Fermented foods are all the rage right now, but it’s yet another case of “what’s old is new again” in the field of nutrition. When food is fermented, it acts as a natural preservative. But when new ways of preserving and processing food emerged, fermented foods became less popular. Now that we know all of the good stuff that was being processed out of our diet, people are turning back to these things. Fermented foods go through a process where natural bacteria feed on sugar and starches, and produce a food that is rich in enzymes and probiotics.
Probiotics introduce good bacteria in our gut, and it’s important to consume them to keep a healthy balance in there so the bad bacteria doesn’t have a chance to flourish. This balance plays a key role in immunity and digestion. There are over 3 POUNDS of bacteria that line our intestinal tract (that’s 100 trillion bacteria), and we are gaining a better understanding of the intricate ways in which they interact with our body. The balance of bacteria in our gut is linked to allergies, mood (like depression and anxiety), auto-immune diseases, and even the very food we crave (so YOU might not be craving that cookie, your gut bacteria might be the culprit!).
Some good sources of probiotics are yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, tempeh, and miso. The recipe I am about to share includes miso, which is a fermented soy-based food that super rich in enzymes. It contains all of the amino acids, making it a complete protein. Most of us have tried Miso soup at Japanese restaurants – it’s served before the meal. The reason this is done is because it is so rich in probiotics and digestive enzymes that it aids in digestion of the rest of the meal to follow. Pretty cool!
Miso Glazed Salmon with Sesame Zoodles
For the salmon:
- 4 6oz filets of wild-caught salmon
- 2 TBSP white miso
- 2 TBSP coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
Preheat broiler. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the miso paste, coconut aminos, sesame oil, and ginger. Spread evenly on salmon filets. Broil a few inches from the heat source for 6-8 minutes.
For the zoodles:
- 2 large zucchinis, spiralized
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 3 TBSP coconut aminos
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- sesame seeds and green onion for garnish (optional)
Heat pan to medium heat and add 1 TBSP olive oil. Saute spiralized zucchini for 3 minutes. Mix coconut aminos and sesame oil and add to pan along with shredded carrots and saute for another minute or two. Top with garnish.