friends, fermented foods are everywhere and there are so many different kinds, it's super fun to try them out! Fermented foods are foods that have been naturally preserved by sitting and steeping in their own juices, allowing their own, natural sugars, to become probiotic powerhouses.
By incorporating fermented foods into your diet, you can: improve your digestion, your skin, lose weight, boost your immunity....the list just goes on! It's because these good probiotic bacterias are supporting your gut to absorb all the good nutrients from your foods, and to help heal any old gut issues you may have had.
What are fermented foods?
- Yogurt (coconut yogurt is preferable)
- Creme Fraishe
- Raw Cheese
Now, you CAN make these things at home, really easily and pretty cheaply too, most easily with a Japanese Pickle Press, BUT if you're like me and that can be inconvenient sometimes, you can get them at any grocery store. The thing is though, you just have to be a good detective and really look at the labels to make sure you're not getting preservatives or added sugars.
Look for the words: RAW, LACTO-FERMENTED, ORGANIC, NON-GMO CERTIFIED on the labels. A few brands that I trust are: Hawthorne Valley (they will ferment anything!), Mother-in-Law's Kimchi, Sunja's Kimchi, South River Miso, Miso Master, and Lightlife Tempeh.
What do you eat them with? Whatever you want!! Sub Kimchi for salsa on your tacos, crumble up some Tempeh on your salad instead of using chicken, make a quick and easy miso salad dressing (recipe below), start your day with a little coconut yogurt and granola. Just don't cook your fermented foods over 100 Degrees, because it will start to kill all the good probiotics in there, making the health benefits a little bit null'n'void.
So, where are you going to start?
Easy Miso Dressing: put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend together!
- 1 Cup White Miso
- 1 Cup EVOO
- 1/4 Cup Filtered Water
- 2 Tbsp Rice Wine or Champagne Vinegar
- 1/4 Yellow/Spanish Onion Chopped and lightly sauteed
- 1 Fresh Garlic Clove Minced and lightly sauteed
- 2 tbsp Raw Honey
Further Reading: Check out this study on how fermented foods have been linked to overall health!!