Discover the new world of fermented foods. From kimchi to miso to tempeh and kefir, add a probiotic component to your meals to aid digestion and support immunity.
Fermented foods are showing up in stores and food consortiums everywhere. We’re not talking about traditional varieties such as cheese, pickles, or sauerkraut, but about the more unusual items that are increasing in popularity such as kefir, tempeh, kombucha, miso, and kimchi.
Common to Asian palates, these fermented foods are growing in Western culinary consciences. Fermented foods add a probiotic component into our diet that aids in digestion, supports immunity, and enhances friendly bacteria.
There’s quite a scientific, and lengthy, process to achieving homemade fermented foods. This is why years ago commercial manufacturers began providing many of these products—from olives and beans to pickles in tins and jars. But to prevent these products from exploding all over the store shelves, they were pasteurized. Sadly, this process completely undermined the functioning of true fermentation.
Manufacturing is slowly reintroducing authentic fermented foods to fresh deli cases and dairy shelves. People are recognizing how important these products are, and as a result we’re seeing producers hop on board with flavoured kefirs and miso paste in everything from soup to roasted nuts.
But it’s critical to read labels when buying ingredients deemed “fermented.” Yogourts loaded with sugar and stabilizers, as well as most olives, pickles, and sauerkraut in jars are not truly fermented and do not contain the essential cultures.
We’ve developed some simple recipes to demystify the topic of these novel foods and to help you benefit from fermented and probiotic eating.
In addition to the following recipes, you can also substitute kefir in shakes and salad dressings for a bacterial jolt. Add miso to soups, sauces, and salad dressings, and you’ll bump up your digestive tract with healthy flora by the billions. Kimchi, kombucha, and tempeh are also excellent fermented products to boost your immune system.