Three fermented foods to try now
I don’t know what it is about my taste buds, but I have an affinity toward pickled, preserved, fermented foods. Case in point? I almost without fail have beer, pickles, kimchi and, more recently, kefir in the fridge, even when other groceries are lacking.
Because of my fermented food fetish, I’ve been really into the book Wild Fermentation, which talks about the history and benefits of fermented foods. In terms of digestion, the book says fermentation is a good thing because it removes toxins from foods and supplies the digestive tract with living cultures. (This is something discussed by naturopath Kate Wharton on this blog last year).
I’ll be posting more on fermentation and the gut when I read more, but in the meantime, I wanted to post three fermented products I’m really into right now. Of course, making your own own fermented foods (like the author of this book does) is really the ultimate. But for convenience sake, I’ll be talking about pre-made stuff. Here goes:
1. Organic Meadow Organic Kefir
This kefir comes in a milk-shaped plastic bottle, making it perfect for pouring on cereal or mixing with fruit. I’ve only tried the plain kind and I find it a bit thicker and more yogurt-y than the Liberte variety, but still nice and tangy. My new champ breakfast is granola topped with this kefir and a couple of tablespoons of shelled hemp seeds. Go, go protein!
2. Homemade kimchi
There’s something about the the cabbage-y crunch and sriracha-esque spice of kimchi that makes me eat it by the forkful (and then wake up severely thirsty in the middle of the night). I used to buy jars of it from a local Japanese store, but I recently found a homemade variety called Gabi’s Kimchi at Noah’s Natural Foods and it’s delicious with a kick of ginger. I eat it right out of the jar, but you can put it on sandwiches or rice or noodles or…whatever.
3. Tofurky Marinated Tempeh Strips
Like most soy products, the taste and texture of tempeh takes some getting used to. But these strips take the work out of marinating (yep, I’m lazy about stuff that takes time) and are quick to heat up. Another good thing: fermented soy (like fermented dairy) is easier to digest than un-fermented soy (like soy protein or soy protein isolates).
What fermented foods make your gut (and taste buds) happy?
(I have to credit my dear friend and roommate Andrea for taking the photos for this post.)