Here’s one time you can step away from your fear and fall in LOVE with BUGS! Yeah, you’ve got it.. stomach bugs!! This is one of my favorite topics and I’ll tell you why. It’s SO important. Our gut is our lifeline. Everything happens or doesn’t happen in our gut. It’s time to take really good care of it. And, that means bringing in some good bacteria and repopulating that gut flora.
And, there’s a wonderful way to do this besides taking a probiotic supplement or eating yogurt. FERMENTING your own food! First off, it’s simple. There’s nothing to fermenting various foods and it’s so much fun. There’s something about putting your energy into the food you make that just feels really good.
Fermenting food came naturally to our ancestors. They were so wise and just knew what their bodies needed. Unfortunately, it is now a forgotten art and I want to bring it back.
Look at the various conditions today that are connected to the gut..
You may wonder why we have more BAD bugs than GOOD bugs.. something our ancestors did not suffer from. Think about it….
- Processed Food
- Chlorinated Tap Water
- Environmental Toxins
- The Pill
While we need antibiotics from time to time or have no choice at times when it comes to some of the toxins we come into contact with, we can think about bringing in some good bacteria. After all, our immune system resides in the gut.
A Healthy Gut = A Healthy Body = A Healthy Mind
So, here are some of the benefits of Fermented Foods:
- Aid in digestion
- Reduce inflammation
- Produce B-Vitamins
- Help extract good nutrients from foods
- Help prevent cancer
Books I Recommend:
The Inside Tract by Gerald Mulliin & Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
How to Make Fermented Cabbage
- 1 large head of green or purple cabbage (organic if possible)
- 1 large carrot, optional
- caraway seeds, optional (1/2 tsp or to taste)
- filtered or spring water
- celtic sea salt
Using either a grater, mandolin, food processor or a good old-fashioned knife, get the cabbage into the size you prefer. If you use a food processor, use the shredding blade. The cabbage will be shredded into tiny pieces. If you slice by hand, you may prefer larger pieces. Just know that it’s all good.
Grate the carrot if you are using it; add caraway seeds and celtic salt (or sea salt). I usually use @ 1 tablespoon of a good quality sea salt (you can taste the cabbage as you go along to make sure you have enough salt. You don’t want to salt too much in the beginning – you can always add more when you’re done.
In a large bowl (glass, stainless steel, plastic), Use your hands and begin massaging the cabbage, breaking down the cell walls. You will be doing this for about 10 minutes until you have enough water (this is called brine) to be able to submerge the cabbage under the water when you place it in a canning jar, crock or glass jar with a tight fitting lid. You can also use a tamper or a wooden dowel instead of your hands.
Once your cabbage has softened and you have enough water, put the mixture into your canning vessel, making sure you put the water (brine) in as well. Push down hard so the water comes to the surface of the jar, leaving about 1 inch from the top of the jar.
Seal the jar – not too tight – and put away either on your kitchen countertop or in a cupboard. Open the jar about 2-3 times per day to let out some of the pressure. After about 5-7 days, your kraut will be ready to go into the refrigerator and will last up to @ 9 months.
Don’t worry if you see the bubbles spilling out of the jar. This is a sign of a really good kraut! Also, if there is mold inside when you open it (if the cabbage was not fully submerged under water), just spoon it out and eat the kraut underneath.
This is the best way to get that good bacteria (lactobacillus) into your gut!!