It’s true that we have fresh vegetables throughout the whole year and we can buy whatever we want and whenever we want. We just have to run to the nearest supermarket. So, why should we even bother to ferment vegetables and preserve them for months when we can just buy fresh ones?
That sure sounds right, but it isn’t. The best thing you can do for yourselves if you have problems with your digestive system is to preserve vegetables by fermentation.
What is fermentation?
Fermentation is a process that has been practiced for many years. Fermented foods are foods which have gone through the process of lactofermentation – a process in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and gets into the food creating lactic acid. This simple process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins and various strains of probiotics.
Natural fermentation of foods also preserves nutrients in food and even breaks the food down to easily digestible form.
What are the benefits of fermented foods?
If you have problems with the digestive system, it will be very difficult to eliminate them for good unless you improve the balance between the beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria which naturally exist in your gut. One of the most effective ways to do this is by regular intake of fermented foods.
Consumption of fermented foods can help slow or reverse some diseases, aid digestion, improve bowel health, and improve your immune system.
With regular consumption of fermented foods you will be sure that you are getting the highest nutritional value from your foods. Moreover, eating fermented foods will stimulate the growth of healthy intestinal flora, which maintains healthy gut and stronger immune system.
Furthermore, with fermentation you will be able to store foods for longer periods of time without losing any of its nutrients. According to some researchers there is a fascinating connection between gut bacteria and mental health – 90% of the body’s total serotonin amount is produced in the digestive tract. The right amount of serotonin in the brain makes you feel calm and happy.
Health benefits of turmeric
We are all familiar with the golden spice that we use in many recipes. That dried powdered spice comes from the root of the plant Curcuma longa. Turmeric root has very interesting flavor and smell. Its flavor is, warm, peppery and bitter while its smell is mild and a little similar to the smell of orange and ginger.Despite its use in cooking, turmeric has many health benefits too.
• It promotes balanced mood,
• Helps wounds heal,
• Regulates blood sugar,
• Helps stiff joints,
• Balances cholesterol levels,
• Protects the brain and a lot more.
Health benefits of sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. Sauerkraut is rich in high levels of dietary fiber, and also significant levels of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C and many B vitamins. It’s also good source of iron, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium and sodium.
Sauerkraut has unique sour taste but it’s packed with many health benefits:
• It reduces risk of heart diseases and helps maintaining a healthy heart,
• Boosts the immune system,
• Helps in energy production in the body,
• Prevents gastric ulcers and colon cancer,
• Regulates the digestive system,
• Slows down appearance of wrinkles and the process of aging,
• Prevents osteoporosis.
How To Make Homemade Turmeric Sauerkraut
Recipe (Makes 1-2 large jars)
• 1 medium shredded cabbage
• 1 tablespoon of fine Himalayan salt
• 4 tablespoons of fresh turmeric root (grated or shredded)
• 1/8 1-4 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
You will also need these tools:
• Cutting board
• Chef knife
• Large bowl
• Fermenting Crock, Mason Jars with an airlock lid
1. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and put them aside. You will need them later to keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
2. Slice the savory cabbage to very fine, thin and long pieces. You can do that with a knife or with a food processor.
3. Put the sliced cabbage into a large glass or stainless mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt. Then put on the gloves and start squeezing and massaging the cabbage until it becomes limp and juicy. This is a really important process because it breaks up the cellular structure of the cabbage.
4. After about 5 minutes of intense massaging you will notice bubbles and a pool of juice. Then you add the pepper and turmeric and mix well.
5. Put everything into a large glass mason or a fermentation crock. Tamp down the cabbage as tightly as you can, using your fist or sauerkraut pounder.
Note: Be careful! The juice must cover the cabbage completely! That is the most important step for successful fermentation!
6. Cover the surface of the sliced cabbage with one of the large leaves. This will help keep the cabbage into its liquid.
Note: It is recommended to put a fermenting rock on the sliced cabbage which will hold the cabbage under its liquid and make the process of fermentation successful.
7. Then you should close the jar tightly. If you use a mason jar, screw on a kraut kap (this is a better option than a regular lid) designed to create an anaerobic environment that prevents development of bad bacteria.
8. Store the turmeric sauerkraut at a room temperature away from direct sunlight.
9. Leave it to ferment for at least 4 weeks and up to 6 months – it will be stronger if you leave it longer.
When it’s done, you can keep the sauerkraut at room temperature and consume it for 8 weeks. If you want to use it for longer period, you should keep it in the fridge and use it up to 6 months.
• Drink the juice (served in a shot glass). Or add it to your salad dressings.
• Solid materials need to be fully covered with the water or bad bacteria will form. So if a scum is floating in the brine of your sauerkraut remove it with using a spoon. The ingredients below the liquid won’t be affected by any bad bacteria which may multiply above the liquid. If you use a fermenting crock or mason jars with proper kraut lids the risk of any microbial contamination is equal to minimum.
• Fermentation can be complicated process, so if your sauerkraut has bad smell and bad taste, you should throw it away immediately!
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