Fermented Foods Glossary (Slideshow)

Hankering for some probiotics? Check out these 11 fermented foods.

  • Yogurt

    Yogurt: A fermented milk product that can also be made from nondairy milks like almond, coconut, and soy. If you don’t make your own, look for yogurt with live, active cultures.

  • Tempeh

    Tempeh: Made from whole, fermented soybeans, tempeh has a nutty, smoky, mushroomlike flavor and is best eaten cooked. Because of its firm, chewy texture, tempeh is often used as a meat substitute. (For more, see Natural Wonder: Tempeh.)

  • Kombucha

    Kombucha: A lightly effervescent drink made from sweetened tea that’s been fermented with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). If you make it at home, vary the flavor by adding juices, fruit, or even chia seeds.

  • Miso

    Miso: A savory, complex soybean, rice, or barley paste fermented with a mold called koji. It is a good salt alternative in soups, sauces, spreads, salad dressings, and marinades.

  • Fish-Sauce

    Fish sauce, tamari, and shrimp paste: Found in Asian markets, these fermented products are great additions to salad dressings, marinades, and stir-fries.

  • Sauerkraut

    Sauerkraut: Made by fermenting finely chopped cabbage, sauerkraut is simple to make. If you want to purchase it, look for a good-quality one sold in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

  • Pickles

    Pickles: Make your own or look for fermented pickles, which are in the refrigerated section. The pickles found in grocery aisles are made using heat and vinegar, both of which kill good bacteria.

  • Kefir

    Kefir: Fermented milk made with a yeast and bacterial fermentation starter called “grains,” kefir is a thick-yet-pourable drink that’s wonderful served on its own or with nuts and fruit.

  • Sourdough

    Sourdough: Sourdough bread contains the bacteria lactobacilli that ferment the dough, give the bread its tangy flavor — and make it easier to digest than traditional yeast breads. Easy to make if you keep a starter on hand.

  • Vinegar

    Vinegar: Made by fermenting wine, cider, or beer, vinegar can be splashed on many savory dishes for added tang and a nutrient boost. And after your meal, you can mix some with a little baking soda to clean the kitchen.


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