Many health issues have been helped by the good bacteria in fermented foods. Sauerkraut particularly, has been found to have benefits for multiple gut issues, the brain and more:
1. Leaky Gut – Good bacteria acts to balance gut flora, reduces symptoms
2. Heartburn/Acid Reflux – Incorporating fermented food daily can alleviate heartburn & acid reflux, improving your stomach acid (which prescription medications suppress). My husband was a no-joke mess with acid reflux before we started eating sauerkraut everyday!
3. Immune Benefits – good bacteria boosts the immune system
4. Bowel Issues/IBS/IBD: From gas & diarrhea to constipation & ulcerative colitis: bad bacteria within the gut are improved with fermented food by increasing good bacteria, aiding bowel health and reducing inflammation.
5. Oral Health – Good bacteria improves gum health
6. Weight Loss– Aids weight loss and boosts energy.
7. Stabilize Blood Sugar– Helps prevent blood sugar spikes and helps diabetes.
Also found to benefit those with anxiety or depression.
I have also heard some recent studies has been done suggesting fermented foods positively effect autism as well!
Ready to chow down on fermented sauerkraut, yet?
My favorite brand of fermented sauerkraut (& pickles) is definitely the Bubbies brand. But when you get into eating fermented food for your health the amount recommended to eat daily ranges from 1/2 a Cup to 1 Cup (usually starting out is just a few tablespoons) that amount starts to cut into a food budget. Ask me how I know. *cough cough*
About two weeks ago I gave my best wack at homemade fermented sauerkraut. Here’s how it went: One medium to large head of cabbage (outer leaves washed and removed for later use) sliced thin. Placed into a large bowl. I added a sprinkle of salt with each layer I put in the bowl. I have read some recipes where some measure the salt and some just layer. Either way I think it ends up being around 1-2 Tablespoons of salt. *note good quality salt is important – I used pink Himalayan sea salt.
I used the flat end of my meat tenderizer at first but eventually found that I just had to get my hands in and squish to really get the juice released from the cabbage.
Then I packed the cabbage into mason jars and used the outer leaves on top to keep all the cabbage submerged in the salt and cabbage juice brine. Covered with coffee filters to let air help the cabbage ferment. I set them in the cupboard and tried to forget about them (though I did check daily to be sure all the cabbage stayed beneath the brine – I did have to add some more brine).
On day 5 I tried a bite. I think maybe my kitchen is a little warmer then most ( we don’t have air conditioning ) and so I think it fermented a little faster than I anticipated. I put lids on and slid them into my refrigerator. This batch is not Bubbies. But it’s a start! I am quite happy and please with how simple it was to make on my own. I will make it again and begin tweaking what I did last time and see what changes.
I had a helping this morning with my eggs & it was yummy! Have you made any fermented foods? Any tips to share?
If you want to make your own you’ll need:
- A large bowl
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- 1 Head of cabbage
- Salt ( good quality sea or Himalayan )
- Two mason jars
- Coffee filters & rubberbands
* also strong hands & patience