The 5 fermented foods your microbiome is missing - and how to add them into your diet

Fermented foods are common to many of the world's healthiest diets. They're one of the original super foods, famous for their dose of healthy bacteria that is the cornerstone of new and emerging research about fostering a healthy gut microbiome.

Even with a degree in nutrition, I find it confusing to first know which foods are actually fermented and then to figure out exactly how to incorporate those into my usual diet. Luckily, I've done the research and I've got you covered.

The fermented foods with probiotics that will help create a healthy gut micobiome.

Read on for the 5 fermented foods you can add to your menu today and HOW you can make that happen.

Pickled veggies (beets, carrots, even okra!)

What to buy

  • Look for a jar in the refrigerated section (I love these and these)
  • Go a step further and check the label for live cultures

How to eat

  • As an anytime snack
  • Alongside cheese and a drink pre-dinner or even as dinner
  • Incorporated into your usual salad

Sauerkraut

What to buy

  • Look for a jar in the refrigerated section (I'm into these and these)
  • Go a step further and check the label for live cultures

How to eat

  • Add to sandwiches, burgers, and of course, sausages and hot dogs
  • Use the liquid in homemade salad dressing
  • Cook with potatoes for a breakfast hash and pair with eggs
  • Sub for cabbage in soups
  • With a fork, straight out of the jar
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Kefir

What to buy

  • Ideally no added sugar, but they do make flavored and if that's your thing, go for it
  • Heads up that kefir is tart, some more so than others, so shop around if you’re not thrilled on the first try

How to eat

  • Sip straight up
  • Sprinkle with chia or cinnamon when you’re feeling fancy and then sip
  • In a creamy salad dressing or to dress potato salad
  • Added to a smoothie for a probiotic twang (I think it’d be great with mango)
  • Thinned to  replace milk in a baking recipe (I’m sure my banana bread would welcome some)

Kombucha

What to buy

  • Look for the lowest sugar content you can find (but heads up it’s hard to find below 6g per serving)

How to eat

Miso

What to buy

  • There are so many options and you can’t go wrong
  • White or yellow miso tend to be more versatile and mild than red

How to eat

  • Whisked into salad dressings (it’s pairs well with tahini)
  • With salmon, like in one of my favorite recipes by a fellow RD that I love for weeknights
  • As basic miso soup enhanced with veggies, seaweed, tofu, and edamame
  • Or not so basic soup: carrot soup topped with sesame seeds, scallions, and a sesame swirl a la Smitten Kitchen 
  • Mash into potatoes, sweet or regular

Am I missing anything? Share with me here.