This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by Robin S
This article is about the benefits of sauerkraut for a healthy gut flora, which in turn means a strengthened immune system. Most folks do not have healthy gut flora because of the foods we eat, medications, bad water, pollution etc. Most foods we eat now are either GMO, full of pesticides, grown in poor soil, cooked to death etc.
Even fresh or “organic” fruits/veggies from grocery stores are NOT the same as even 10 years ago. Food is grown all over the world and shipped to the stores so it was either picked at the wrong time or preserved in some way to arrive “fresh”. Unless you planted and grew the food yourself you really don’t know what your eating.
Most food nowadays should be labeled “frankenfood”. You cannot eat enough store-bought yogurt to get the beneficial bacteria. Besides it has high fructose corn syrup and is pasteurized, in other words dead food!
There is something you can do about it. Learn the art of preserving food by fermentation. Fermentation by lactobacilli is introduced naturally, as these air-borne bacteria culture on raw cabbage leaves where they grow. Start by making sauerkraut. (Keep in mind that sauerkraut on the store shelf is dead food and doesn’t “count” to boost good gut flora). Along the same lines as grapes to wine, or making sourdough, both great subjects for another time!
To begin with it is much easier to start with the “right” “tools”! Purchase a fermenting crock either on Amazon or at Lehmans. (The German crocks come with the weights). This style crock is designed well because as your cabbage (or other veggies) is fermenting it allows the gas to escape yet air cannot get in and spoil the food your preserving. You can do it in a straight sided crock it’s just not as easy!
To begin chop your cabbage real fine (a mandolin works well) into a GIANT bowl. You may use 5 or 6 cabbage. Add SEA SALT (not iodized) to taste. This begins drawing the moisture out of the cabbage. Let it sit overnight (covered). The next day slice some horseradish root and layer it in the bottom of your crock, begin adding your chopped cabbage and pound it into the crock (this breaks the cells of the cabbage) keep adding layers and pounding until crock is 1/2 full, add a few more slices of horseradish root. More cabbage more pounding.
When crock is full, top off with more horseradish root slices. Add a couple of the outer leaves of cabbage (that you saved) so that when your weights are added the shredded cabbage doesn’t try and float to the top. You need to have about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of sea salt water over the top of your cabbage/weights. Put your lid on and fill the outer rim with plain water so air cannot get in.
You need to check this everyday to make sure the rim isn’t dry. You will see bubbles as gas escapes this means it’s working and growing the beneficial bacteria. Let it work for 2 to 3 weeks. The fermentation process is a 3 phase process this is why you need to let it work. We like 3 weeks.
When you have achieved the “sour” taste to your liking put your kraut in glass jars and store in the fridge. For good gut flora eat 3 to 5 Tablespoons everyday. This will keep good “bugs” in your guts and boost your immune system. This is a LIVING food. 3 to 5 Tablespoons is all you need, if you overeat this yummy food you may experience a bathroom emergency! If you heat it up you will kill all the good “bugs” and you just as well go and buy store-bought junk!
Sauerkraut prevents scurvy because it is high in vitamin C. Sauerkraut is low in calories. If you hated the smell of sauerkraut this living food WILL change your mind it doesn’t stink, is crunchy and oh so good for you.
Good reference books:
- Body Reflexology by Mildred Carter – Mildred talks about sauerkraut in her book. This is an EXCELLENT book for keeping yourself healthy, been practicing her book for 30 years.
- Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz
Enjoy and grow plenty of cabbage in your gardens.
This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:
First Prize) Winner will receive a Nomad – 1 Person Standard Survival Package courtesy of Shepherd Survival Supply, a One Month Food Pack courtesy of Augason Farms, a $150 gift certificate for Remington Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com and a EcoZoom’s Versa Stove courtesy of EcoZoom stoves. A total prize value of over $875.
Second Prize) Winner will receive two (2) Rothco Sure Paks With Heater courtesy of Camping Survival, a Wise Food Vegetable bucket courtesy of LPC Survival and a Wonder Junior hand grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads. A total prize value of over $509.
Third Prize) Winner will receive 3 – 27 Variety of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds, 2 – Fruit Pack of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds and 2- First Aid Kit with Sutures in a Waterproof Resealable Bag courtesy of Be Prepared Now. A total prize value of over $215.
Contest ends on March 30 2012.