Fermentation…doesn’t that sound lovely? Well it should, fermentation produces some of the most amazing foods such as kim chi, miso, and sauerkraut. The good thing about fermentation is that we can increase the nutritional value of a food, make it more digestible and increase the probiotics found in it. We all could use more probiotics (good bacteria) in our life couldn’t we? We have more bacteria living in us than we have cells. Yes we are more bacteria than human! Shouldn’t we have them working for us instead of against us? I say yes!
Bacteria are super beneficial to us because…
- Bacteria in the gut increase our immunity
- They protect us from microbial and parasitic infections
- They help with eczema, constipation, colitis
- Help us maintain a normal weight
- They affect our nutritional status and overall health
- They contribute to our rate of aging
- They manufacture many nutrients including vitamin K and several B-complex vitamins which are beneficial for stress. And who isn’t stressed?
- They improve peristalsis, help normalize bowel transit time and help to prevent travelers’ diarrhea
It’s a wise idea to have a good balance of 85% good bacteria to 15% bad and here’s why…
- Medications, chemicals, C-section births, bottle feeding, stress, diet, lifestyle, chlorinated water cause our good bacteria to go out of balance
- This allows disease producing bacteria and fungi to proliferate causing diarrhea, bloating and gas
- If this goes on for a while it can contribute to long term conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and no one wants that!
So here’s to having more good bacteria in our lives with raw sauerkraut! Why raw? Pasteurization kills all bacteria (and enzymes) so you don’t benefit from those lovely guys!
Super Sauerkraut Recipe!
- 1 whole organic cabbage
- Glass jar(s) with air-tight lid(s)
- ½-1 cup filtered water
1. Remove 3-4 of the outer leaves of your cabbage and set aside. This will be rolled and placed as the last layer of the sauerkraut.
2. Shred cabbage using a knife or mandolin. The smaller the pieces the more surface area there will be for the good bacteria to proliferate.
3. Place shredded cabbage into a sterilized jar (rinse jar with hot water).
4. Pack in cabbage using your hand or the back of a wooden cooking spoon.
5. Once the glass jar is filled to 1 inch from the top, pour in the filtered water slowly until the cabbage is covered.
6. Using the outer leaves of the cabbage, roll (like a fruit roll up!?!) and layer on top of the shredded cabbage in the jar.
7. Seal jar and let sit in a warm cupboard for 5 days.
8. The good bacteria will multiply and you will see small bubbles forming over the course of the 5 days. Once ready to harvest, open jar over the sink in case there is too much gas buildup (leading to a mini explosion).
9. Remove the rolled up cabbage leaves and enjoy! Store in fridge once opened.
Be sure to have some sauerkraut or other fermented veggies 1-2x a day. Your gut will thank you and you will have amazing bowel movements 😉