Fermented foods aid digestion and support a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. However, they aren’t usually found on most breakfast, lunch or dinner plates. Why not? There just aren’t enough quick, easy recipe ideas that demonstrate how to eat fermented foods! This article is the summary of many, many hours in the kitchen figuring out ways to incorporate fermented foods into daily life.
Getting Fermented Ingredients
First, some brief tips on getting the fermented ingredients. Ferments should be in the refrigerated section of the store. They should not contain vinegar. They typically have some kind of vent to let gas out as the bacteria continue to ferment sugars.
When ferments are consumed large quantities, buying them stops making financial sense. The expertise of Lisa’s Counter Culture has great details on making ferments. One idea is to make them in large batches a few times a year and store them in glass jars in the fridge.
On to the ideas, recipes, tips and tricks for how to eat fermented foods everyday!
Hide The Ferments
Hiding the fermented foods in other ‘normal’ foods is a great way to get started. Picky eaters may not even notice the ferments.
Where are good hiding spots for ferments?
- Salad – Add sauerkraut, kimchi or fermented lemons to any salad. Green salads, Greek salads, cucumber carrot salad, any salad! Start with a teaspoon or two, and slowly inch up!
- Salad Dressing – Substitute sauerkraut juice, or the juice of any ferment, for vinegar in salad dressings.
- Deviled Eggs – Add a few teaspoons of green sauerkraut to a favorite deviled egg recipe and most people won’t even notice a difference!
- Burgers – Grab a fermented pickle with that burger. Fermented ketchup too – no one will even notice!
- Wraps & Sandwiches – Coconut wraps or sandwiches can include almost any ferment. A few ideas are: pickles, kraut, beets, fermented lemons.
- Dips – Add chopped fermented pickles to pretty much any mayo-based dip. A few spoons of sauerkraut mixed into dips can work well too.
Make it Fun
Fermented foods are fun. Really? Adding a fun factor is a great way to entice the pickiest of picky kids.
These plastic animal food picks can make it fun. They are a great tool for getting kids excited about food. Get them involved by letting them choose – the giraffe, elephant, dog or cat!
What about alternatives to the plastic forks? Take some toothpicks and let the kids decorate the ends. Have the kids draw a picture and tape it onto the toothpick ends.
Here are a few ideas for using the forks or toothpicks with fermented foods:
- Turkey roll ups can have pretty much anything inside. The pictures below are an example with coleslaw and red cabbage /ginger / mustard seed kraut. Roll them up and keep them together using the forks or toothpicks.
- Cucumber stacks – Cucumber on the bottom, followed by pickles or fermented beets with greens. Top it off with an olive or a tomato. Use the forks or toothpicks to hold it all together! The picture below shows cucumber, fermented beets, and tomato stacks.
Make it Meaningful
The plastic animal forks work really well with younger kids. What about those 8+ year olds? Make it meaningful! Attach a message to the toothpick to hold together the cucumber stacks, or even halves of sandwiches.
What kind of messages? Quotes, inspirational messages, gratitudes, or personal messages are other ideas:
- “I love you!”
- “Good luck on your presentation today.“
- “Whatever your environment is, don’t allow your inner peace to be disturbed by it. “
- “I am thankful that you are part of my family. “
Super Quick and Easy
Quick and easy recipes are always appreciated in our modern, busy lives.
Ferments can be the side dish of a meal. Straight up. The picture below shows kimchi on the side of a bacon salad.
Another quick and easy snack is to fill the hole of an avocado with sauerkraut. This is great for school lunchboxes. Put some sauerkraut juice on the sides of the avocado to help keep it from browning.
Do you have other tips or tricks for incorporating fermented foods into everyday life? I look forward to reading them in the comments section!
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