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How To Get More Fermented Food Into Your Meal Plan

The benefits of fermented food are many. Clear skin. Improved digestion. An immune system that can slide through the cold season unscathed.

How To Get More Fermented Food Into Your Meal Plan - Real Plans

The benefits of fermented food are many. Clear skin. Improved digestion. An immune system that can slide through the cold season unscathed. But beyond a bottle of kombucha or a cup of yogurt, including fermented food in everyday life might feel intimidating. How can you fit them in?

As it turns out, some of the best fermented food comes in the form of drinks, salad dressings, condiments, snacks, and delicious desserts — making them an easy addition to your everyday meals.

Drinks

Probiotic honey lemonade soda

Fermented drinks are an easy way to start incorporating more fermented food into your daily routine. Bubbly and often sweet, they easily replace unhealthy sugar-laden pop. Although there are many ways to make a fermented drinks — kombucha, water kefir, or ginger soda — this lemonade uses whey as its starter. This means that you don’t have to keep a culture going, as you would need to do with kefir grains. No matter the season, this fermented drink will keep you hydrated and healthy.

Get the probiotic honey lemonade soda recipe here.

Water kefir

Water kefir consists of small jelly-like crystals that form the SCOBY (symbiotic community of bacteria and yeast) that metabolizes a simple water and sugar mixture to produce probiotics, enzymes, and even some B vitamins. After an initial ferment, water kefir can be flavored a myriad of ways. Add fruit (fresh, dried, or juiced), herbs, and extracts like vanilla.

Get the water kefir instructions here.

Salad dressings

Kefir ranch dressing

Salad dressings brighten your greens and using fermented food in dressings is a way to naturally hot those tart notes. You also avoid the dubious ingredients in store-bought salad dressings while adding an extra boost of probiotics. For this twist on a classic ranch dressing, kefir is mixed with mayonnaise and herbs like parsley, chives, and dill.

Get the kefir ranch dressing recipe here.

Kombucha vinaigrette

Enhance your classic oil-and-vinegar salad dressing by replacing the vinegar with kombucha. Tart but softer than vinegar, kombucha adds many beneficial bacteria to any salad. In this vinaigrette, dijon mustard helps emulsify the oil and vinegar while a bit of honey sweetens it.

Get the kombucha vinaigrette salad dressing recipe here.

Condiments

Probiotic apple and beet relish

With hints of clove, apples lend a sweetness to this beet-based relish. The earthy beets and sweet apples — with a little sourness from the fermentation — pair perfectly with meat dishes. Because apples and beets winter well, this relish is a great way to get more vegetables in through the cold months.

Get the fermented apple and beet relish recipe here.

Fermented Hot Chili Sauce

If spiciness is your gig, try this fermented hot chili sauce. The fermentation process creates a sauce that is flavorful and complex, rather than the store-bought vinegar-based sauces. With the addition of a little garlic and unrefined cane sugar, you just need a little of this fermented hot chili sauce to add a kick to any dish.

Get the fermented hot chili sauce recipe here.

Snacks

Strawberry yogurt bowl with pine nuts and mint

Yogurt is chock full of beneficial bacteria. Topping it with fruit and nuts is a quick and easy snack…or breakfast. Despite being simple, there is no need for it to be boring. This bowl adds mint and sweet spices for a lively twist to a snack that is both healthy and delicious.

Get the strawberry yogurt bowl with pine nuts and mint recipe here.

Sourdough flatbread

Sourdough consists of bacteria and yeast that ‘pre-digest’ flour, breaking down the protein and stabilizing blood sugar levels, among other benefits. With a long ferment, time does the work so that active time on this sourdough is minimal. Top with any kind of spread or pesto or a sustaining snack during the day.

Get the sourdough flatbread recipe here.

Desserts

Yogurt panna-cotta with honey-roasted strawberries

Simple but nourishing ingredients combine to make a dessert that is light and mildly sweet. Yogurt provides probiotics; gelatin the structure and healing proteins; honey a tad of sweetness; strawberries fiber and vitamins; and vanilla adds that exotic touch and deep flavor. It mixes up quickly for a dessert that’s perfect to make ahead of time.

Get the yogurt panna-cotta with honey roasted strawberries recipe here.

Fermented mixed berries

Berries and fruit only need a day or two to ferment, so this dessert is ready to eat quickly after making it. If blended after fermentation, the berries have a jam-like consistency and are the perfect probiotic sauce to add to ice cream, cakes, or smoothies.

Get the fermented mixed berry recipe here.

How do add fermented food to your meals?
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Emily Bartlett

About Emily Bartlett

Emily Bartlett is the co-founder and CEO of RealPlans.com. She's also a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of Chinese medicine, a published author, a wife, and a mom of two. Emily hopes to make meal planning easier and inspire families to share more meals around the table.

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