Scoot over, sauerkraut. All sorts of fermented veggies are popping up on shelves everywhere. Though everyone from the Germans to the Japanese have been preserving food this way for centuries, new research on the perks of live bacteria cultures has created a buzz among foodies and health fanatics. Not to be mistaken for pickling, lacto-fermentation is a process that uses good bacteria (yes, those exist) to create delicious, nutrient-rich foods. Packed with probiotics, digestive enzymes, and metabolism-and-immune-boosting vitamins, these trendy eats are tasty, too. According to Jordan Aversman, co-owner of the locally based Fab Ferments, with the nutritional benefit comes tons of flavor.
Top: Italian Pepper and Onion Relish, made with fresh sweet peppers, garlic, onions, oregano, and Celtic sea salt; $10 for a 16-ounce reusable glass jar. Bottom: Fab Ferments Seaweed Sensation, with three varieties of hand-harvested seaweed from the Maine Coast, local cabbage, green onions, bok choy, leeks, and Celtic sea salt; $10 for a 16-ounce reusable glass jar; both at fabferments.com