Live, fermented foods must be the tastiest way imaginable to start trusting our gut again.
You can use fermented vegetables as a condiment, side dish or component to add umami-rich funk that is great with everything from salads to raw zucchini noodles to roasted chicken.
And you can customize the flavour profile by adding fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs, and dried spices.
Just a couple of tablespoons of fermented foods, each meal will do your tummy so good, and the colour and variety of vegetables makes it a party on your plate that you will never get tired of!
Fermented foods are best used as a condiment mixed in with fresh foods, not as side dish sized portions.
So, what are some ways that you can incorporate probiotics into your diet?
• Taking a daily spoonful of milk kefir and working up to 30 ml of kefir in the morning, at meals, and before bed is a great way to start.
• The brine is a powerful gut loving way to start …To avoid any reactions, introduce Sauerkraut juice gradually, starting from 1 teaspoon a day for 2-5 days, then 3-4 teaspoons a day for 2-5 days and so on until you can add a few tablespoons of the rich probiotic tonic into meals.
• Swap fruit juice and fizzy soft drinks for kraut and kefir smoothies are very popular. Forego too much fruit in breakfast smoothies … will set your gut to crave sweetness throughout the day!
• Studies show we may need at least a dozen introductions to any given food item before we like it.
This advice is directed at children.
However, adults will fare well expanding their nutritional horizons and trying even a bite of an unfamiliar food any time they can.
Initially, when fermented foods are served to your family, it is their actual appearance that will encourage them to try these gifts. Remember, the way the food looks are as important as the way it tastes.
Recap… home-made fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria (called probiotics).
Having sufficient quantity and diversity of such bacteria in our digestive tract is essential for strong immunity, digestive function, metabolism / weight control.
• Raw vegetable noodles are always tasty with a few fermented additions. Use fermented food as a replacement for salt … use it on and in everything … a dash of fermented garlic as the last addition before serving or fermented ginger and turmeric … turning simple to sensational!!
• Many delicious salads can be made with fermented + fresh and lightly steamed vegetables.
• Dollop kimchi / fermented veggies on top of miso soup or any type of eggs for breakfast.
Spread fermented pesto on sourdough toast and top with scrambled eggs.
Dollop on top of a slow-cooked casserole just before serving.
Thin and drizzle for a salad dressing.
• Foods like quark, cheese, yoghurt and coconut yoghurt, you are probably already eating but the ones you buy from the grocery store are not as beneficial in terms of probiotic content as the ones we can make from home.
• Fill the fridge with a selection of goodies like probiotic rich jelly and kefir and chia yum-pots in small jars, pickled eggs for garnish and veggie combinations. Fermented garlic, ginger and vinegar, salted citrus are kitchen wow factors
• In the freezer, we have a supply of left-over smoothies transformed into icy poles.
• Added to Dips + savoury snacks.
And enjoy as a pickly snack.
Classic Sauerkraut, 1 Heirloom Carrot, grated / 1 large green capsicum and / celery, chopped,1 Salad Onion, chopped.
Parsley, chopped, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dash of caraway. Finely chopped fermented garlic clove and sliced ginger and turmeric (optional)
- Place a couple of tablespoons of sauerkraut in a mixing bowl.
- Mix in the grated carrot, chopped onion and parsley.
- Sprinkle caraway seeds, garlic, turmeric, and ginger if desired, to taste.
- Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive oil and mix in.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight. Keeps well refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
- Grandma would serve with eggs for breakfast and dinner mashed potato, we often serve with mashed cauliflower or top sweet potato and banana flour pizza – it tastes amazing! So good!
- We slightly warm the kraut and add it to a baked pizza crust as to not make the crust soggy!
- Change the flavour by adding a different dressing. Replace olive oil with orange juice and a dash of raw honey or whole blended lemon or cider / coconut vinegar, any fresh or dried herbs or spices, possibly a dash of cayenne.
- Add as a side to smashed avocado toast or scrambled eggs and sautéed greens + a dash of mustard.
Kale and Red Kraut Salad
- 2 cups Chopped Kale massaged with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cup Spring greens
- 1 1/2 cups cooked Quinoa.
- 1 cup red Kraut
Mix ingredients together then add: 1 Mushed up ripe Avocado – Squish it all around salad! Top with 3 Happily Diced Tomatoes
Season with a dash of beet kvass.
This cacao quinoa salad with activated nuts and apple cider infused blueberry vinaigrette. Makes a great side or snack any time of the day!
For the quinoa:
Combine 1 cup (rinsed and soaked overnight in kefir!)
Add 2 cups of water and a slice of ginger in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil.
Cover reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Use the same fine mesh strainer and drain.
Return quinoa to the pan after draining.
Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
Letting the quinoa rest in the hot saucepan after cooking dries it out, so you do not end up with clumpy/wet quinoa.
For the Vinaigrette:
Place infused blueberries and liquid in jar.
Add a dash of sweetness (raw honey), lemon juice, rind, dash of olive oil, seasoning and fresh herbs.
Shake gently to combine.
Blitz for a smooth dressing (optional).
For the Salad:
6 cups mixed fresh and foraged spring greens.
