paleo

Fermented Ketchup recipe

When I started making fermented foods, I dove right into making all the things. I loved the idea that for thousands of years, this was how people preserved their harvest.

I’m often encouraging my patients to increase probiotic foods in their diet but am sometimes faced with comments of “but I hate sauerkraut!” Or “but I can’t eat dairy”. I get excited when I can share with people the fact that there are LOTS of options. You don’t have to like sauerkraut to enjoy the plethora of fermented foods.

Most people like ketchup and my guess is you’re probably looking for a way to “sneak” some probiotic foods into your kids diet too, am I right?

The way I’ve made my fermented ketchup over the years has evolved but this is the way I enjoy it best. I use either sauerkraut brine (sometimes kimchi brine) or whey (liquid runoff from yogurt) as the probiotic culture. You can use some from store-bought fermented veggies or you can purchase the brine separately from your natural foods market, make sure they are labeled “raw” or “probiotic” and are from the refrigerated section.

fermented ketchup

Fermented Ketchup

Ingredients

  • 2 6-oz cans tomato paste

  • 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed

  • 4 tbsp sauerkraut brine or whey

  • 1/4 cup raw honey

  • 2 tsp sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice

  • 1/4 tsp ground clove

Preparation

  1. Stir all ingredients into a pint-sized jar and blend fully with a hand blender/immersion blender.

  2. Cover loosely and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

  3. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

Note: If you are following the 21-Day Sugar Detox, see this recipe for a 21DSD friendly ketchup recipe that uses slow cooked green apples as the sweetener.

5 things the US food industry can learn from New Zealand

As you may have seen if you're following me on instagram, I've just spent the last 2 weeks in New Zealand. After only a few days in the country, I noticed some stark differences between how they do things and how the USA does things as it relates to food.

1. Checkout stands

The snacks at the checkout stands are on point. Great sources of protein and fat foods that are whole and mostly unprocessed. I'd take this over candy bars and gum anyday!

checkoutNZ

2. Gas station "convenience" foods

Fresh produce is accessible before you even enter the gas station shop! Of course there is still junk available inside should you desire it, but when was the last time you saw lemons, oranges, apples, avocados, and sweet potatoes easily accessible at the gas station?! Bravo, New Zealand.

conveniencestores

3. Yolk Porn

You know that feeling when you poke a poached egg with your fork and the yolk just runs? Well imagine that plus the dark orange yolk color! ALL the eggs in New Zealand are free-range, meaning the chickens have the freedom to roam and eat insects and worms as they are supposed to. Don't let US egg labels confuse you into thinking that chickens are supposed to be "vegetarian" fed. The naturally brighter orange color of NZ yolks signifies higher nutrient content in these eggs.

My first yolk
Yolkporn

4. Grocery variety

coconutyogurt

Dairy-free yogurts

Normally to buy dairy-free yogurts (without added gums, stabilizers, etc.) you need to go to a specialty store like PCC Natural Markets or Whole Foods. And even then, you can't find one without added sugar. How decadent would a coconut yogurt be when simply flavored with cocoa powder, real fruit, or not flavored at all?

Paleo granola and bars

These snacks are accessible by shopping online or at specialty stores in the States, but imagine being able to grab a low-sugar, high protein bar made from real food at your checkout stand or at least in your regular grocery store!

Fermented vegetables

Raw, fermented, probiotic sauerkrauts and pickles are available at the "regular" grocery store. How cool is that? This makes having probiotic foods easily accessible to everyone, not only the people who can afford to go to a special store for their shopping needs.

Well-fed animal foods

In the meat section of grocery stores, you will easily find grass-fed beef, venison, lamb and free range chicken. Interestingly, they don't even need to have a label because, shocker: the animals eating their natural diet is NORMAL. This also includes butter from grass-fed cows and eggs from free-range chickens.

Free fruit for children

Now I know Whole Foods and PCC have got this down, but I'm still waiting for "regular" groceries to take on this habit. I'm sure if someone asked, they would be open to giving a child some fruit, but it's currently not well-known.

5. Dining out

It was very easy to eat healthy while eating out, though we didn't do it every day. There was always a gluten-free option and several whole-food, low-sugar options that a customer could choose from when eating out. Above are some of the meals that I had when eating at general cafes or pubs (non-fancy).


I hope you enjoyed exploring how foods are different in New Zealand. This post is intended to show what it would look like to have an ideal food system. I also hope it has inspired you to think more regularly about how you can make better choices when buying food here in the States. As of right now (in order to be healthy), we have to constantly ask ourselves the questions of: Is there added sugar? Is this meal cooked with poor quality fats? Do I need all these carbs? How am I nourishing myself? And more. I pray that one day free-range, grass-fed, and organic will once again be the norm and not the minority. It starts with you.

Gluten-Free: Just because we can, doesn't mean we should

 

Many patients seek out my services for my "life-saving" meal plans after they receive news that they are sensitive to half the foods they eat on a regular basis. Gluten/wheat is almost always positive on these food sensitivity tests. Can you imagine your life without bread, pasta, crackers or tortillas? What would you eat instead of these gluten-containing foods?

A conversation I have often with patients, 21-Day Sugar Detox participants, peers, colleagues and family is that just because gluten-free "food" products are conveniently available doesn't mean we need to make them a regular part of our eating patterns.

Have you ever looked up "paleo recipes" on Pinterest before? Try it. You'll likely find tons of dessert recipes such as: fast food remakes, candy remakes, brownies, coffee cakes, cookies, etc. Don't get me wrong, some of these recipes can come in very handy if you're trying to make a "less-bad" dessert for a birthday or special occasion. The point I'm trying to make is that these foods still have sugar (even though it may be coming from honey, maple syrup, dates, or other fruits). Almond flour and tapioca starch can be great flour substitutes when making "paleo" treats, however we still don't want to overdo it with excessive PUFAs (read: fats more prone to oxidation when exposed to heat/light/air) found in almonds or the pure glucose (read: blood-sugar spikes) found in tapioca starch. Balance is key and only you can determine what that balance is.

This morning while I was making some carrot gingerbread muffins from the Practical Paleo cookbook (written by Diane Sanfilippo, author of the 21DSD program and cookbooks), I was thinking about how I hadn't made muffins in a few months. A few weeks ago I bought a gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread, but I didn't even finish the whole thing before it went bad. I'm mentioning this because I too take part in "gluten-free" sweets/treats on occasion; however with much less regularity than one may think.

Carrot Gingerbread muffins from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo

Carrot Gingerbread muffins from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo

Common symptoms you may be having if you're riding the blood sugar roller coaster:

  • Feeling hangry
  • Irritability
  • Cravings (especially sugar)
  • Regular acne
  • Fatigue (especially in afternoon)
  • Shakiness/Dizziness

If you experience some/all of these symptoms regularly, consider joining my next 21-Day Sugar Detox group. In my groups, we support you through the process of resetting your taste buds and eliminating sugar and carb cravings.

So next time you are eating out at a restaurant and they provide gluten-free pasta or offer to use gluten-free bread, show your appreciation for their consideration but know that it's still okay to get a more blood-sugar balancing entree or using a lettuce-wrap instead.