To live vigorously and luxuriantly, to flourish
When foods are fermented the bacteria predigests the food by slowly breaking down the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to create micro flora. The metabolic activities performed by the micro flora are so varied and vital that they resemble those of an organ. Many refer to the gut as the forgotten organ.
Eating fermented foods has several benefits, including:
• They help remove toxins from the body.
• They promote clear skin.
• They significantly strengthen the immune system.
• They improve digestion.
• They help the body absorb and use nutrients.
• They prevent disease and fight current inflammation.
• They increase energy.
• They balance hormones
For those of you who do not know me, I had several long term episodes of taking antibiotics as a child and teenager. Looking back with the knowledge I now have, I know this has been a major contributor to many of my adult health issues.
Fermenting is now a monthly ritual. Eating non sugar based probiotics has significantly changed my health. Before eating a daily serving of fermented veggies I would still have occasional hot flashes, I took 6-8 probiotic capsules a day as well as a number of hormone balancing supplements. I have now cut my supplement intake by two thirds, I sleep more soundly (no night sweats) and I am able to keep a more balanced and motivated mood.
1 head of organic purple cabbage
1 head of organic Napa or white cabbage
1 fennel bulb
2 carrots grated
1 thumbnail piece of ginger grated
2 Tbl. Himalayan salt
2 Tbl. Caraway seed
½ cup of Braggs **Apple Cider Vinegar
Reserve 3-6 outer leaves of each cabbage to seal jars after filling with the slaw mixture.
Organic Cabbage is an important component to successful fermentation. Most veggies contain their own beneficial bacteria on their leaves or skins. Pesticides usually kill these beneficial microbes. With this fermentation process cabbage leaves are used and not discarded thereby utilizing the indigenous bacteria to contribute to the fermentation process.
It is also important to diligently clean work surfaces, and glass jars (and hands) before starting the process.
Thinly slice cabbage and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle 1 T. of *salt over the first cabbage. Thinly slice second cabbage, add to bowl and sprinkle with remaining 1 T. of salt.
* Salt inhibits putrefying bacteria for several days until enough lactic acid is produced to preserve the vegetables for many months. We use a non-iodized salt, because iodine will prevent the bacterial fermentation necessary to change cabbage into sauerkraut.
** The Apple cider vinegar acts as an inoculant, reducing the time needed for sufficient lactic acid to be produced to ensure preservation.
Add thinly sliced fennel, grated carrots, ginger, caraway (or spices of your choice) and Braggs ACV. You can experiment with the size of your veggies.
The smaller the bits the softer they’ll be and the faster the process, bigger pieces will be a bit crunchy and nice to nibble on or serve with salads.
With your hands, massage veggies until a liquid begins to form at the bottom of the bowl. This may take 5-10 minutes.
Fill jars with mixture leaving approximately 1-2 inches of space at the top. Tap mixture down into jar to compact and create more liquid. Add more slaw and tap again until compact and only 1-2 inches remain at top. Top all jars with remaining liquid from bowl making sure slaw is completely saturated and some liquid is visible on top. I usually fill 3-4 24 oz. jars depending on the size of my cabbages.
Press mixture down and seal with 2-3 cabbage leaves before sealing with the lid.
Set jars aside for at least 4-5 days and up to a week. Then put into refrigerator. Unopened, your veggies will last a couple of months at least. I’ve never made it that long because we eat it all way before that!
4-6 organic carrots sliced
1 head organic cauliflower
1-2 summer squash or ½ lb. organic green beans
Sliced red onion
2-3 garlic cloves (per jar)
8 cups Chlorine free filtered water
4 Tbls. Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
2 Tbls. Himalayan salt
4 – large or 3 cup, wide mouth mason jars
Sprigs of organic herbs are recommended (rosemary or oregano add potent nutrients)
Most veggies contain their own beneficial bacteria on their leaves or skins. Pesticides usually kill these beneficial microbes. It is important to refrain from cleaning your veggies with unfiltered, chlorinated water. You can dampen a cloth with filtered water to wipe veggies clean. DO NOT PEEL.
Layer veggies in jars making sure 1-2 inches of space is left on top. Shake ACV well to distribute the mother and add 1 Tbl. of ACV to each jar. Add ½ Tbl. of Himalayan salt to each jar. Pour filtered water into each jar using only enough to just cover veggies. Insert sprigs of herbs and garlic cloves down the sides of the jar. Secure lid and gently shake jars to distribute salt and ACV. Let sit in a cool, dry place for at least a week and up to 2 weeks. If you see bubbling in the liquid you may need to loosen lid to allow gas to escape and then re-secure. Salty taste dissipates the longer they set. Taste after 7 days before refrigerating. Keep in the refrigerator for several months. If you need to leave jars unattended for a few days, you may want to leave them in a pan in case the gas build-up creates a crack in the jar. I learned this the hard way!