Probiotic Foods

It is time to honor the cultured side in each of us—yes, I am referring to the whole world of living organisms inside every one of us and that usually go unnoticed and unacknowledged. But without these fine friends, we would not be alive.

Unfortunately we hear only about the “bad” bacteria; the germ theory of disease. We wipe, wash, heat and antibiotic our way to sterility—but did you know that 99+ percent of bacteria are harmless?

More importantly, did you know that having the correct bacteria and other probiotics in your gut is vital to prevent disease and keep you healthy? If you are experiencing any health symptom at all, and particularly if you have food allergies, Celiacs or any gut inflammation disease, have ever taken antibiotics, have been living on a high-carb diet, have blood sugar imbalances or high cholesterol, heartburn or indigestion, and/or hormone imbalances, then it is vital you restore balance and health to the “good” bacteria and other “friends of health” living in your digestive tract. Failing to restore digestive balance can hang up otherwise sound steps you are taking to accomplish your health goals. In fact, my holistic, whole foods-based, Rejuveo Cleanse is designed to restore balance starting with digestion, read why here.

Why? Because basically the healthy bacteria digest your food, make key vitamins (such as vitamin B12, a nutrient that supports the health of your nervous system, blood cells, and many other functions) and then deliver those gifts to you via the lining of your gut.

Eating cultured foods does some important things:

1. lacto-fermentation naturally preserves food: “lacto” from a specific species of bacteria, namely Lactobacillus, e.g. the Lactobacillus acidophilus often used in the process of making yogurt, but there are many others, and “fermentation”—in this case the ability to convert sugars into lactic acid, a natural preservative.

2. lacto-fermented foods have higher nutrient and health qualities:  lacto-fermentation also increases the vitamin and enzyme levels, as well as digestibility, of the fermented food. In addition, Lactobacillus organisms produce antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances that may contribute to good health.

3. probiotic-containing foods help restore bacterial balance to your intestine: these in turn transform your food into the vitamins and fatty acids your body needs to stay health.

The beautiful part is that cultured foods can taste great and come in a variety back of delightful flavors, textures, and culinary levels of difficulty (mostly from super simple to slightly less simple—doable even for you “non-cook” types).

Enjoy the ever-growing collection of recipes in this section—here’s to the health you’ve always wanted!

Easy Homemade Probiotic Salsa

Easy Homemade Probiotic Salsa
Della gets a blue ribbon for this submission to our 2014 Recipelooza! This recipe is so easy and is what got me over my long-lasting concern over making cultured food at home. Maybe I still had some false data from the “pasteurize-everything” folks. In any case, the gut-healing probiotics and incredible taste are well worth...

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Garlicky Cultured Kraut

Garlicky Cultured Kraut
Judy and Bob also received a 2014 Recipalooza blue ribbon for their oh-so-simple twist to traditional sauerkraut. Eating just a little cultured or fermented probiotic food each day makes a world of difference to the friendly, helpful, flora in your gut. This is especially true if you’ve recently been sick. Yields about 2 quarts Ingredients...

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Designer Home-made Pickles

Designer Home-made Pickles
Such a cinch! I cannot believe I only recently discovered  how simple it is to make my own home-made pickles. These beautiful, incredible, and hugely economical delights actually stemmed from my husband's love of playing with his food... making saurkraut, salsa... for our enjoyment and probiotics. Making pickles at home means that you can tailor them to...

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Lacto-fermented Gingered Peach Chutney

Lacto-fermented Gingered Peach Chutney
Chutney is such a wonderful way to introduce fermented foods. Most people enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit, even people who are still adapting their taste buds away from the breads, grains, pastas, cereals, cookies, candies, cakes and ice-creams that imbalanced their health to begin with. Serve on the side as a sauce for chicken, fish,...

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Lacto-fermented Dilly Beans

Lacto-fermented Dilly Beans
Another Fermentapalooza prize winner, they are amazing!! My wonderful garden gave me quite a lot of extra string beans of all colors. In less than five minutes I trimmed the beans, cut them in half, and put them in jars with brine and spices. Done. I used to have dilly beans on my sojourns to...

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A tale of fermented olive tapenade (and other varieties)

A tale of fermented olive tapenade (and other varieties)
It's only right and proper to enjoy an Alaska summer evening (or mid-day picnic, or...) with ice cold hibiscus tea (or...). Snacks for an evening respite lounging in the late sun demand flavor. Given my Mediterranean (well, and Irish and other) lineage, the Provencal favorite, tapenade, is perfect for relaxing with companions. The French word...

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Pick a Peck of Pickled Peppers

Pick a Peck of Pickled Peppers
September rolls along and those greenhouse peppers I’ve been patiently watching are ready (here in Anchorage it doesn’t get hot enough for peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers... they need some heat help). Pickled peppers, peperoncinis, jalapenos, yellow wax peppers; abundantly ready. A beautiful assortment of both common and obscure peppers all ready before we get a serious...

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Gingered Beets & Kvass (that actually tastes good)

Gingered Beets & Kvass (that actually tastes good)
When you eat fermented food you... save the body time digesting make the nutrients more readily absorbable promote detox finally give your body proper nutrition from every bite This becomes even more important if you or your child doesn’t make enough stomach acid doesn’t really digest what is eaten. And it becomes more important even...

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