Wednesday, 8 April 2015

How to get your kids to eat fermented foods - Guacamole with Fermented Carrots

This guacamole dip with fermented carrots was how I first introduced fermented foods to my kids. I really cannot say enough about fermented foods and really believe they should be included in every daily meal. A traditional food to so many cultures as a means to preserve vegetables during the colder months (sauerkraut) or as a condiment (kim chi) has been replaced with convenient foods made with vinegar and other added ingredients to give the 'pickled' like taste without any of the beneficial properties.

It is wonderful to see how traditionally cultured fermented foods are becoming popular again. I remember growing up, my mum would make traditionally fermented carrots and cauliflower which would sit in the jars for at least 5 days before we could eat them. Then as we got older with more things to do, mum started using the cheat method by adding vinegar, sugar and they would be ready to eat with the same flavour in a few hours. I am now the one jarring up veggies and constantly nagging her to go back to her old ways!

How to get your kids to eat fermented foods - Guacamole with Fermented Carrots
How to get your kids to eat fermented foods - Guacamole with Fermented Carrots
If you are new to making fermented foods, it may seem daunting at first. It took me about 6 months to finally get it all together and start making fermented veggies as it became our last option to helping my son's recurrent clostridium difficile (C.diff) infection from which he was fighting since he was around 3 years old. It is listed as one of the 18 most dangerous pathogens for 2013 and is no joke. He suffered considerably with weight loss, excruciating tummy pains, lethargy, frequent illness, weakened immune system and embarrassing toilet accidents. I have so much gratitude for my wonderful holistic doctor who persevered with kind encouragement and taught me how to make this wonderful superfood.

We aim to have fermented veggies with every meal at home or if we are out all day I take fermented carrot sticks with us. The first time I tried giving the kids fermented carrots & cabbage to eat on it's own didn't work out well, so I finely chopped them up and mixed it in with some home made guacamole, the natural sour taste of the veggies complemented the guacamole perfectly and they gobbled it up without even knowing what was in there.

I'm always really happy when some of their friends sleep over and just join in and include the fermented veggies without even asking what they are. One of their friends even described the carrots to tasting just like olives and asked for more.

Some other ideas to get your kids to eat fermented foods:
  • Use fermented carrot sticks in a veggie platter for dipping
  • Use the nutritious brine in dressings or dips where a salty or sour flavour is needed
  • Offer grated fermented veggies as toppings for wraps or blinis
fermented carrot sticks
fermented carrot sticks - chop carrots, add salt, water and culture starter (if using). Wait 7 days. SIMPLE!

I serve my guacamole with veggie sticks (including fermented carrot sticks) or my all time favourite Paleo cracker recipe by Primal Girl. I have been using this recipe for pizza bases and crackers since I started my Paleo journey, you can see what else I have made with the recipe here.

I always use a culture starter (Body Ecology's Veggie Culture Starter) to ensure my batch always has the right bacteria as that is most important to me to heal my son's health issues and protect him from future issues. This is optional as using the right amount of salt is enough to prohibit the growth of bad bacteria while the good bacteria start working.

(If you live in Australia, you can order your Body Ecology products from here. Enter discount code 'loveurbelly' for 5% off or order direct from Body Ecology USA.)

Now, for the guacamole with fermented carrots recipe:

You will need:
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 tbsp chopped fermented carrots (or any preferred fermented veg)
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onion
  • juice of 1 lime or juice of half lime and 1 tbsp fermented brine juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Everything you need to make the guacomole - finely chop the fermented carrots so the kids won't notice ;)

  • Halve the avocado and remove pit
  • Scrape the soft avocado flesh into a medium sized bowl, I find scraping makes less work mashing (if you prefer you guacamole chunky, score the flesh and spoon it out in chunks)
  • Add the chopped coriander, spring onions, fermented carrots, salt and juice of lime (or half lime/brine)
  • Mix until combined
  • Taste and adjust as necessary (add more salt or lime juice)
  • Serve with crackers or veggie sticks.
How to get your kids to eat fermented foods - Guacamole with Fermented Carrots
Watch the kids devour!
Hope you enjoy :) May xx

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