Change your Skin with 'Ferment Your Vegetables'

A few of Amanda's colorful ferments. Recipes found in Ferment Your Vegetables.

A few of Amanda's colorful ferments. Recipes found in Ferment Your Vegetables.

The word 'fermented' doesn't exactly evoke beauty. Which is why it may come as a surprise that fermented foods are one of the essentials in any beauty-boosting diet.

To put it simply, the radiance of your skin mirrors the health and function of your digestive tract. The better you're able to break down and assimilate all of those beauty foods you're eating, the more your skin will glow and your body will thrive. Keeping your gut's population of good bacteria happy supports your immunity, healthy weight, and emotional wellbeing, and it also helps make sure that there are good bacteria living in other places in and on your body—like on your skin, where they defend against a host of skin issues.

Even if you're already growing conscious of your gut health, thanks to all the recent attention on the power of our microbiome to do things like alter our mood and influence our weight, you may not know how to make your daily diet more supportive of your gut. That's where Ferment Your Vegetables comes in.

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My first helping at the Ferment Your Vegetables luncheon.

My first helping at the Ferment Your Vegetables luncheon.

This truly inspirational, delicious, and beautifying collection of fermented recipes was written by Amanda Feifer, an incredibly talented friend. Amanda's been fermenting for years (I made my very first jar of kimchi in one of her DIY classes years ago), so she's way, way ahead of most of us who are just catching on to the fermentation trend. But even though Amanda's an absolute pro with an amazing blog brimming with her fermentation knowledge and recipes, she's incredibly humble, and offers unwavering support about the ability of anyone—truly anyone—to ferment at home. Just talking to her about fermentation is a confidence builder, because she makes it sound so foolproof. Turns out, with her cookbook in hand, it actually is.

To celebrate the launch of Ferment Your Vegetables, Amanda invited her friends to an incredible spread of her fermented recipes. I have to share this with you because it was my dream lunch invitation. She laid out a feast of krauts and kimchis, kombuchas and pickles. I got to taste so many of the recipes she shares in Ferment Your Vegetables, and there wasn't a single bad one in the bunch.

Curried Cauliflower Pickles in progress.

Curried Cauliflower Pickles in progress.

At left is one of my recent recipes in progress from her cookbook—Curried Cauliflower Pickles, made after the original jar of cauliflower pickles she gave me disappeared within days, leaving my household hungry for more. Now, this is my first ferment of cauliflower, and it stinks. Waay more than sauerkraut. I had to leave it in our basement to ferment. But it was worth it. The 4-ingredient recipe couldn't be easier (remember when I said foolproof?!). And the results are delicious. As a bonus, if you make the Curried Cauliflower Pickles on page 52 of Ferment Your Vegetables, you can make the Curried Cauliflower Picnic Salad recipe that accompanies it (I used vegan mayo in my version and it was delicious), which was one of the highlights of Amanda's fermentation spread for me. I could eat it all the time. Come to think of it, my skin would love that.

Just to note, if you're just beginning to incorporate fermented foods into your diet, start slow. Even a few bites or a 1/4 cup serving of fermented kraut or kimchi contains a powerful dose of probiotics! Aim to eat a small serving each day, and you'll be doing something amazing for your health and beauty this year.

And grab a copy of Ferment Your Vegetables to support you in your journey!