Have you heard some of the buzz words of “gut health” and “probiotics”? Well there’s good reason to be thinking of your gut health, that is the biggest portion of your immune system. The balance of good bacteria in your digestive system is how you able to not only fight infections, but also absorb the nutrients needed for all functions to work properly in your body.
Here is an easy and inexpensive way to get fermented foods, the probiotics (good bacteria) into your gut.
Homemade Sauerkraut, can be so simple. For a light ferment, all that’s needed is a few quart canning jars, a medium size fresh (preferably organic) cabbage, salt and whey and 3 short days.
Unfamiliar with whey? It is the liquid strained from plain yogurt. Otherwise, just use extra salt in place of the whey.
Recruiting children and husbands to help pound the cabbage will save you time and save you from an extra workout 🙂 My husband actually took over making it many times once he saw how easy it was to make and how much he craved it. He would eat it with almost every salad.
Chopping up the cabbage is not enough, it needs to be pounded to release the juices for it to properly ferment.
The recipe I used originally was from the best book to begin learning about traditional cooking, you know like way back when refrigeration wasn’t invented or unavailable.
Checking the book out at the library is a great first step to Whole foods and Whole health. That is what I did and then renewed the book 4 times before finally purchasing my own.
I also was inspired to try one batch with garlic and jalapeño, from this recipe: Nourished Kitchen by Jenny McGruther. A fermentation crock is used here for a long fermentation.
Here’s the quick and easy recipe for a refrigerator sauerkraut.
1 cabbage , sliced thinly, shredded (green or red head cabbage)
1 garlic clove, diced or pressed (optional)
1 T. jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced and diced (optional)
1 T. sea salt (or 2 T. if not using whey)
2 T. whey (optional)
In a large pot mix cabbage, salt and whey; then pound it for at least 5 minutes with hardy wooden pounder, meat tenderizer or potato masher
Stir in garlic & pepper and pound another 5 minutes.
Press down into quart canning jars leaving 1in. headroom. As you press the cabbage down, the juices should reach above the cabbage, but if not use a salt brine (salt mixed with water) a tablespoon at a time to cover in each jar. Tighten covers on jars and leave in a not too sunny spot on your counter for 3 days. Chill before eating. Store in the fridge.
If you are in need of even more probiotics especially after being on an antibiotic, like me; here’s one that is recommended by my doctor and the CL Health Food store:
Garden of Life Primal Defense will not be killed off in your stomach, so it’ll make it to the intestinal track where it needs to go to work.