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The Natural Therapy Shop

Top 5 fermented foods

When recently asked at one of the natural therapy shop fermented food workshops, what my top 5 fermented foods are we realized what a challenge answering this question is. There are so many fermented foods breads and cheeses, beers and wines, all kinds of pickles and of course yogurts and more obscure options like tempeh and kimchi. In order to make the challenge easier we selected our favorite five based on their scores against the following criteria;

-Health benefits

-Ease of making it yourself

-Taste

-Cost

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Here are the results:

 

1. Sauerkraut. Our number one fermented food is Sauerkraut. Jam packed with probiotics and digestive enzymes and high in vitamins and minerals, easy to make with just a bit of chopping cabbages and some healthy additions like garlic, fresh turmeric root and ginger and you have some seriously taste going on. Low cost, it is a must have on the table. It works best with a starter culture. 

2. Kombucha. Kombucha Tea scores highly in most categories. Made from a fresh living SCOBY it is packed with good bacteria for your gut. Made with organic tea and added fresh fruit to create that great taste, home-made Kombucha can taste fantastic. Slightly trickier to make than sauerkraut but you only need to do it once and it will become second nature. Check out this video on how to make Kombucha. How to make Kombucha tea

3. Milk Kefir scores well in health and cost but some people find the tartness too much. This is easily remedied by adding berries (blend them in for a smoothie!). There is technique to making milk kefir (link) but once you have done it once you will pick it up easily.  This is the highest in beneficial bacteria with between 30 - 60 beneficial strains in it. click here to learn how to make it. How to make Milk Kefir

4.  Miso Soup. Miso soup gets an honorable mention because it scores well in all categories.  Although there is not much research on health benefits. The fermentation of the soy beans does mean Miso is pre-digested so we think it would be healthy for the gut despite some soups having high sodium counts. On all other counts Miso comes out very well. It tastes amazing, its cheap and you can buy miso paste form the Asian section of the supermarket and just add boiling water

5. Our final entry is Sourdough Bread. It’s on the list because bread is so omnipresent in our mindsets for snacks and food that it is a great idea to eat the best bread available.  As it is fermented rather than risen using the more typical single yeast based process of regular bread sourdough is by far the healthiest every day loaf you can buy. It can taste great and can be made at home.  It is often around twice the price of regular bread so making it at home can save you lots. Even if you are sensitive to gluten eating sourdough may be ok as the gluten is partially digested during fermentation making it easier for us to digest.