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I need to eat more fermented foods.  I want to do it, but I just don’t prefer them.  At all.  Ugh!

I could go into the reasons, but they are not important.  (Ok, the worst one involves a childhood experience involving a very sweet neighbor who made kimchi every Sunday for the entire 18 mos we lived next door.  We shared a wall, and everything, I mean everything, in our home smelled like kimchi. Clothes. Toys.  Bedding. The only escape was walking outside to a sea wall, where the wind was pretty strong.)

Kombucha has been a major fail - Admittedly I’ve only tried commercial brands.  

So, if one wanted to slowly introduce some fermented foods, what would be the easiest way?  

 

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I sympathize with you. No matter what I do, I don’t like most fermented foods and I have accepted that.  The only kombucha I can even tolerate is one from an Mennonite family.  Otherwise, most make my stomach hurt if the smell doesn’t get me first.   

Edited by itsheresomewhere
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We eat lots of fermented foods!  I'm not a kombucha fan in general as it is too sweet for me.  But I love condiment-type fermented foods.  Fermented winter radishes are probably my favorite.  They STINK to high heaven but taste amazing.  I feel similarly about sauerkraut and fermented beets and turnips.  I make all of these using the methods in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook.  I'll use them as a condiment or sandwich topping on just about anything but we tend to eat them almost daily with breakfast eggs or bagels.

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Do you have allergies? If so, it could be your aversion to fermented foods is because they’re high in histamine and make your allergies worse. They make mine worse.  It’s not as bad as pork or lunch meat, but it might be worse than sharp cheese. 

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Well if the smell turned my stomach I definitely wouldn't try fermenting anything yourself. I mean, it’s hard to get right even for people who don’t mind the process.

Do you have local fermentories? Here our farm markets are full of people who make fermented foods and they always offer samples. I’d start there, talk to a producer and try small amounts of whatever they suggest might be mild enough.

Also good for you for being open minded! 🙂 

Edited by MEmama
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I think sauerkraut is probably the easiest. And homemade sauerkraut is sooo much better than anything you can buy in the US. I recommend investing in a water seal fermentation pot.

If you’re not sure if you like sauerkraut, this brand is a good one to try: https://lepanierfrancais.com/andre-laurent-choucroute-with-lardons-and-champagne-1881176349  
 

Dh likes a brand called Bubbie’s, but for me it doesn’t have the right flavor.

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11 minutes ago, Katy said:

Do you have allergies? If so, it could be your aversion to fermented foods is because they’re high in histamine and make your allergies worse. They make mine worse.  It’s not as bad as pork or lunch meat, but it might be worse than sharp cheese. 

Oh, that’s an interesting point.  I don’t have seasonal allergies, but do have lots of food, med allergies and some sort of mast cell activation thing going on.  

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7 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Well if the smell turned my stomach I definitely wouldn't try fermenting anything yourself. I mean, it’s hard to get right even for people who don’t mind the process.

Do you have local fermentories? Here our farm markets are full of people who make fermented foods and they always offer samples. I’d start there, talk to a producer and try small amounts of whatever they suggest might be mild enough.

Also good for you for being open minded! 🙂 

Oh, great idea!  Our farmer’s markets are just starting up, so I’ll check those out.

And, yes, I’m reluctant to try fermenting my own stuff.  Visions of the childhood kimchi experience, aaack.  My doc keeps encouraging it, but ... eh.  Nope. 🤣

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Do you like pickles?

Seems like the perfect gateway drug.

Perhaps you could make or purchase "half-sours?" 

Half-sours are fermented, but just barely. Still crunchy.

Bill

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Another possibility, Miso.

Miso comes in a continuum of styles, from light-blonde to almost black with flavor profiles that match.

If you make miso soup, don't boil the Miso. Thin it in a separate bowl first, then add at the last minute with the soup-base off the boil. Don't want to kill off the live cultures.

Bill

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3 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

Another possibility, Miso.

Miso comes in a continuum of styles, from light-blonde to almost black with flavor profiles that match.

If you make miso soup, don't boil the Miso. Thin it in a separate bowl first, then add at the last minute with the soup-base off the boil. Don't want to kill off the live cultures.

Bill

I was just coming back to suggest miso! There are lots of kinds, some are strong but others are very mild so do your research first. 

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27 minutes ago, Spryte said:

Oh, that’s an interesting point.  I don’t have seasonal allergies, but do have lots of food, med allergies and some sort of mast cell activation thing going on.  

Do NOT eat fermented foods with mast cell stuff going on.  You’ll get very sick. Just avoid them and eat a wider variety of foods, especially plant foods. 

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32 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

Do you like pickles?

Seems like the perfect gateway drug.

