I love lacto-fermentation. I love the idea of increasing the digestibility of foods as well as some pro-biotic benefits. So far I've fermented alot of squash, carrots and garlic.
I want to expand my horizons. HOWEVER- obvious choices such as saurkraut don't interest me (not due to flavor) but due to me trying to improve my thyroid as much as possible. I would also like to get away from carotene as well as I seem to be going quite orange. Can you throw some ideas at me!?
Do you think there is any merit to fermenting white starchy foods, ie white fleshed sweet potato? Would you eat this raw if chopped, acidic and juicy? There doesnt seem to be much tradition for the fermentation of 'safe starches' but I feel this is probably because they preserve well on their own?
I lacto-ferment the following:
home made yogurt (and also make yogurt cheese using said yogurt) http://www.healthhomehappy.com/2011/07/making-scdgaps-yogurt-in-the-dehydrator.html
home made sour cream http://divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/2012/05/how-to-make-sour-cream/
home made salsa http://paleodietlifestyle.com/fermented-food-recipes/
home made ketchup (am thinking about mustard) http://gnowfglins.com/2010/06/16/lacto-fermented-homemade-ketchup/
bread & butter pickles (from cucumbers) http://paleodietlifestyle.com/fermented-food-recipes/
I've been considering the idea of fermenting my home made applesauce.
The benefits are as you suggested but I also like the fact that when lacto fermenting things they last longer, ie: mayo lasts 6-8 weeks, etc. So I'm actually finishing off what I make instead of tossing things that go off because I can't eat them in 4 days.
edit: added links *note: to lacto ferment just about anything all you really need to add is either plain yogurt or 2 TBsp of whey drained from plain yogurt (ie: salas, add whey, sour cream, add yogurt)
Do you like beets? Pickled beets are easy to make. Fruit chutneys aren't too hard either. Do you by chance have a copy of Sandor Katz' book, Wild Fermentation? (He's got a new one coming out soon too, which I've pre-ordered.) TONS of ideas in there.
Also kombucha and water kefir save me during the summer. If you do dairy, regular kefir is easy as well, but I do better with the non-dairy ferments.
I know in the not-too-distant past (2 generations back) my predecessors pickled watermelon for the winter, although I believe it was done using a salt & vinegar brine. I had it once and found it terrible, but my dad liked it, having had it a few times as a kid. You could probably ferment a variety of fruits...
A few fermented drink recipes were shared here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/116532/do-you-have-any-fermented-drink-recipes-to-share-plus-3-cool-fermented-drink#axzz1uZzvBtye
Starches have traditionally been fermented into alcoholic beverages. Really should pick up a copy if Sandor Katz's new book if you are into expanding your fermentation horizons. I just saw him speak, he was awesome and it seems like 10 years more research has enriched his new work.