Probiotic…and Tasty, Too

Find these fermented foods and beverages at Northern Virginia farmers markets and stores.

Number 1 Sons

Arlington-based Number 1 Sons has recently acquired some new customers. “Doctors and health care professionals contact us because they want to refer their patients,” co-owner Caitlin Roberts says. “It’s pretty cool to be thought of as medicine.”

Number 1 Sons’ kimchis, krauts and pickles are all produced by combining vegetables with salt, water and spices and leaving them for a time in a sealed barrel devoid of oxygen. That’s where the probiotic bacteria that aid digestion are born.

Pick up Number 1 Sons products at farmers markets in Crystal City, Courthouse, Mosaic and Westover, where as many as 12 products are for sale. Or, visit area grocers like MOM’s Organic Market (Mosaic District) or The Organic Butcher of McLean. Roberts recommends topping a bed of kraut with a fried egg for breakfast or nestling some into a grilled- cheese sandwich.

Farmstead Ferments

Fermented foods have benefits beyond gut health, according to Dawn Story, the founder of Charlottesville’s Farmstead Ferments. “Fermented foods are pre-digested, making it easier [for your body] to unleash vitamins and minerals,” she says. “Easier digestion frees up the body to focus on other things, like healing a scar.”

Her products include sauerkraut flavors like apple kraut and carrot curry; water kefir soda; and kraut juice, which she calls her “secret weapon” in the kitchen. “Anything I’m sautéing or simmering gets a splash to turn up the flavor and add health benefits,” she says.

Get your hands on Farmstead Ferments at Arlington’s Whole Foods Market or through Relay Foods, which has pickup locations in Virginia Square, Courthouse, McLean and Crystal City.

Craft Kombucha

Kombucha is one of the oldest beverages out there. (Those alive during China’s Qin Dynasty in 220 B.C. were drinking the fermented tea for its health benefits.) Today you’ll find Tanya Maynigo-Loucks, the founder of Craft Kombucha, putting a new twist on the ancient product by drawing inspiration from the craft beer industry.Her Bavarian Falcon flavor, for example, is made with Falconer’s Flight hops and Bavarian wheat malt that should remind sippers of Blue Moon’s Belgian White.

While Maynigo-Loucks recognizes the detoxifying benefits of kombucha, she also touts the taste. “It can be enjoyed as a regular beverage with breakfast, lunch, even happy hour,” she says. You’ll find Craft Kombucha on draft at the Mosaic Central Farmers Market and at South Block Juice Co. locations in Clarendon and East Falls Church, where you can fill up pints and growlers. www.craft

Categories: Food & Drink