If you're new to fermented foods, you may have a hard time eating them, especially since some dishes can look and smell strange. However, if you give fermented foods a chance, you'll find that there are many options out there for you. In fact, some fermented foods are not only delicious, but they are also good for your overall health.
Here are four reasons why you should start eating fermented foods.
Fermented foods are accessible
You may not realize it, but you've probably already eaten fermented foods.
Below are some examples of common fermented foods:
You can also try unique fermented foods like kefir and kombucha. Kefir is a dairy product that you can get in the refrigerated section at your grocery store. If you can't handle dairy, you can drink coconut kefir. Since fermented foods often have a strong flavor, try to start drinking kefir by adding some to a smoothie.
Kombucha is a fermented and fizzy drink made from black tea. While kombucha can help boost your gut health, always check the label. Always buy kombucha with no or low added sugars.
Fermented foods are easy to make
If you're on a budget or if you want to experiment with food, you can make your own fermented vegetables. The process is simple, and all you need is sea salt, water, and your favorite vegetable.
You can personalize this recipe by using your preferred seasonings and vegetables.
4 cups of the vegetables of your choice –washed and peeled (if desired), then cut into roughly evenly sized pieces
4 cups chlorine-free water
2 tablespoons sea salt
Seasonings of your choice
Cheesecloth, paper coffee filter, or tea towel
Wide mouth jar
Fill a clean, wide-mouth jar with the chopped vegetables but leave at least one-and-a-half inches of head space.
Add your seasonings.
In a one-quart liquid measuring cup, combine four cups of water with two tablespoons of sea salt. Mix until the salt dissolves.
Pour the saltwater brine over the vegetables in the wide-mouth jar. Make sure to leave an inch of head space.
Place a smaller, clean jar (or something heavy) inside the first jar so the vegetables are submerged below the brine.
Cover the jars with something breathable. You can use a paper coffee filter with a rubber band to hold it in place. Alternatively, you can use several layers of cheesecloth or a tea towel. If you use a tight-fitting lid, you need to open the jar every day to let some of the gasses escape. Another option is to use a lid with an air-lock.
Let the vegetables ferment on the counter for two to three days at around 70-75 F. Check the jar daily to see if the vegetables are staying below the brine. After several days, tiny bubbles should be forming at the top of the brine.
Taste the vegetables after two to three days have passed. Once they reach a flavor that is to your liking, remove the weight then cover the jar tightly. You can refrigerate the fermented vegetables until you want to eat it.
Here are some fermented vegetable combinations that you can experiment with: