Kimchi, kombucha, tempeh, yogurt, sauerkraut, parmesan cheese, miso, cottage cheese… probiotic foods are great foods! Besides being delicious (and nutritious), they are rich in beneficial microorganisms that help to keep our gut bugs booming.
We had a talk with Benjamin West from Homemade Cultures to get the best tips on how can we eat and mix probiotic foods and get the best health benefits out of it. Homemade Cultures is a Swedish company which produces homemade delicious fermented products, to inspire people to connect with traditional food cultures and create new food cultures through fermentation. Here are Benjamin’s top 5 tips:
- Eat a variety of different fermented foods, both for enjoyment and also to be exposed to different types of beneficial probiotic microorganisms.
- You can also mix cultures that are younger (fermented for a shorter period of time) and older (fermented longer) to get different flavors and again more variety of microbes. This tip applies more to homemade than store bought fermented foods.
- Use fermented foods to bring more flavor (balanced acidity, umami compounds) to meals that you cook at home. Wait until you're finished cooking, let it cool down for a few minutes, then add some fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled cucumber, or hot sauce. You can add it, for example, in a soup, in a stir-fry, or with steamed vegetables.
- Use it as a regular condiment on the top of meals. For example, in a sandwich or a taco.
- You can also use it as a palate cleanser during a meal. For instance, Japanese people often have a few pickles while eating sushi or other meals in-between each bite, in order to refresh the taste buds and enjoy the full taste of each bite of food.
You can find out more about the Homemade Cultures products here.