¼ cup kefir-soaked almonds
2 Tablespoons Cacao Nibs
Good scoop of sauerkraut
- In a large bowl, combine spring mix, blueberries, almonds, cocoa nibs, sauerkraut, tossing to combine.
- Pour in the blueberry vinaigrette and toss until greens are evenly coated.
- Finally, add cooked quinoa and toss until the quinoa is evenly dispersed and coated in the dressing.
- Top Dress as desired … pink grapefruit segments, sunflower sprouts, etc.
Water Kefir Fruit Cake
Soak organic dried fruit, ginger, quinoa overnight … covered in water kefir liquid.
The liquid will be absorbed by morning… add flour to cake consistency (we use green banana flour), eggs or chia gel if desired.
Bake and enjoy.
Milk Kefir strained for soft cheese.
• Whether raw and unmixed for the purists, in cold salads, in soups, casseroles, or as a filling – always get an equally easy as hearty and tasty dish.
Serving idea – Mould in a mound in the centre of an earthenware plate or banana leaf or arrowroot leaf covered with a large flatbread. Surround with an overlapping layer of marinated or plain sliced cucumbers or cucumber rounds filled with sauerkraut. Sprinkle top with crushed nigella and mount with a twisted cucumber slice.
Fermented garlic is a perfect marriage with kefir slathered on crisp toast or on kimchi and sauerkraut crackers or on its own by the spoonful! And exceptionally good for you!
Green Cheese with Garlic
Here is a version where milk kefir liquid is filtered, and garlic is added.
1 litre strained kefir
3 large cloves garlic (fermented is a great choice), mashed to a paste.
Nigella seed, ground for garnish
- Put kefir cheese in a bowl.
- Blend in garlic paste, mixing thoroughly.
- Leave a few hours, to absorb and develop flavour.
- Serve with injera / dosa or flatbread or sprouted crackers.
Baked pumpkin – cut in half, fill cavity with Smen (recipe in Milk kefir e-book) black olives, strained fire cider + preserved lemon.
Bake – spread onto flat bread and top with garlic green cheese, salads, and dress with dressing.
Celebrate sweetness with a touch of gut-loving “Sauer”!
Gut loving … Kefir, kombucha, water kefir, kvass, sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented ginger and turmeric and fermented tonics / brines are the magic ingredients – from raw kefir cheeze cakes, sauerkraut brownies, kimchi chocolate, kvass yum balls, kombucha crepes to soaking flour, nuts and seeds and substituting for liquid in a baked chocolate cake mixture and features a natural rising.
2 cups walnuts (pre-soaked in water with added Kefir overnight)
2 1/2 cups soft dates, pitted (soaked in Tibi (water kefir) / water overnight)
Handful cranberries / goji
1 cup cacao powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Dash of vanilla
Pinch of Himalayan salt / dash of ‘kraut brine or sauerkraut
• Soak dates overnight in water or tibicos (aka water kefir).
• Add pre-soaked and well-rinsed walnuts, cacao and brine/ salt to food processor and blend until finely ground.
• Add dates and blend until combined. The mixture should resemble cake crumbs but when pressed will easily stick together. •Place mixture into fun ice cube trays / shape into small balls and roll in coconut.
• Pop into freezer, for at least one hour. Refrigerate and enjoy!
• We store in the freezer and are quite yummy even frozen!
Nut Free Chocolate
1 cup soft dates, pitted and roughly chopped and soaked in water or water kefir
1/2 cup *chia gel
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon coconut kefir
1/2 cup popped buckwheat (soaked in kefir overnight, rinsed, and dried)
Scoop of sauerkraut
½ cup grated beetroot, carrot, and zucchini
1/4 cup goji berries
Dash of vanilla
• Combine dates, chia gel, cacao, sauerkraut, beetroot, and zucchini in a food processor.
• Mix until well combined. • Add popped buckwheat and goji and coconut kefir and pulse to process. • Shape into small shapes or place in small chocolate containers. • To prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands, fill a little bowl with some water to wet your fingers. It will be much easier to shape. • Can also roll in balls and top with coconut/ seeds.
• Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
• They will stay fresh for at least 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or at least 1 month or more in the freezer.
Variation: Add cinnamon, ginger (fermented ginger and turmeric) nutmeg and process.
* Chia Gel – take ¼ cup chia seeds. Add 2 cups of clean water in a jar. Shake well to combine. Give a few more shakes. Refrigerate – will keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge – ready to pop into smoothies, thicken sauces, quick desserts, treats, egg replacement in baking.
Rose Water Chocolate Tibicos / Kombucha
1 cup strained Tibicos (aka water kefir) or Kombucha.
8 drops rose water, 2 rose geranium leaves /4 dried rose buds, dash of cacao nibs.
Combine ingredients in a jar leaving around 2.5cm at the top and put the lid on.
Leave at room temperature for 1- 2 days.
And suddenly, Sauer is sweet!
So, go to it … turn humble cabbage into an event! Share your food with family and friends and give thanks for life’s bounty.
May you be abundantly fermented and transformed into rich, nourished, and beautiful wonders!
From my heart to yours,