I found a kale salad at the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market two weeks ago. It was the best kale salad I have ever had. It is not something offered every week from OmGrown Family Farms, so I asked the owner Aimee if she would share the recipe with The News-Review. She was thrilled to do so!

OmGrown Family Farms is located in Winston. You can find it at the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market the first three Saturdays of the month. The market is located at the First United Methodist Church, 1771 W. Harvard Ave.

They sell tea and tinctures from herbs they grew or wild harvested. They also make a lot of fermented foods. OmGrown is famous around town for their tasty Kombucha. If you have never had Kombucha, it is a fermented tea usually sweetened with fruit. You can find Aimee’s Kombucha daily at Harvest Store, D.C. Farm Co-op, Cascadian Coffee, Two Shy Brewery, Drapers Brewery, Oran Mor Meadery and Big Lick Farm Stand.

Do you eat many fermented foods? If not, you should give them a try. Fermented foods are full of natural probiotics that feed our gut microbiome. Did you know that we have trillions of living bacteria in our bodies? We have as many microbes in us as we do human cells. Our gut microbiome controls our digestive health, affects our moods and helps the immune system function. Most of our microbes are friendly and beneficial, but we can get an overgrowth of bad microbes leading to many health problems.

Candida is one you hear about often. It is a fungus that we all have and is normally kept in balance. Candida loves sugar and can easily get out of control. Symptoms of candida overgrowth can range from bad breath, insomnia, gas, bloating, mood swings, brain fog to painful and swelling joints. When candida gets overgrown you will need to remove sugar from your diet and crowd out the bad guys with good probiotics found in fermented foods or probiotic supplements.

Popular fermented foods are sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, tempeh, kombucha and miso. OmGrown Family Farm makes great sauerkraut too. When buying sauerkraut, you need to get the unpasteurized varieties found in the refrigerator. Pasteurization kills off all the healthy bacteria. Sherms has a few in the refrigerator area in the natural food section. You will also find the Miso Master Organic Chickpea Miso used in this recipe in the same area.

Another great thing for our gut microbes is fiber. The indigestible plant fibers found in kale and many vegetables are the perfect food for the good bacteria in our guts. The more we feed the good bacteria the more they will grow and the more they will push out the unfriendly bacteria in our gut. I love finding foods that taste great and have so many health benefits. Enjoy!

Beth Schultz is a nutritional therapist and member of the Douglas County Moms.

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