"Fermented" may be a term you've heard before in reference to wine, and just like wine, fermented foods will make you feel good - without the risks associated with wine, like karaoke participation.
In the spirit of “everything old is new again,” fermented foods are in the nutritional spotlight, for good reason: they are bursting with health benefits you may not know about. Fermented foods have been part of the human diet for centuries; prior to modern refrigeration and preservation techniques, fermentation was an important way to preserve food – think sauerkraut as scurvy prevention, or pickling vegetables to “put up” over winter. Today, we can easily get fruit and vegetables from any part of the world at any time of the year; this, along with freezers, refrigerators, and preservatives, has contributed to the decline in fermented food consumption over the past 100 years.
Fortunately for us, fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir are making a comeback and are easier than ever to incorporate into our diets. Not really convinced about the benefits of fermented foods? Here are three great reasons YOU should F(erment)-Up your diet!
No one really wants to talk about digestive problems; suffering from bloating, cramps, and gas is definitely not fun. Poor digestive health can also lead to sluggishness, irritability, and skin problems. This sounds like a job for fermentation! Foods that are fermented aid in digestive health by supporting a healthy gut environment, thereby balancing bacteria in your gut and helping to move food through your digestive system. Fermented foods are not only easy to digest, but have the ability to increase nutrient absorption, strengthen your immune system, and help to fight off illness, which makes them a great choice for optimal digestive health. Which leads to...
Traditional methods of fermenting foods naturally increase their nutritional profile, and help to prime the digestive system so that these nutrients are also more easily absorbed. Eating a healthy, balanced diet complete with fermented food means that your body takes in all those vitamins and minerals more effectively. Which leads to...
Let’s face it: our kids are little petri dishes. There always seems to be something going around the school or daycare. It’s one thing to take care of sick kids, it’s quite another to take care of sick kids when you’re sick yourself! Moms don’t get to take sick days, so a strong immune system is top priority! Fermented foods, with their digestive supporting properties and their ability to increase nutrient absorption, strengthens your immune system and helps to fight off illness. In fact, studies have shown that compounds in fermented foods can kill off illness-causing bacteria!
There are many examples of fermented food, and they're all delicious: sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, miso, and kimchi, to name a few. They're great nutritional choices, but some people can find the flavour of those foods strong and overpowering. Knowing the benefits fermented foods can provide, I wanted to find some way to incorporate fermented foods into my family's diet, which is why I was thrilled to discover Genuine Health's Fermented Vegan+ Proteins line, which includes incredibly delicious energy bars as well as protein powder.
As someone who follows a plant-based diet, I’m always on the lookout for good sources of protein. Genuine Health's Fermented Vegan+ Protein is the only fully fermented vegan protein supplement on the market. Not only does it provide 20 grams of protein per serving, it is formulated with ingredients that have undergone artisanal, traditional fermentation in small batches, and benefits your health just as the fermented foods I listed above do. An all-in-one product!
I’ve been turned off of protein powders in the past because of the resulting bloat and stomach upset. I am happy to report that this protein powder eliminates that side effect, thanks to the unique ingredients and artisanal fermentation process that removes the “mesh” from plant-based proteins, which makes this protein supplement easy to digest. This same process increases protein and amino acid absorption as well!
Fermented Vegan Proteins+ is great in shake form - just add water and go! It also makes a great addition to squares, cookies, and other baked goods. I easily added it to a homemade breakfast bar, which amped up the protein content and is a delicious way to incorporate fermented foods.
These bars make a great breakfast-on-the-go, or a perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up. There is no added oil, and no added sugar (unless you choose to add the optional chocolate chips). The best part? This recipe is so easy to throw together!
Protein Power Breakfast Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper.
Place the oats in a food processor, blender, or grain attachment for a blender, and process until oats become flour-like in appearance.
Pour the oat flour into a large bowl and mix in the Vanilla Vegan+ Protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Puree the bananas and applesauce together in a blender or food processor. Stir into the dry ingredients until just combined. The batter will be very thick.
Fold in the chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds.
Scrape batter into the prepared pan, and smooth out evenly.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars or squares.
Enjoy, and feel the energy!