Friday, June 21, 2024

Fermented you can add more flavors to your food


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Different than mild…that’s not the official motto for the group of ingredients and foods that fall under the category of fermented foods, but it could be.

Many fermented foods contain probiotics, which are live microorganisms that, along with the good bacteria in your gut microbiome, can contribute to regulating your digestive system and improving your overall health.

However, not all fermented foods contain live probiotics. High heat kills probiotic microorganisms like bacteria and yeast, so anything that’s been cooked or pasteurized, such as shelf-stable pickles, won’t. If you’re looking for probiotic-rich foods, make sure the label states whether the food contains live or active bacteria.

“In general, fermented foods are beneficial, and one type is not necessarily better than another,” said lead researcher Erica Sonnenberg of Stanford University School of Medicine in California.

Here is a list of useful fermented foods:

Yogurt and kefir

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You can eat fermented foods every morning without realizing it. And many brands of yogurt contain probiotic microorganisms (referred to on the label as “live and active bacteria”) that add to the refreshing taste of this popular product.

Kefir is lighter in density than yogurt, which is why it is often classified as a “drinking yogurt” or fermented beverage. It can be eaten on its own in the refrigerated yogurt section, but it can also be added to your morning smoothies.

Yogurt or kefir can be used instead of buttermilk, milk or sour cream and in your favorite baking recipes. Add some to pancakes or waffles on the weekend, bake a batch of blueberry kefir pancakes, or try our sweet cobbler.

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Credit: luknaja/iStockphoto/Getty Images

White, yellow, red, sweet, spicy… whatever your preference, there’s a miso style to suit your taste. The flavor and color of this versatile Japanese soybean paste depends on the ingredients used and the length of fermentation time.

Choose a few types of miso and spread it over different dishes to taste the variety of flavors. Miso soup is one of the most common ways to eat this paste, which can be used as a condiment or flavor addition, such as mayonnaise or soy sauce.

Make a miso dressing for seafood, chicken, or tofu, mix it into a salad dressing, or dip it into carrot miso or umami-rich miso sauce for noodles.


Credit: KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

No longer a religious fermented beverage, kombucha is now readily available in large retail stores and upscale markets as well as local breweries. It’s technically a fermented tea and flavored with all kinds of fruits and herbs, making it sweet and complex.

Plain or flavored kombucha can serve as a base for non-alcoholic cocktails or spirits. Kombucha contains no more than 0.5% alcohol content in brands packaged in glass bottles. Strong kombucha has a high alcohol content, and is similar to an alcoholic beverage such as apple juice or hard soda.

Making your own kombucha at home is very easy. Brewed black tea, sugar, and a bottle of regular kombucha drink, you only need a few weeks to prepare it.

Sauerkraut and Kimchi

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Both of these styles are very popular within the sauerkraut category. And although there are differences in how they are prepared, sauerkraut and kimchi are definitely the most potent of the aforementioned fermented foods.

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But that doesn’t mean they’re always strong enough for most tastes. Not all kimchis are spicy, but can contain other vegetables such as carrots, radishes, and cucumbers, with different flavors and textures.

If you really love sauerkraut and kimchi, pair them together for the perfect sandwich for sourdough lovers. Try kimchi instead of coleslaw in tacos, stir into scrambled eggs for breakfast, toss into a grain salad or stir into fried rice.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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