26 Feb Making Sauerkraut, the foundation of our gut health is fermented foods.
Fermented vegetables are vital to our gut health, gut ecology. Interestingly adding fermenting foods reduces sugar craving too. Sauerkraut is based on shredded cabbage. Fermented foods help restore gut flora, which is vital for immunity and good brain function. Evidence shows good gut flora enables us to handle stress better and keeping more balanced in mood, preventing depression. Also the overall impact on the body is to increase alkalinity and increase cleansing.
Vitamin C is locked into cabbage but when it is fermented it releases the vitamin C at extremely high and well absorbed levels. Also the amount of healthy good bacteria in fermented foods surpasses all supplements, it is a must we go back to fermenting to restore gut health.
Aim to include these on a regular basis.
Use organic, fresh vegetables. Wash and dry them thoroughly. Vary the vegetables according to taste.
- 1 cabbage e.g. savoy or napa or a mixture of white and red cabbage, shredded in a food processor
- 3 carrots, grated or chopped finely
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 125ml / 4floz / 1⁄2 cup warm water
It is important that fermentation is an anaerobic process i.e. push out the air!
Really massage the cabbage to break down the leaves for a better sauerkraut.
OPTION to use a starter culture by Body Ecology or add a probiotic.
Dissolve one or two packages of starter culture by Body Ecology in 1½ cup warm water. Add 1 tsp. of raw honey, maple syrup.
Let starter/sugar mixture sit for about 20 minutes or longer while the good bacteria “wake up” and begin enjoying the sugar.
Add this starter culture to the brine (step 4).
The following ingredients are added in stage 2, option to change spices/seeds to your taste.
- 1 tbsp root ginger, peeled and grated
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp dill seed
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- Place the vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
- Place the salt and water in a separate small bowl and stir to dissolve. Pour over the vegetables and massage the mixture with your hands.
- Remove several cups of this mixture and put into a blender.
- Add enough filtered water to make ‘brine’ the consistency of a thick juice. Blend well and then add brine back into first mixture. Stir well.
- Set aside at room temperature overnight to soften.
- The following day, drain, reserving the saltwater. Stir in the garlic, ginger, dill and fennel seeds to the cabbage mixture. Mix well.
- Tightly pack the mixture into a large glass jar with a lid. Pour over the saved saltwater and press it firmly so there is no trapped air and the cabbage is covered in its own juice, a potato masher is a useful implement for this!
- Fill container almost full, but leave about 2 inches of room at the top for veggies to expand.
- Roll up several cabbage leaves into a tight “log” and place them on top to fill the remaining 2 inch space. Clamp jar closed.
- Let veggies sit in a dark place, good to put into a insulated picnic bag/rucksack at room temperature (21C /70F) for at least three days. Refrigerate to slow down fermentation.
Refrigerate after opening. This will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
Aim to eat a portion of fermented vegetables daily, for fussy eaters aim to get a 1 tsp of the juice/brine into unheated foods or directly off a spoon and aim to increase. Babies and children who are weaned on fermented foods are happier and healthier, setting the stage for healthy immunity, gut flora, the very foundations of health.
To follow on youtube watch Donna Gates the founder of Body Ecology.