Recipe ReDux: Fermented Foods

This month’s Recipe ReDux post is about fermented foods. Fermented basically means the food has been marinated in its own bacteria which “digests” the food. Fermentation usually requires salt or whey and a few weeks time. Before you turn your nose up in disgust, if you’ve ever enjoyed beer, yeast leavened bread or yogurt, you’ve had your share of fermented foods.

Three of my favorite fermented foods are tempeh, miso and sauerkraut. You’ve probably seen some of my recent tempeh recipe posts, and I usually mix miso paste with hot water for homemade miso soup, but I don’t really post anything about sauerkraut. That’s because I don’t do anything fancy with it – just eat it right out of the jar! Or if I am feeling fancy, I’ll scoop some onto a plate and eat it like a civilized person. I love the salty, sour taste of sauerkraut, and if I’m not eating it plain, I’ll add a scoop of it on top of a veggie burger or mixed in a green salad.

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But the benefits of foods like tempeh, miso and sauerkraut go beyond taste. They have a ton of health benefits, too. One of my favorite benefits is that they’re loaded with probiotics, especially the fermented foods that you don’t cook (sauerkraut). Probiotics, which you probably recognize as words like “lactobacillicus acidophilus” on your yogurt container, are good bacteria that we need in our gut to digest food, boost immunity, absorb nutrients, and clean toxins out of the body.

Fermented foods are also easy for our bodies to digest, since their bacteria have already taken over some of that digesting for us. So they’re foods that are easy on the stomach. Fermented veggies are especially great since they’re going to retain more of their nutrients because we eat them raw than their cooked counterparts (think sauerkraut versus boiled cabbage).

Here are some of my favorite fermented food recipes:

Tempeh Lettuce Cups

Sugar Snap Pea, Carrot and Tempeh Stir Fry

Crunchy Tempeh Tacos

Veggie Udon Noodle Soup (with miso)

Sweet Miso Pasta Salad

Check out what some other Recipe ReDuxers wrote about fermented foods.



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2 Comments

  1. Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    love me some sauerkraut!

  2. Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Not really into sauerkraut but love tempeh and miso…must expand my tastebuds!

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