Health Benefits of Fermented Foods – 9 Common Fermented Foods You Have At Home

Health Benefits of Fermented Foods - Asian Salad with Tempeh and Ginger Sesame Dressing

Fermenting foods was first used as a means of food preservation before times of refrigeration and grocery stores. Most of us now associate eating fermented foods with improved gut health, and evidence shows that gut health can play an important role in metabolism, immunity, inflammation, mood, allergies, as well as autoimmune disorders. Unfortunately fermented foods have all but disappeared in our newly sterile, overly-processed world of food, and what our current Western-style diet lacks, traditional diets thrive on. In Asia they consume tempeh and miso, both from fermented soy. In the Caucasus Mountains it is kefir from fermented milk. In Africa they enjoy fermented porridge and cassava. In Korea it is Kimchi and in Germany it is Sauerkraut. Does our health suffer when our modern day diet lacks fermented foods? What are the health benefits of fermented foods? Here are my top 9 common fermented foods you have at home.
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Easy Five Ingredient Cauliflower Miso Dip with Camelina Oil [Vegan, GF]

Five Ingredient Cauliflower Miso Dip - Vegan, Gluten Free

What is Camelina Oil you ask? Let me share with you one of our very own Canadian oils, grown from ancient Camelina Seeds, a relative of the mustard family originating from Northern Europe. It also happens to have one of the highest smoke points of available oils. That about sums it up, except I need to mention that it tastes fantastic! I decided to include it in this Easy Five Ingredient Cauliflower and Miso Dip because of just that. It has an earthy and nutty flavour which goes well with the miso in this blended vegan dip, and I love topping it with chickpeas that have been roasted in the Camelina Oil for a double dip of this healthy fat. This Five Ingredient Cauliflower and Miso Dip is just in time for the holidays because if you are like me quick and easy is a must at this time of year.

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Medicinal Dark Chocolate Bark Three Ways [Vegan, GF]

This post for Dark Vegan Chocolate Bark Made Three Ways is sponsored by iHerb. As always the opinons are absolutly my own.
Vegan and GF Medicinal Mushroom Chocolate Bark Three Ways

For me, nothing compares to the dedication and ingenuity of a homemade DIY Christmas Gift. The reducing, reusing and repurposing helps lessen our environmental footprint during this season of excess. Some take advantage of their handy nature, while others zone in on their crafty skills, but for me, I often gift edible Christmas presents which has included Peanut Butter Energy Balls or Toasted Muesli In a Jar in the past. This Medicinal Dark Vegan Chocolate Bark Made Three Ways is made using maple syrup and real cocoa butter for the authentic chocolate taste. Some of my favourite flavour combinations for this Chocolate Bark include Peppermint and Toasted Coconut, Cherries and Toasted Almonds, and Coffee and Cacao Nibs. This Christmas I’ve also added a little medicine (or some may say magic) to this bark for a truly healthy start to the New Year.

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Easy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies [Vegan, GF, Sugar-Free]

Recipe for Vegan Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
This week I participated in a festive cookie swap. Each lady brings her own cookie dough to the party, and at the party, you are able to sample a variety of cookies. At the end, you trade your cookies, package them in a beautiful assortment, and leave with finished gifts (and new recipes!). You never know what dietary requirements come up at group events so I thought I would create out a dairy-free, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, vegan cookie recipe. Being free of flour, eggs and butter you would think the cookies would be kinda ‘meeh’ but thanks to almond butter they have the cookie goodness we are looking for. The oats create the base of these healthy holiday cookies, and maple syrup is a great low glycemic index sweetener that prevents those post cookie blood sugar spikes. These Easy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of my new favourites, and will be a life-saver recipe when catering for multiple dietary restrictions.
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High Protein Tahini Hemp Energy Balls

High Protein Recipe for Tahini Hemp Energy Ball No Bake

With so many Energy Ball recipes available on the internet, what makes these Tahini Hemp Energy Balls different? Tahini is made from roasted sesame seeds, and that’s exactly what it tastes like – some would describe the flavour as nutty or earthy. Energy Balls often use protein powders for added protein, where these ones use pure hemp hearts for protein. I’ve opted not to use dates, as I prefer local unpasteurized honey for sweetness instead. The flavour combination of tahini with honey and toasted coconut is what makes these Tahini Hemp Energy Balls one of my favourites, and comparable to the 100 Calorie Peanut Butter Energy Balls which are one of most popular recipes on my blog.
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Two-Ingredient Gluten-Free Cheesecake [Labna Cheesecake]

