Fermented foods are a subject hot on peoples lips at the moment in the health and wellbeing circles and I’m here to look a little further in to why as a newbie to fermented foods myself. I’ll be exploring the full what, why and how! Fermented foods are an important addition to all diets and are something which I would recommend to consider if they are not something that you may have already been eating for sometime now without even knowing! They have been available for longer than we have been around but their amazing health benefits have made all types of fermented foods more trendy and talked about in the current health and wellbeing revolution. These probiotic heavy foods are amazing for a number of different health benefits from promoting good digestive health, to help balance and maintain a good gut bacteria, helping to achieve a healthy weight, boost you immune system and more! So what are fermented foods? The most common and the ones which I am going to be using are sauerkraut and kimchi but theres also kombucha, tempeh, miso, kefir and more! You’ll start hearing about these more and more as they are becoming very popular here in the UK. The process is…Fermentation promotes the growth and life cycle of good bacteria to transform the flavour and shelf life of ingredients.
So its pretty simple! They are packed with flavour and full of all the goodness to promote, maintain and develop good gut health!I’m using in my kitchen The Cultured Collective ferments and I have 3 Sauerkrauts and 2 Kimchi’s to add to my daily eating routine and experiment with. The Cultured Collective are a UK based brand of premium ferments available to buy jarred and infused with a number of different flavors so they are ready and good to go to top a dish a pack more than just the usual pickled punch of other similar products. The Cultured Collective say-
“All our kimchi and sauerkraut is handmade in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside using only the highest quality, natural ingredients. Never pasteurised, each jar is packed to the brim with good bacteria, which can help to keep your digestive system healthy. “
Sounds good to you but not sure what you would eat them with? Keep reading! Because Sauerkraut and Kimchi are cold one of the easiest ways to eat it is to use it as a salads topper, add it to buddha bowls-you get the picture, quick and easy but with their flavour infusions its nice to theme your dish to suit your ferment. I tried tacos with the chipotle sauerkraut, I did a ramen bowl with my white miso and turmeric kimchi, I had a falafel wrap, open deli sandwiches and of course just the humble salad. Here’s a few snaps of my favourite meals!
I’ve used them with at least one meal every day for one week! Some of the things that I have noticed are reduced bloating of my stomach, certain foods that I eat often aggravate my stomach and I bloat easily. Hand in hand with that, my digestion has been much more regular and has become very routine, I have been like clockwork as soon as I get up each day. I know that your gut bacteria can also affect your sleep and general feeling of wellbeing and I have been sleeping much better and less restlessly the last 3-4 nights. Which was just after the first few days of using the ferments and I definitely feel lighter and less sluggish too!
I’ve really enjoyed introducing these new foods into my diet over the last week and its something that I’m going to continue for sure, I would like to share with you my favourite recipe I tried which is an Easy Asian style ramen/pho bowl with white miso and turmeric kimchi.
Easy Asian-style Ramen/Pho bowl
Prep time- 5 minutes
Cook Time- 30 minutes
Serves – 2-4
- Cultured Collective White Miso and Turmeric Kimchi
- soy sauce
- fish sauce
- vegetable stock cube
- stir fry veg
- Noodles- whatever your chosen
- fresh chillies
- spring onion
- Egg (optional, remove if vegan)
There’s 2 ways that you can do this recipe, in a saucepan on the hob or in a soup maker if you have one. The soup maker option is very simple and you just literally throw in all of the ingredients you want to be cooked (except the egg) and cook on chunky for about 15 minutes. So with both methods step one is to prep your ingredients so slice your onions, chillies and mushrooms and get all other ingredients portioned and to hand to chuck in the pot, this is a quick and easy recipe so I opted for many things pre prepared but do whatever suits you best ingredient wise. If you are cooking on the hob you want to get your stock going first, so start by bringing your water to heat and then add in the miso paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, turmeric and ginger and a vegetable stock cube, once you have all your ingredients simmering away it’s time to add in your ingredients, so thats your noodles of choice- I go for ‘straight to wok’ rice noodles but any noodles work well in this dish, add your veg, spring onions, sweetcorn, beansprouts, fresh chillies, mushrooms and carry on simmering on a medium heat for about 15 minutes, after around 15 minutes I like to add the greens as they take less time to cook so that’s the mangetout and the spinach (if you are cooking in the soup maker add a few minutes before the end to soften), if you’re lucky enough to be able to get your hands on pak choi in your area this works perfectly but not always available at all stores. At the same time as cooking your stock get a small pan of boiling water on the hob ready to boil your egg, I like them soft boiled so I cooked for 6.5 minutes with a little salt and white vinegar in the water to ease shelling, after the 6.5 minutes plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process and leave until cooled and ready to shell and serve. Whilst you’re waiting for your soup to cook I like to prepare my raw, fresh toppings so I thinly slice some more spring onions, some fresh coriander, red chillies and beansprouts and have my kimchi ready to add too. By this time your egg should be ready to shell, place to one side and serve your soup into a large bowl, then add your egg and your fresh toppings and you are ready to eat! This is an easily adapted recipe! I’ve tried it also with king prawns, tofu, chicken! The options are endless and you can add different spices and flavours from your favourite corners of the world which inspire you!
Thanks so much for reading! Who’s trying fermented foods? Who already eats them daily? Fancy giving The Cultured Collective ferments a go? Where to buy here!