Sunday, 29 December 2013

Fermented Vegetables

I've blogged about my gut issues before so won't go into details again, but it's an ongoing challenge, and any help I can get I'm grateful for. So when I was recommended the GAPS book by Natalie Campbell Mcbride I ordered it right away.

As soon as I started to read it it was like it had been written just for me...she described me and my gut to a tee, and the practical dietary advice is second to none. 

One of the things she advocates is eating lots of fermented foods; yes I know it sounds pretty yuk, but really it's not, and I figured that if it's going to help me I'll try anything. I've never been into fermented anything other than the odd miso soup, which is really good for us by the way, so it's completely new territory for me - how exciting!! 

Before I jumped up and started chopping vegetables madly, I wanted to know abit more about why they are so good for us, so I researched as much as I could on the internet. I already have a book called Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and she also advocates fermented foods, but I'd just never got round to trying it.

Now I'm so focused on getting my gut sorted; fermenting here I come!

We all know, or should know by now, that good health starts in the gut and obviously all the food and drink we put into our mouths has only one way to go and that's through the gastro intestinal tract. The more good stuff we eat the better the health of this long long tube of tissue, which is vital to our well being.

So what did I find out about fermented food :

Us humans have been fermenting for hundreds of years , and there's me thinking it was a new thing!

They can improve out digestion 

They are rich in enzymes

They help us to absorb more nutrients

They help with the good/bad bacteria balance

They increase the flavour of food

They are rich in enzymes

They increase the vitamin content of our food

They are a wonderful healing remedy for the whole of the digestive tract

They stimulate stomach acid production, when eaten before a meal -good one for me as I currently drink Swedish bitters to do this, and I hate the taste of it!

They , cheaply, add probiotics to the diet

They preserve food so it lasts so much longer, not only that but the food gets more nutritious and not less! 

Helps to kill off the bad bugs in the gut that we don't need, by introducing the good bugs

So that sounded like a lot of plus points to me, and it's pretty easy to do too. The fermenting process needs just salt adding to the food, and a bit of water. How easy is that? 

And some time to let it ferment. To have it ready to eat you need to make it several days in advance. It's a bit fiddly but hopefully worth it. 

So here's what you do : 

Take a medium cabbage, red, and shred it. Take 2 tbsp sea salt or Himalayan salt, and water if necessary.
Mix all the ingredients and squeeze in the hands for ten minutes until the juices are released. Spoon into a jar, and press down until juice comes to the top of the cabbage. The cabbage needs to be under the liquid! Cover tightly and store for three days - then put in the fridge. Check daily and add water if you need to.

Eating this can be an acquired taste! I have two tablespoons with my lunch and dinner. It's done wonders to my gut.
Worth a try... Rx

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