Fermented Veggies are simple to make and a great way to nourish your the good bacteria in your gut. American diets are very sterile, we pasteurize many foods which kills natural enzymes and gentle bacteria that normally feed our gut flora. It shouldn’t come as any surprise as Americans have a reputation for becoming very ill when visiting countries where the water sources are not as purified as they are at home. There are many foods that normally contain natural microbes which feed our gut flora, but American food manufacturers have cleaned up our foods out of fear of these naturally occurring, friendly hosts. The most recent addition to sterilized American food is cheese, you can read about it HERE and consider for yourself if all this sterilized food is actually making us MORE PRONE to sickness.
In our home, we have try to eat more raw foods, but raw is not always easy on the digestive tract. Raw foods contain natural enzymes that help break down nutrients and increase absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body. The field of Probiotics and Gut Flora has untapped potential. American focus the past several decades, and only more recently, has been on probiotics, ingesting the good bacteria. The problem is, those good gut flora need the proper foods to colonize or become established. Think of simple ants as an example. If you have a picnic and drop crumbs the ants will come. If you clean up the crumbs, pack up and take everything with you, the ants will go find food somewhere else. You could transport ants to another location, let’s say a parking lot at an office complex. You bring the ants in and drop 1,000 of them in the middle of the asphalt and leave them there to live. Will they stay? No, because they have no food. They will travel where they need to go to get the proper food, or they will stay in the middle of the lot and die from lack of food or water. Our gut’s are the same. We can take probiotic supplements, but if we’re not feeding those good bacteria, they will shrink away and die or pass through our system hoping for a better environment to grow in.
Fermented foods are packed with good gut nourishing microbes, many of the Lactobacilli species are found naturally in cabbage. These veggies are pretty simple to make, you can pick up a kit to start you off or DIY with some simple ingredients. There are also some other great foods that have these common gut flora in them, this is one of my favorite places that I get supplies to make a nourishing Kombucha Tea that you can DIY or pick up at a local health food store.
- 1 Glass quart-sized jar
- 1 1/2 T Celtic sea salt
- 2 C Filtered Water
- 1/4 Cabbage, sliced thin
- Additional vegetables of your choice: Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Daikon Radish, Green Beans, Kale, Onions
- Herbs & Spices of choice: Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Ginger, Oregano, Parsley, Savory, Rosemary, Tarragon
- Sterilize glass jar by submerging it in a 3-4 quart stainless steel pan and slowly warming it to boiling temperature. Allow the water to cool slightly. Remove the jar from the water and turn over to air dry.
- Make Brine Solution: Add Sea salt to filtered water and mix thoroughly.
- Chop vegetables into smaller pieces and load into the glass jar, compacting them gently.
- Pour Brine solution over vegetables, making sure to completely immerse them.
- Place a whole cabbage leaf over all the chopped vegetables to keep vegetables from floating to the top. You can place a clean lead-free glass stone on top if you'd like.
- Gently twist on a cap.
- Leave jar on countertop at room temperature for 1-3 days. Mixture will begin to bubble, make sure to "burp" your jars each day to release natural gases that are produced during the fermentation process. The warmer the weather is, the more quickly the veggies will ferment.
- After they are fermented to your liking, screw the cap on more tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.