Fall is a time that I feel inspired with food… making good food, going to potlucks and remembering to slow down when I eat. The hustle of summer is over and now is a time for introspection and connection. In Chinese Medicine Fall is associated with the Metal Element and the organ system: Lung and Large Intestine. The flavor of Fall is pungent or expansive and the complimentary flavor is astringent. To help preserve and nourish our Lungs and Large Intestine we need both expansion and contraction. My favorite foods to make this time of year are fermented foods. I recently got a couple really amazing birthday gifts that have super inspired me on my fermented journey. 1) Fermented Vegetables book by Christopher and Kirsten Shockey and 2) Easy Fermentor Kit by Nourished Essentials (a local Portland company). I cannot recommend the Easy Fermentor enough… it makes fermenting so much easier and I love that the end result is already in a mason jar, perfect for storage! So far I have made a few different sauerkrauts and fermented veggie combos that are not only super tasty, but also really beautiful to look at on my plate as well. Fermented foods are a perfect food for Fall, because they really preserve and enhance the flavors of this time of year, extending these flavors through the cold winter months. Fermented foods are both expansive and contractive which is in harmony with the nature of this season and supportive of our lovely Lungs and Large Intestine. Our Large Intestine appreciates all the lovely probiotics and restorative function of fermented foods to give us healthy gut flora and our Lungs really appreciate when we put some pungent foods into our fermentation like ginger and garlic.
One of my favorite fermented combinations I have really enjoyed is: cauliflower, beets, daikon, cabbage and ginger. The flavors are balanced from a TCM perspective because they have all five flavors: sweet, sour/astringent, salty, pungent and bitter. I also made a Kimchi inspired blend that is super spicy and I feel like it really keeps my Lungs clear to boost my immune system.