10 Fermented Foods That Keep You Going

What's New in Probiotics

Stella Bistro Foods Rustic Italian Sultry Spice + Sourdough Bread = Bread at its elegance. stellabistrofoods.com

As farmers markets are on the rise, many foods and produce are sold to grocery stores supporting local fresh finds. Specialty dietary lifestyles such as gluten-free, kosher, and vegan can be grueling to begin with due to the lack of information.

Fermented food means it's left to steep until the sugars and carbohydrates become bacteria-boosting agents. For example, fermenting vegetables extends their pantry life. Whether you're a lover of sauerkraut or kefir, begin your day with a half cup of any of these fermented foods to get started.

1. Kombucha

This is a fermented beverage of black tea and sugar. It contains bacteria and yeast initiating the fermentation process combined with sugar. Kombucha becomes carbonated and vinegar, rich B vitamins, concentration of acid, probiotics, and enzymes. Drinking kombucha aids digestion, weight loss, energy, detoxing, and supports the immune system. 

Kombucha drinks are available in major grocery stores like Whole Foods and Wal-Mart. Check with your local farmer's markets for Kombucha in your local community. 

2. Sauerkraut

Try sauerkraut in potato salad!

This traditional food is made from fermented cabbage as it's high in dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B. Sauerkraut is great for iron, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. As a great substitution (for relish])and twist to potato salad, sauerkraut fights inflammation, strengthening bones, healthy cholesterol levels, and boosts digestive health.

3. Pickles

Learn how to ferment your own pickles!

Not a big fan of pickles? Cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and picnic dishes such as potato salad and chicken salad beg to differ. Relish, a traditional condiment in many households, is made with pickles.

Pickles are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and friendly bacteria. Pickles are an asset for Vitamin K deficiency and bone health. Try organic pickles! Visit your local farmers market for the best probiotic pickles.

4. Kimchi

Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine. It's traditionally served as a side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, like napa cabbage and Korean radishes with spices and seasonings like chili powder, garlic, ginger, jeotgal, and scallions. 

Treat your taste buds with Kimchi as an accent side dish with a New York Strip or T-Bone steak with Stella Bistro Foods's Marinade Sultry Spice. A preferred temperature of medium to medium rare would be deliciously ideal for this Korean fermented dish. 

5. Yogurt

Yogurt is a great breakfast and midday snack!

Probiotic yogurt is connected to better diet quality, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels. Look for three characteristics in your probiotic yogurt: goat or sheep milk, grass-fed, and organic grade. 

As probiotic yogurt is one of the top probiotic foods, find this "breakfast starter" and daily pick-me-up in your local dairy aisle. 

Accent your yogurt with Stella Bistro Foods Autumn Flair Sultry Spice and your choice of fruit to kick-start your day or for a midday pick-me-up!

6. Kefir

Milk kefir, also known as bulgaros, is a fermented milk drink that originates from the Caucasus Mountains. Kefir is made with kefir grains, a bacterial and fermentation starter. 

Kefir is high in nutrients and probiotics aiding in gut health and digestion. Consider kefir as a powerful alternative to yogurt. 

One serving of six ounces of milk kefir contain protein, calcium, vitamin D, and B12, phosphorus, and magnesium. Kefir contains bio active compounds like organic acids and peptides that aide healthier lifestyles. 

Alternative versions of kefir can be made with coconut milk or water or sweet liquids. 

Probiotics with fermented dairy are researched to reduce carcinogenic compounds associated with brain tumors. One study showed that kefir extract reduced the number of human breast cancer cells by 56 percent. 

In animal studies, kefir has shown to suppress inflammatory responses related to allergy and asthma.

7. Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is made by fermentation of dough usually occurring in lactobacilli and yeast. Sourdough bread has a mild taste which is not present in most breads.

The process of slow fermentation allows the bacteria to break down the carbohydrates and gluten and neutralizes the phytic acid, allowing it to be easier to digest.

Sourdough bread contains healthy resistant starch and doesn't raise blood glucose levels as much as conventional breads. 

Spruce up your next lunchtime sandwich with sourdough bread, roasted turkey or chicken, pickles, lettuce, ripe tomatoes and cheese on your choice!

8. Natto

Natto beans are rich in Vitamin K. 

This Japanese traditional food is made from soybeans fermented with subtilis var natto. This dish has been known to be served with karashi mustard, soy sauce, and Japanese bunching onion.  

Natto has a powerful, yet acquired taste, strong flavor, and slimy texture. The light and tasty dish is most popular in eastern regions like Hokkaido. Natto is occasionally incorporated in sushi, miso soup, or spaghetti. 

The beans are washed and soaked in water for 12 to 20 hours to increase their size. Then, the beans are steamed for 6 hours. Alternatively, the beans are pressure cooked for reduced cooking time. The mixture is fermented at 40 degrees Celsius for up to 24 hours. Once completed, the beans will be refrigerated to age up to one week to development of stringiness. 

A 2009 Japanese survey showed almost 71 percent respondent like Natto beans, whereas 29.8 percent did not, but ate them because of the health benefits. 

Natto contains no cholesterol and is a significant source of iron, calcium, magnesium, protein, potassium, various vitamins like B6 and B12,  and more. Natto is the richest in Vitamin K. Natto also promotes bone health. 

9. Beer

Please drink responsibly. 

Beer is an adult beverage brewed from cereal grains. Beer has a greater protein and vitamin B amount than wine. Hops, known in IPA beers, are rich sources of potent antioxidants like flavonoids.

Flavonoid compounds, like xanthohumol, is used when brewing beer. The compound has played a role in chemoprevention of prostate cancer. 

Beer contains vitamin B6, which protects against heart diseases. Like red wine, beer has a thinning effect of the blood and prevents blood clots.  Studies have been linked to lower risk of type two diabetes and risk of fractures with moderate consumption. 

Beer contains vitamin E, which is important to maintain healthy skin. Normal consumption of beer affects the cholesterol levels and decreases constipation and slows down the aging process. 

10. Condiments

Whether it's mustard or ketchup, many condiments are available fermented. Don't think so? 

Soy sauce is naturally brewed and fermented. Soy sauce improves digestion, promotes microbial growth, anti cancer qualities and aids inflammation. Soy sauce is also increase iron absorption and reduces symptoms of hay fever. 

One study showed a meal containing soy sauce reduces oxidation stress and lowers blood pressure. 

Probiotic mayonnaise is similar to classic mayo, with added probiotics and healthy oils. Choose mayonnaise made with oil such as grape seed oil.  Grape seed oil has many antioxidants and known for lowering cholesterol.  Alternatively, you can add fermented vegetables or fruit juice, or whey from cheese or yogurt. 

Fermented ketchup is on the rise as an easily fermented condiment you can make at home! Fermented ketchup can be stored up to six months in the refrigerator. 

The best part of fermented condiments? You can make them to taste! Try combinations such as rosemary and garlic sandwich spread or spicy fermented ketchup.

As dietary lifestyles changed, fermented foods have left a tasteful impact within the culinary arts industry as a healthy alternative for easy and delightful eating.

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