As you probably have gathered from my past blogs I am a big fan of eating. It’s something I do every day and if I am being honest, pretty much all day, so anything I can add in food wise to improve my health I will.
Recently fermented foods have become more popular, which is awesome because anything old school usually means good things; (well that is what I told my husband when I gave him a Captain Planet T-shirt for Christmas).
Anyway fermented foods are great for improving;
Digestion, immune function, skin conditions, maintaining blood sugar levels the list is endless. But my favourite is that they help with your gut-brain link (meaning it can help you with your mood and anxiety with regular consumption).
To incorporate these amazing foods into your diet is simple; you can go the easy route and buy the pre-prepared versions or you could go mad and make them yourselves.
Yeah I know that I go on and on about this but its super good for you and also super easy to make or buy.
If you are buying, check out the OM stall on the weekends, they do an awesome tasty kombucha:
Organic Mechanic - La Cigale French Markets - 69 St George's Bay Road, Parnell - grab yourself a 'weeks supply' 1L bottle
To make your own is pretty easy. You can buy a starter or if you have a kombucha loving friend you can steal one of their extra scobys.
When making kombucha you can have different tea bases; e.g. green or black tea. You can do tea blends or stick to one. Just remember you can’t use tea with strong essential oils (peppermint etc it will kill the scoby).
In a large glass jar, throw in 2-3 tea bags and ¼ cup of white sugar and boiling water to ¾ of jar. Once the sugar has dissolved, you can take the tea bags out – usually after 20minutes. When the tea has reached room temperature you can add in the kombucha scoby. Cover jar with muslin cloth, place rubberband around the neck of the jar and leave for 5-7 days. After that, you decant it into glass bottles and drink it. Hooray!!! I add a cinnamon stick to mine for extra flavour.
A nice tea blend is 2 black tea and 2 green tea bags.
NB If you don’t have a kombucha loving friend you can buy some of the daily organics kombucha and make a starter from there. Pour some of their kombucha into a clean glass jar and cover with muslin cloth and secure with rubberband, leave for 7 days and it should form a white ‘mother’ or starter/scoby. Then start the above process.
Ok so I hated the stuff when I lived in Korea. Maybe because I was surrounded by everything super spicy and my poor NZ taste buds couldn’t cope. But now I like it - a lot. In particular Kimchi pancakes. So good.
You can hit the Asian supermarkets; one in particular is on Botany on Ti rakau drive. They have cheap as homemade stuff that is awesome. Or you can buy from the super Be Nourished guys; they do a mean Kimchi or sauerkraut (same same but different).
If you are feeling clever – here is an awesome link for the recipe courtesy of My New Roots: http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2013/01/fabulous-fermentation-week-kimchi/
So for 2015 try and incorporate some fermented foods into your diet:
Kimchi can be served with rice, in dumplings, stir fries, in pancakes, in summer rolls with tofu, in omelettes…
Kombucha can be added into smoothies, had straight, made into a soda or mocktail etc.
Just a note though – with fermented foods start small. Don’t drink a whole bottle of kombucha and eat a whole bowl of kimchi first off. They are natural probiotic foods that help rebalance your digestive bacteria; you can have less than ideal side effects if you have too much. So, start with ¼ cup of kombucha and a few tablespoons of kimchi then build up after a week.
Photos from My new roots Kimchi recipe