Perhaps you could make or purchase "half-sours?" 

Half-sours are fermented, but just barely. Still crunchy.

Bill

Bubbies brand pickles at the health food stores are soooo good. Fermented, but nothing like kombucha. They just taste like extra pickle-y pickles. 

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There is absolutely no reason you cannot love fermented foods. You just have to know how to use them in ways you can love them and yes, you can use them in western food.

Yogurt is my number 1. If I can recommend anything about the Instant pot, it practically makes yogurt itself. I like it because it means I am in charge of the ingredients. But nothing wrong in store bought with probiotics.  You can make curries with it, vegetables with it. My comfort food is something called yogurt rice. I can suggest recipes if wanted.

Miso is my next. Japanese. Basically use it with soup and curries again. I also make miso soup a lot. It is such a gentle flavor and you can add all sorts of stuff to it.

Tempeh is another. I cook with it and add chopped up versions to ground meat mostly. It is from Indonesia I think.

Natto is also from Japan. It is a type of fermented soya bean. I can explain the process more in detail in how to use it. But this is versatile because we add it in miso soup, rice, curries and in western food like mashed potatoes, tuna salad, omelettes and deviled eggs. 

DH and DD the brave eat kimchi but itself. DS and I prefer it cooked. We eat it mostly with noodles.

 

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6 minutes ago, Kanin said:

Bubbies brand pickles at the health food stores are soooo good. Fermented, but nothing like kombucha. They just taste like extra pickle-y pickles. 

Bubbies makes really good pickles. I do wish they also made "half sours."

A half sour should look like this:

bigstock-Homemade-Fresh-Dill-Pickle-2817

Easy to make at home.

Bill

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1 minute ago, Spy Car said:

Bubbies makes really good pickles. I do wish they also made "half sours."

A half sour should look like this:

bigstock-Homemade-Fresh-Dill-Pickle-2817

Easy to make at home.

Bill

Yum!! 

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40 minutes ago, Katy said:

Do NOT eat fermented foods with mast cell stuff going on.  You’ll get very sick. Just avoid them and eat a wider variety of foods, especially plant foods. 

Oh, yikes.  I see my doc soon, so hopefully we can pick up on the MCAS possibilities where we left off pre-Covid.  If I get that ruled out, on to the fermented foods!  (Yay?  Ok, not ready to say yay to that yet, but trying.) Thanks for the heads up!  


 

These are all great suggestions!  I can do some yogurt/kefir but dairy makes me twitchy as DD is anaphylactic to it.  Pickles and sauerkraut are looking like things to try, as soon as I get the go ahead from the doc. I do like miso and tempeh as well, and didn’t really think of them as fermented, so that’s a win.

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I have three really great food "weaknesses."

Cherrys, really dark chocolate (85% and up), and--most improbally--buttermilk. Don't gag. LOL.

At the start of "lockdown" last March, not knowing when/if we'd have access to fresh fluid milk again, I figured I'd try to stretch shelf-life of a portion of our milk by fermenting some using delicious Knudsens buttermilk as my starter and then cycling forward as availability of milk allowed.

Well the world didn't shut down. We had food options beyond eating dandelions from the yard (made some delicious salads from gathering "weeds") and we discovered Instacart. Got Milk? Indeed.

The milk fermentation went well. First batch was perfect. Next couple batches the balance was OK, but not optimal. But then the culture hit its stride. I was churning out gallons of primo buttermilk.

Did I mention I have a weakness? With an unlimited supply, I found myself indulging. No will power. Seemed OK at first, but the pants seemed to be getting a little tighter.

I'd heard of "beer-bellies," but a "buttermilk belly?" A new one on me.

Had to do a self-intervention and close down my buttermilk factory. Sad. Just not enough self-control. LOL.

Bill

 

 

Edited by Spy Car
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38 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

Bubbies makes really good pickles. I do wish they also made "half sours."

A half sour should look like this:

bigstock-Homemade-Fresh-Dill-Pickle-2817

Easy to make at home.

Bill

Ba-Tampte half sours DO look like that, but only if you live on the East Coast.  They have continued to ferment while they wend their way to you...

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2 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I don't know if it counts as fermented but I have improved my gut health by adding ground flaxseeds to my food.  An easy way to do it is to add a tablespoon to some applesauce.  Or of course flaxseed muffins! 

Oh!  Excellent idea!  Thank you!

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3 hours ago, Spryte said:

I need to eat more fermented foods.  I want to do it, but I just don’t prefer them.  At all.  Ugh!

