To receive the health benefits and the flavors of fermented foods, you don’t need to make an entire meal of them. Just a little bit will do. A spoonful of sauerkraut on your sausage offers benefits and adds flavor. So do a few sips of miso soup to begin a meal or a few pickles on a turkey sandwich.
Incorporating fermented foods into the diet is simple.
• Replace regular bread with a fresh sourdough.
• Choose kefir and yogurt over regular milk. Both work well in smoothies.
• Kombucha is a fermented drink found in many grocery stores.
• Look for naturally fermented vegetables such as pickled cucumbers, beets, onions, sauerkraut, salsa and kimchi. These are sold in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, not with the shelf-stable foods. Add a spoonful to any dish.
• Use miso to marinate fish or in soup.
• Add a tablespoon of fermented chutney to cooked meat.
• Use naturally fermented condiments (found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store). Because my kids love ketchup and would put it on everything if I allowed, I have started making my own using the recipe in the cookbook “Nourishing Traditions.” My variety is fermented and thus has all the associated benefits, unlike most commercial ketchup, which is made with sugar or corn syrup and other additives.
• Look for a book about fermentation if you are inspired to try it yourself.