Fermented foods offer some incredible health benefits, especially since fermenting vegetables actually increases their nutritional value. They can also aid in healing your digestive tract and promote good overall oral and dental health. There are many reasons to include fermented foods in your diet. Check out these five fermented foods you should be eating:
Coconut yogurt is an excellent way to get a dairy-free source of probiotics. To make your own, mix coconut milk, liquid, and probiotic powder. You will dehydrate this mixture at 105 degrees F for about 8 – 10 hours. If you do not have a dehydrator, another option is to store the mixture in a warm, dark, dry place for 8 – 10 hours.
Personally, this is one of my favorite vegan protein options, and I actually like it far better than tofu. Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that undergoes natural culturing, binding the soybeans into a cake-like form with a rough texture. Because of this fermentation process, the soybeans get a higher content of dietary fiber, vitamins, and protein, as well as make it easier for your body to break down and digest. This process also gives the end product a pleasant, tough texture that I enjoy far more than the silky, soft texture of tofu. Soy haters, you should try tempeh. It’s an excellent stand-in for burgers and chicken.
This drink is popping up in Whole Foods and other grocery stores and restaurants. There are many reasons why it’s so popular. To ferment this tea, a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) is essential. Kombucha is packed with active enzymes, amino acids, and antioxidants. The drink can help improve digestion, detoxify the liver, clear up skin, and support overall health. You can find this drink at stores like Whole Foods, or try your hand at making your own.
Kimchi is a supercharged form of sauerkraut that usually contains cabbage, red peppers, onions, scallions, garlic, and salt. By themselves, all of those spices and vegetables are certainly healthy, but their nutritional content increases when you ferment them. This Korean pickled food can ease constipation, prevent nutritional deficiencies, enhance the immune system, and also aid digestion of protein-heavy meals. There are several ways to use kimchi in vegan cooking; throw it over a salad, put it inside a sandwich, or place it atop a burger.
The word miso is a Japanese word that translates into “fermented beans” in English. This traditional Japanese seasoning is produced by fermenting rice, barley, and/or soybeans with salt and a fungus known as kōjikin. The end product has a paste-like consistency. Soy miso is an important source of phytonutrient antioxidants, including phenolic acids such as ferulic, coumaric, syringic, vanillic, and kojic acid.