I could go into the reasons, but they are not important.  (Ok, the worst one involves a childhood experience involving a very sweet neighbor who made kimchi every Sunday for the entire 18 mos we lived next door.  We shared a wall, and everything, I mean everything, in our home smelled like kimchi. Clothes. Toys.  Bedding. The only escape was walking outside to a sea wall, where the wind was pretty strong.)

Kombucha has been a major fail - Admittedly I’ve only tried commercial brands.  

So, if one wanted to slowly introduce some fermented foods, what would be the easiest way?  

 

Just out of curiosity, why do you need to eat more fermented foods?

I tend to believe that a strong negative reaction to something means it's not for you.  Given what @Katy has said, I don't know that I'd push past that.  

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18 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Just out of curiosity, why do you need to eat more fermented foods?

I tend to believe that a strong negative reaction to something means it's not for you.  Given what @Katy has said, I don't know that I'd push past that.  

My doc has been encouraging it for years.  But - to be fair - we have not discussed it since the possible MCAS issues came into the picture.  I’m going to wait, based on Katy’s comments, till I talk to the doc in person soon.

Doc was encouraging it for gut related issues, but it’s been a while, so I’ll wait and see.  She might not lean that way anymore!

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2 hours ago, Spryte said:

Oh, yikes.  I see my doc soon, so hopefully we can pick up on the MCAS possibilities where we left off pre-Covid.  If I get that ruled out, on to the fermented foods!  (Yay?  Ok, not ready to say yay to that yet, but trying.) Thanks for the heads up!  


 

These are all great suggestions!  I can do some yogurt/kefir but dairy makes me twitchy as DD is anaphylactic to it.  Pickles and sauerkraut are looking like things to try, as soon as I get the go ahead from the doc. I do like miso and tempeh as well, and didn’t really think of them as fermented, so that’s a win.

If you want to, maybe, but forcing yourself to eat something you have an aversion to may not be the answer to gut problems. The better answer is probably to log what you what you eat and track bad gut issues with what you had in the previous 36 hours. If the problem is histamine, eating more histamine than your body can break down genetically will never make you feel good.  You'll get sick every time. I think this is the real reason a few large religions ban pork.  It's too high in histamine.

I also need to watch out for too much fructose (especially dried cranberries or anything with high fructose corn syrup), onions (especially raw onions), or too much fat (especially cream or any of the fats on those gut-restoring diets).  I also don't do well on most sugar alcohols that are in "diet" foods. 

Elixa probiotics and one serving of greek yogurt mixed with a tablespoon of potato starch per day healed my gut so fast my food allergies went away.  But I still have seasonal and mold allergies, and they get worse when I eat more than a bit of yogurt, cheese, or day-old meat per day.  And too many histamines in food (ie: smoked ham or bacon) will also give me diarrhea.  Even a few slices of pepperoni pizza, which I think clogs many people up.

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4 hours ago, YaelAldrich said:

Ba-Tampte half sours DO look like that, but only if you live on the East Coast.  They have continued to ferment while they wend their way to you...

It is hit and miss here in LA.

Mostly Ba-Tampte half sours here are "3/4s" (which are still quite good) but once in awhile I see them perfectly half sour and never resist a purchase.

Fortunately half sours are easy to make (and actually take less time to ferment that fully fermented pickles) so I commonly make my own. My wife, who is now fully vaccinated, has been enjoying her sense of liberation and has been hitting markets for the first time in over a year. She came home the other day with a bag full of especially delicious looking Persian cucumbers (not my usual choice) and requested pickles. We just knocked off the batch. They were good.

About a dozen years back I took a pickle making workshop with "the pickle rabbi" (Shmuley Markus) who also happens to be the lead singer of the hasidic rock band 8th Day. Do you know their "hit" song  Ya'alili?

I should get water kefir going again. I think I have a spare package of grains stashed away here somewhere. I was in a groove making it for a while. Not sure what happened. A nice refreshing drink with summer approaching. thanks for the reminder.

Bill

 

 

 

 

Edited by Spy Car
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3 hours ago, Spryte said:

My doc has been encouraging it for years.  But - to be fair - we have not discussed it since the possible MCAS issues came into the picture.  I’m going to wait, based on Katy’s comments, till I talk to the doc in person soon.

Doc was encouraging it for gut related issues, but it’s been a while, so I’ll wait and see.  She might not lean that way anymore!

Had to google MCAs I would absolutely not try anything without a doctor 

Coconut milk yogurt could be an alternative for dairy. We make it at home, again IP. 

How often do you use miso and tempeh ? Better question, when did you last use them ? 

Hope you can find something.

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8 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

Had to google MCAs I would absolutely not try anything without a doctor 

Coconut milk yogurt could be an alternative for dairy. We make it at home, again IP. 

How often do you use miso and tempeh ? Better question, when did you last use them ? 

Hope you can find something.

