Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are heralded by wellness experts as health-boosting powerhouses that heal ailments like leaky gut and IBS and lead to weight loss, better skin, and boosted immunity. (In short, they can do everything but mow the lawn.)
But given their sour flavor profile and pungency, it can be hard to find ways to fit them into the everyday dishes you might be eating.
That’s where Julie O’Brien and Richard Climenhage come in. The co-founders of organic fermented food company Firefly Kitchens, recently published Fresh and Fermented, which teaches you how to incorporate them into your meals (and how to ferment veggies, if you’re game).
“Sauerkraut is actually a very versatile ingredient because it is so fresh, so alive,” O’Brien says. “We have so much salt and sugar in our Western diets that sour is actually an essential part of a well-balanced meal, according to most taste buds.”
Still, that doesn’t help if you’re just not a fan.“While many people crave the taste of good quality sauerkraut, many just don’t like it,” she admits. “That’s been the challenge with my kids, so adding a forkful of kraut along with some nut milk proved to their fruit smoothie turned out to be the first recipe they actually liked—they didn’t even notice the kraut.” Yup, she just told you to put sauerkraut in your smoothie.