Recipe for High Protein Gluten Free Cheesecake - Two Ingredients
Tis the season for endless treats. There is no escaping them – at work, a holiday potlatch, a thoughtful edible gift. A small amount of [ideally natural] sugar enjoyed in the company of friends and loved ones is an important part of social relationships and our food culture. We know that when we do have something sweet, balancing it out with a good source of protein or healthy fat can help dampen the effect on our blood glucose (sugar) levels. This helps us to avoid the post-dessert sugar spikes and corresponding drops and for this I am sharing my new favourite go-to healthy dessert. Labna, or yogurt cheese, is high in protein and good fats and makes the base for this two-ingredient gluten-free cheesecake. Labna is simple to make at home and what this high-protein dessert lacks in difficulty, it makes up for in taste.
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How to Prepare Chaga and a Local Chaga Turmeric Golden Mylk Latte

Warming and Local Chaga Turmeric Ginger Golden Milk Latte Drink

We are blessed here in Canada to have wild Chaga mushrooms growing on our own birch tree, offering us wild medicine from mother nature herself. Chaga tea offers a slight vanilla flavour which tastes great on its own, and also makes a great base for a chaga turmeric golden mylk latte. Golden Mylk is a modern spin on the Auryvedic drink of warm milk and turmeric. Found at health food stores and specialty cafes, it is creamy and delicious and offers a wide nutrient profile provided by the anti-inflammatory curcuminoids in turmeric and the gingerols in ginger. Golden Mylk generally uses coconut milk as the liquid base, and as the fat source to facilitate absorption of any fat-soluble compounds. Hemp milk from our own Canadian grown hemp seeds can be used instead and offers a creamy consistency that rivals that of coconut milk (see How to Make Your Own Hemp Milk). The combination of the immunoprotective benefits of chaga and the anti-inflammatory aspects of turmeric make this an essential cold weather drink to help nourish and nuture the body.
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Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix + Oatmeal Topper

This Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix recipe is sponsored by iHerb

Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix - Use this trail mix on your oatmeal, on your roasted squash salad, or on top of your smoothie bowl

In autumn we all take a deep breath out, our memory box filled with summer adventures and good times, and we slowly make the transition into winter. For me, autumn is time to turn the oven back on to prepare meals for family and friends, and also start trialing holiday recipes and edible gifts. In our busy lives, we can all appreciate a versatile dish, something that can be used in multiple ways. That’s why I created this Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix and Oatmeal Topper because that’s exactly what it is. As a trail mix, it can be enjoyed as a quick and filling afternoon snack, or perhaps given to friends or coworkers as a holiday gift. As a meal, it tastes great added to your warming bowl of oatmeal or sprinkled on your next roasted winter squash salad. I’ve included more ideas below on how to enjoy this tasty holiday essential pumpkin spice trail mix, and some tips on how to maximise the nutritional quality.
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Blueberry Kefir Post-Workout Snack

Recipe for High Protein Blueberry Kefir Post Workout Smoothie

Every day there is new research emerging on the importance of our gut and resident microbes. From influencing the risk of diabetes to obesity, and anxiety to depression, we know that our tiny little microbes rule our world and we are just starting to understand how to keep them happy. Kefir is a fermented milk drink which contains a large number of beneficial bacteria; aiming for at least one fermented food a day is a good habit to get into and helps ensure a healthy colony of good bacteria is residing in our gut. Alongside the beneficial bacteria, this Blueberry Kefir Post-Workout Snack also has the perfect ratio of carbohydrates and proteins for a post-workout snack. By offering a quick refuel and a load of beneficial bacterial this post-workout snack really can be, and should, enjoyed at any time of the day.
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Vegan Ranch Salad Dressing with Hemp Hearts

Vegan Hemp Heart Ranch Dressing

Hemp hearts are currently a hot topic, and for good reason. They are an easy protein source, packed full of essential fatty acids, locally grown, and super versatile. I love hemp so much I’ve share my favorite milk alternative Hemp Milk, and a yummy nutrient dense snack Hemp and Sunflower Seed Pâté in the past. This Vegan Ranch Dressing with Hemp is my new favourite way to incorporate hemp into my day. The creaminess of the hemp lends itself to this dressing, and there’s no reliance on any other nut or seed butter (tahini, I love you but I need a change). It’s a great salad dressing for those hearty cold weather salads. I love it with shredded kale, beets and carrots on top of fluffy quinoa. Yum!
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