We are never really alone! There are tiny, living organisms floating around in the water, in the air, and entering our body. These life forms include yeast, bacteria, fungi and viruses. These living things are causing change one way or another. Some are beneficial to our very survival and some can be the death of us. These strains of living “floaties” have been around since the beginning of time and can adapt to change better than most other life on this planet. These microbes also can lay dormant for hundreds of years.
A GREAT SITTING AROUND THE HOUSE PROJECT.
Nowadays, better understanding of these life forms is all the craze. Folks are spending a fortune on the latest pro-biotic for better digestion, better hair, and better LIFE. The studies are out there. We need these good bacteria and yeast. Without them, the bad guys take over. It is true. We could have our own microbial sci-fi movie in our intestines.
Cultures all over the world knew the benefits of raw, fermented, and living foods before the word “scientist” ever existed. People have been using fermented food and drinks in their daily life for generations. Ceremonies were created just to bring the good guys into the food. In this day and age, everything is pasteurized, sterilized and packaged in poly with anti-bacterial lotion oozing everywhere. Remember: we have to eat life to be life. Life is not sterile and it never will be. When will we stop this war on bacteria and respect what it has to offer?
I would like to invite you to my kitchen where I have a gallon of sauerkraut fermenting. This is my cheap ticket to beneficial bacteria. (It contains simply cabbage and salt, less than $4.00 on sale.) After four weeks, this condiment can be eaten. Sauerkraut can contain up to ten different strains of Lactobacillus, the healthy type of bacteria. Raw cabbage is great but when turned into sauerkraut, the nutritional value increases tri-fold. If sauerkraut is canned and heated, all the bacteria and enzymes are killed. When canned, sauerkraut still contains vitamins and nutrients, but it is not the super food that it was before heating.
Eating a tablespoon of kraut daily can rebuild healthy gut flora, improve digestion and bloating, and cleanse toxins out of our system. This magic spoon full-O-life can also aid in weight loss, control cravings, boost immunity, and increase energy. Vitamins C, B, and U (which is actually not a vitamin but an enzyme known as S methylmethionine), and omega 3s multiply with age in raw sauerkraut. Taking vitamins in this form makes it easy for the body to absorb and use. Substances called isothiocyanates are produced by this fermentation. This material can prohibit cancerous growth. The glucosinolates in sauerkraut also activate the body’s natural antioxidant enzymes. Studies have shown that this natural process can help heal artery walls from oxidation damage. That’s a lot of good stuff going on.
Regaining faith in beneficial bacteria could make a difference in our overall health and wellness. Eating live foods can even help with brain function!! Let’s lose the fear of the unseen and make some kraut!
1 head of cabbage, cored and shredded
5-7 tablespoons of sea salt
1 Large Mason jar
Layer shredded cabbage and salt; pound with a wooden spoon until juices come to the top. The cabbage needs to be at least one inch below the juices. Keep pounding!!! Optional- Add some olive oil to the top to keep oxygen from entering. I use a food processor for the shredding process. Some believe it has got to be done by hand shredding. Experiment to find your preference.
Cover with cloth and let sit. After four weeks, it is ready to eat. I usually take the very top layer out. The sauerkraut will mature in flavor for 6 months. Keep in cool storage. Clue in! Never eat mold, slime or things that turn a funky color. Throw it in the compost and start over.
By Colleen Smith