Preparing and eating fermented foods such as Yogurt (including dairy free) , Sauerkraut and Kimchi improve digestion, enhance immunity and generally increase your biological resilience. If you find the sour and funky flavors of fermented foods objectionable try adding small quantities to other more strongly flavored dishes to enhance their flavor. Over time your palate, or taste, will expand as your body relishes the added benefits of these foods. Below are resources for understanding, purchasing and preparing fermented foods.
Sandor Katz is probably one of the most colorful and knowledgeable experts on fermented foods his website and book Wild Fermentation are great resources for understanding and preparing fermented foods and drink.
Stores such as New Seasons, Market of Choice, H-Mart, Uwajimaya, Winco, and even Whole Foods and Fred Meyers carry a wide variety of fermented foods for purchase. For best quality look for locally produced products in the refrigerated sections.
This recipe makes 32 oz. of almond yogurt. Ingredients: High speed blender (such as a vitamix or ninja), 1 quart size wide mouth mason jar and plastic lid, 1 cup raw almonds ( costco or winco), 1 Tbsp grass feed gelatin powder, 25-50 billion beneficial probiotics in capsule form, 3 cups filtered water, and 1 tea towel. Begin by soaking the almonds in filtered water in the mason jar overnight in the fridge. Drain and rinse the almonds and place them in the blender with 3 cups of filtered water. blend slowly up to high speed until smooth and then add 1 Tbsp gelatin blending for another minutes before adding the probiotics capsules. Blend for another 30 seconds then pour back into mason jar drape tea towel over top and let sit on counter top or other room temperature area undisturbed for 12-24 hours. At the end of fermentation time take off tea towel, screw on plastic lid and shake contents to remix separation. Place and store in refrigerator to set and preserve. Use within one to two weeks. Enjoy with fruit such as blueberries, strawberries and mango. Also as a garnish for stews, curry and other savory foods.
Garlic Ginger Relish
Fill a quart jar with peeled garlic cloves and slices of peeled fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon salt, and about ¼ cup of starter ferment from a previous batch or enough probiotic capsules to equal at least 50 billion CFUs (the amount per capsule should be on the bottle). Barely cover the mixture with filtered, chlorine-free water, seal the jar, and leave it on the counter for 1 to 2 weeks. Open the jar, pour everything into a food processor, and pulse to mince. Return to the jar, add 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, and refrigerate. (Do not wash or rinse the jar, as chlorine in tap water will kill some of the Lactobacillus bacteria you have been growing in the ferment.)
While technically not fermented this homemade nut cream is a quick step towards the following Fermented Cheezz.
Ingredients: 1 cup raw cashews, 1/2-2/3 cup filtered water depending on how thick you like your cream.
How to: soak 1 cup raw cashews for 10-12 hours at room temperature, then rinse and blend at high speed with a pinch of salt and 1/2-2/3 cup water until smooth. pour in to mason jar and store in fridge for up to 1 week.
This creamy combination of coconut or cashew cream, gelatin and probiotics has a cream cheese or chevre like consistency. Use it anywhere you would use those cheeses. Add minced garlic, chopped chives, and fresh or dried herbs for savory flavor or vanilla, cinnamon, blueberry and cranberry for a sweeter flavors.
Ingredients: 1 pint wide mouth mason jar with plastic lid, 1 can full fat coconut milk or 16 oz. of home made cashew cream, 1-2 Tbsp powdered gelatin (more =thicker) and 25 billion probiotics.
How to: Combine all the ingredients except the probiotic capsule in a high-speed blender and blend on high until fully combined. Open the probiotic capsule and sprinkle the contents into the blender. Blend on low until combined. pour into mason jar drape tea towel over top and let sit on counter top or other room temperature area undisturbed for 12 hours. Stir in salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, spices, or extracts to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.