fermentedveggies3The GUT is the largest part of the immune system, so it really does matter what we put into it!

Fermented foods are produced through the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins by microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and molds, and yes, they are actually delicious! Even more so, they are extremely beneficial to overall health, increasing your overall nutrition, promoting the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, and aiding in digestion and supporting immune function.  Fermented foods increase absorption of B vitamins (even Vitamin B12), omega-3 fatty acids, digestive enzymes, lactase and lactic acid, and other immune chemicals that fight off harmful bacteria and even cancer cells.

Cultures around the world have been eating fermented foods for years, some extremely healthy fermented foods include kimchi, kombucha, kevita, beet kvass and sauerkraut.

Fermented foods are a lot simpler and easier to prepare and enjoy than you might think, and can be great gifts when packed in mason jars to show off their colors.

We enjoy a small amount of fermented vegetables with breakfast or lunch several times a week to maintain a healthy gut!

7 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods

  1. improves digestion.
    When we ferment foods, it is similar to partially digesting the food, creating a much easier process for the gut.
  2. restore balance of intestinal flora.
    Those with IBS, constipation, lactose intolerance,  gluten intolerance, low immune function will all benefit from incorporating more good flora in the gut.
  3. improves brain health.
    Fermented food has a powerful impact on brain health. including depression and anxiety. “There’s a tremendous connection between gut and brain health,” explains Dr. Ramsey, author of  The Happiness Diet. But, of course, there is a huge difference between store bought fermented products, and factory processed fermented products.
  4. it tastes good
    There’s a reason people like to eat sourdough, sauerkraut, yogurt, cheese, kefir, miso, cultured butter, lox, and traditionally cured pickles. They taste good with interesting, complex flavors. Fermentation is the original gourmet!
  5. helps us to absorb the nutrients we’re consuming
    You can ingest huge amounts of nutrients, but unless you actually absorb them, they’re useless to you. When you improve digestion, you improve absorption.
  6. fermenting your own food is inexpensive
    This is a very simple process, and the foods needed to create these power house gut transformers, can be found in your own garden, and are quite inexpensive at the markets. You can use cabbage to make sauerkraut, cucumbers to make pickles, and any other veggie can be fermented as well. I have tried many varieties of fermented veggies, and love getting creative with it.
  7. become a better you
    To heal the gut is to heal the gut brain connection. As a woman in a fast paced world, raising children, working, and constantly on-the-go, emotions of stress or anxiety sometimes get chalked it up to our gender. In reality,  digestive distress can very much affect our overall stress level and mood without us even knowing it. Our overall health depends on the health of our gut. It is important to take it seriously, and make changes in our diet as needed.

simple fermented cabbage and cucumbers

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium cabbage (green or red - I use green)
  • 2 Large cucumbers (organic)
  • 4 Tablespoons celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

note

This recipe is a simple base for you to try out, then, it can be easily adapted to your specific taste.  Add garlic, ginger, carrots and much more. Get creative with your veggies to see what suits you the best. ENJOY!

Directions

Step 1. Thinly shred cabbage in food processor, or by hand, pealing off the large outer leaves first. Set large leaves aside for later use.
Step 2. Add shredded cabbage to large mixing bowl and add in salt. Mix vigorously with hands, squeezing the salt into the cabbage until it starts to release water.
Step 3. Add thinly sliced cucumber, and mix into cabbage.
Step 4. Tightly pack cabbage and cucumber mixture into clean, dry, large mason jars, packing down very firmly, leaving about 2 inches free from the top of the jar, leaving space for the large outer cabbage leave to be placed. Water should rise to the tip of the mixture if packed firmly enough.
Step 5. Take large outer cabbage leaves, fold up and press on top of cabbage and cucumber mixture, tightly sealing in the mixture and rising liquid. Place mason jar lid on loosely.
Step 6. Set on tray in darkish, warm area of house where there will be no direct sunlight hitting the jar.
Step 7. Let sit for 3 to 6 days checking everyday to make sure there is enough liquid still in the jar to cover the vegetables. If the liquid seems low, ad a couple of tablespoons and re-pack, and lid the jar loosely.
Step 8. Taste the vegetables after 3 or 4 days to see if it is at your desired readiness, if not, let sit another day or so. Once refrigerated, the fermentation process will slow down considerably.