One of the benefits of a month long cleanse has been eliminating the common foods that can cause gastrointestinal issues. Giving your digestive system a rest from these foods is a really good to way to understand the effects they have on your body. The resulting improvement in digestion has a huge knock on effect with your overall health. For ongoing gut health one of the best things you can do is to eat fermented foods, such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and kombucha. Many of these foods have been consumed in traditional cultures for centuries. With the development of refrigeration and other preservation techniques, fermenting foods is no longer common place. However the benefits of eating these foods is amazing. They contain high levels of the good bacteria that our body needs for great gut function. Which in turn improves immunity, brain health and skin health just to name a few.
One of the easiest fermented foods to make has to be sauerkraut, or fermented cabbage. Commercial products can be overloaded with salt and they may also be pasteurised, which kills off the good bacteria and the benefits. So try making your own - its not as hard as you night think.
- 1ltr jar clean and sterilised (I pour boiling water over mine and leave it for at least 5 minutes)
- 1 to 3/4 head red or white cabbage finely sliced (a mandolin is great, but keep the guard on!)
- Keep 3 of the outer leaves of the cabbage to press down on top of the sliced cabbage for fermenting.
- 1 tbs Dulse flakes (these are high in iodine for thyroid health, and salty for lovely flavour)
- 1 carrot grated
- thumb sized piece of ginger grated
- 1 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mush/knead with clean hands for about 5 minutes. There will be quite a bit of liquid in the bowl.
- Put all ingredients into a jar and pack down with your fist. Really push it in, and pour the liquid on top. It must be covered with liquid.
- Add some filtered water if there isn't enough. Place the reserved cabbage leaves on top to keep the cabbage under liquid and close the lid.
- Store in the cupboard for about 2 or 3 days to ferment, depending on the temperature.
- There sometimes can be a bit of leaking from the bottle, so put it in a bowl. I have had some batches cause a mess but it still worked.
Depending on the temperature after 3-5 days remove the top leaves and pop into the fridge to stop fermenting. If you need to top up the water just make sure it is filtered. It will last for at least 4 weeks.
Add to salads, wraps or eat just on its own before meals.
Your gut will love you for it!