Fermented Foods are simple to make, delicious to eat, and are loaded with goodness that keeps us healthy and improves our immunity. Fermentation is a process where the good bacteria are allowed to grow in food, making it healthier & tastier for us.
It’s a simple process with so many benefits for our bodies. Like most great things, once you’ve had the taste of it, it’s hard to let it go or not give it another shot.
Once is enough to fall in love with foods that can be fermented. And if you’re like me (crazy about experimenting and making things at home), then after a few times, you’re going to want to make all these yum things at home. And the process is super simple too. But that, for another time. For now, I’d like you to know all about the lovely fermented foods that are super healthy for your digestion and overall immunity.
SauerKraut is one of the oldest traditional fermented foods. The word means ‘Sour-Cabbage,’ and it is high in vitamins, fiber, calcium & iron. This hearty condiment was discovered by the Germans and is now loved by the entire world. It’s raw shredded cabbage (either green or red) that’s fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It tastes good with pretty much everything. Whether you add some in your sandwiches or a bowl full of soup, it tastes delicious nonetheless!
Kimchi is one of the oldest, traditional Korean fermented foods. It’s made with raw cabbages & radishes along with ginger, garlic, pepper, and some fish sauce. Like all the fermented goodness, this too has plenty of health benefits. It’s crunchy, full of flavor & extremely healthy. It protects the heart, aids digestion & keeps our bones stronger for longer. Eat it like the Koreans do— add some to your Noodle Bowl; you wouldn’t regret it!
Probiotic Yogurt is Yogurt that has active bacteria cultures in it. Yogurt is one of the most consumed fermented foods, but not all of them are probiotic. Some of them lose the good bacteria while they are getting processed. So be sure to read labels and opt for ones that are probiotic & without any artificial sweeteners.
Kombucha is one of the popular summer drinks these days. It’s a fizzy, sweet, and sour fermented tea. Like most fermented foods, this one takes about 7-15 days to ferment and taste all yum. It’s supposed to be good for the liver, for diabetes, and weight reduction too. The probiotics in Kombucha aid in digestion and strengthening of our immune system. Its delicious taste and its wonderful benefits make this a perfect summer drink for a healthy gut!
Tempeh is a by-product of Soy Beans that seem to have been originated in Indonesia many, many years ago. Tempeh is rich in protein and reduces the risk of heart diseases. This goodness can be baked, sautéed, or steamed to add to your daily diet. Because of its chewy texture & earthy flavor, it has become a popular meat substitute.
Sourdough Bread is the traditional way of making bread. It’s healthier, and it definitely tastes much better. It is made by fermenting the bread dough with yeast & naturally occurring Lactobacilli. The fermentation gives it a bit of a sour taste, but it’s worth it. As compared to regular bread that we are so used to eating, Sourdough Bread is so much healthier. It is high in fiber, proteins & vitamins.
Miso is this fermented Japanese treat which they hold close to their hearts. It adds a lovely umami flavor to the food and comes in more than 100 varieties. Some are light, some dark, some even red. It depends on the ingredients used and the time taken to ferment the paste. Its made by fermenting soybeans, salt with koji (the starter mold). Miso Paste adds a lovely flavor to the food and reduces the risk of heart diseases. You could use some of it in salads or try adding some to the soup broth for a good umami hit.
Natto is a Japanese fermented food that is made from Soybeans. It is usually eaten during breakfast, along with mustard & soy sauce. Natto is extremely rich in protein and has many health-promoting properties. Its texture is slightly slimy, and it has a slightly sour taste that sometimes takes time to get used to.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is one of those fermented foods you are sure to find on your kitchen shelves. It’s primarily used in cooking & baking. Apple Cider Vinegar is fermented apple juice that is loaded with health benefits. It aids in weight loss and reduces the risk of heart diseases. They say consuming it directly can lead to teeth erosion because of the high acid content. So, you could add 1 Tsp of ACV to warm water and have that every day.
Pickles that are made organically at home with salt & water are usually high on probiotics. Ones that contain probiotics are rich in antioxidants and vitamins & minerals that are incredibly beneficial for our digestive system. When you purchase pickles from the stores, make sure to check if they contain probiotic bacteria. If not, then try fermenting pickles at home or source some from the organic farmers’ markets around you.
Fermentation, along with adding flavor to your food, also increases its shelf life. A daily intake of this probiotic bacteria is super essential for our bodies. So choose your favorites, make a big batch, and stock up on the goodness of it.
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