Miso and tempeh - it’s been years.  Literally!  Unless I’m a restaurant.

Kids here have so many allergies, I have to work around those in the house kitchen.  

I should try making coconut milk yogurt.  DD loves the So Delicious brand, so I know she likes it!

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Agreeing that fermented foods ramp up my histamine issues. I knew I didn't like it, but I REALLY didn't like it when I broke into hives.

I do probiotics instead, and can tolerate those.

This is fascinating.  And unfortunate.  So sorry you deal with it, too.

Makes me appreciate the aversion, or I might have really made things worse, yikes.

So glad I posted, you are all the best resource.  

(ok, do I have to admit to doing a teeny tiny happy dance at putting off working in more fermented foods?! Lol)
 

Edited by Spryte
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3 minutes ago, Spryte said:

This is fascinating.  

Makes me appreciate the aversion, or I might have really made things worse, yikes.

So glad I posted, you are all the best resource.  

(ok, do I have to admit to doing a teeny tiny happy dance at putting off working in more fermented foods?! Lol)
 

Sorry if posting photos of delicious looking pickles might have tempted you to the dark side.

Bill

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1 minute ago, Spy Car said:

Sorry if posting photos of delicious looking pickles might have tempted you to the dark side.

Bill

It definitely did.  😁

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35 minutes ago, Spryte said:

This is fascinating.  And unfortunate.  So sorry you deal with it, too.

Makes me appreciate the aversion, or I might have really made things worse, yikes.

So glad I posted, you are all the best resource.  

(ok, do I have to admit to doing a teeny tiny happy dance at putting off working in more fermented foods?! Lol)
 

I didn’t used to have an aversion, but I started noting that every time I tried to eat “healthier” by incorporating trendy foods instead of simply more fruits & vegetables I got sick. It was predictable and took less than 3 days.  Then my  aunt said to try avoiding vinegar, her allergies improved when she started avoiding foods with it. I went to google, discovered histamine intolerance, and my health improved dramatically. Now I avoid pretty much everything but yogurt. 

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39 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

I figured. Are you outraged, or are we good? :tongue:

This place sometimes.

Bill

 

Just craving pickles.  Ha!

All good.  

Now if anyone tells me coffee increases histamines, fingers will go in ears and lalalalalala.  

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2 minutes ago, Spryte said:

 

Now if anyone tells me coffee increases histamines, fingers will go in ears and lalalalalala.  

Oh, honey. I do have bad news. The beans themselves are low histamine but the caffeine can ramp up the histamine release. It starts about 30 minutes in and lasts for a couple of hours.

Decaf and organic are your best bets.

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4 minutes ago, Spryte said:

Just craving pickles.  Ha!

All good.  

Now if anyone tells me coffee increases histamines, fingers will go in ears and lalalalalala.  

I will NEVER, EVER be THAT person.

Mmm...coffee.

Bill

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2 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Oh, honey. I do have bad news. The beans themselves are low histamine but the caffeine can ramp up the histamine release. It starts about 30 minutes in and lasts for a couple of hours.

Decaf and organic are your best bets.

Wait, what was that?  I can’t really hear... you’re breaking up... lalalalala.

 

😁

 

(Thanks.  I will just have to suffer the effects of that one. The morning espresso here is non-negotiable. 🤣)

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4 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I came to the same conclusion and embrace my immunosuppressants, H1 and H2 inhibitors with joy.

Drink in peace.

 

Slave to the bean!  I can give up almost anything but not quite desperate enough to give up the beans.  

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Spryte, in your OP you state that you need to eat more fermented foods. Are you looking for the probiotic benefits?  If so, there are certain strains of probiotics that are supposed to be better for those who want to avoid eating histamine.  Here's one option, but I'm sure there are others.  Do your own research to verify what strains you want and what strains you want to avoid.  Some strains increase histamine levels, so it pays to read labels carefully.

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1 hour ago, klmama said:

Spryte, in your OP you state that you need to eat more fermented foods. Are you looking for the probiotic benefits?  If so, there are certain strains of probiotics that are supposed to be better for those who want to avoid eating histamine.  Here's one option, but I'm sure there are others.  Do your own research to verify what strains you want and what strains you want to avoid.  Some strains increase histamine levels, so it pays to read labels carefully.

Thanks!  I will check that one out, and look for more. It’s already in the cart.  I have been taking Visbiome most recently.  But it never occurred to me that probiotics/fermented foods might impact the histamine issue. (Sigh)  I’m not even positive about the histamine issue, yet, though doc speculated that could be the cause of frequent mystery hives.  
 

I’ll probably wait, at this point, to make any major changes. I have a lot going on and don’t want to start a domino effect.

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