When it comes to fermenting foods, I take it quite seriously. I firmly believe that we need to be consuming foods that have the strong ability to heal, restore, and maintain our bodies as much as possible. In my personal opinion, this goes far beyond consuming just the right whole foods.
By now you’ve probably noticed that I strongly advocate the elimination of processed oils in the daily diet, with a firm advocation of whole foods and fermented “experiments” as well.
Fermented foods offer incredible flavor and outstanding nutritional benefits that everyone should begin incorporating within their lifestyle!
In times of the ancients, food fermentation was a primary method of food preparation as a way to greatly nourish their bodies for the heavy loads of physical work, and even for seasonal preparations of cold winters! Kimchi was created as a method of vegetable storage for deep cold winters in Korea 🙂
A few “plus’s” of eating fermented foods 🙂
- Important nutrients. Some fermented foods are outstanding sources of essential nutrients such as vitamin K2, which help prevent arterial plaque buildup and heart disease. For instance, cheese curd is an excellent source of both probiotics and vitamin K2. Just half an ounce (15 grams) of natto daily can also provide all the K2 you’ll need . Fermented food is also a potent producer of many B vitamins.
- Optimizing your immune system. An estimated 80 percent of your immune system is actually located in your gut. Probiotics play a crucial role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract, and aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens. This makes a healthy gut a major factor in maintaining optimal health, as a robust immune system is your top defense system against all disease.
- Detoxification. Fermented foods are some of the best chelators available. The beneficial bacteria in these foods are highly potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals.
- Cost-effectiveness. Adding a small amount of fermented food to each meal will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Why? Because they can contain 100 times more probiotics than a supplement!
- Natural variety of microflora. As long as you vary the fermented and cultured foods you eat, you’ll get a much wider variety of beneficial bacteria than you could ever get from a supplement.[Source]
I LOVE fermenting foods, and the powerful ability to turn all foods into healing foods by using the correct anti-pathogenic herbs and spices!
I can honestly say that while growing up, I had no idea or logic to the concept that herbs and spices have the ability to nutritionally support the body, let alone heal it!
Now, I easily see how I was blinded to this concept by the mass production of conventional herbs and spices by major companies and corporations that resell the adulterated version of “food.”
My passion for anti-pathogenic herbs and spices is practiced through all of my recipes to enhance the healing ability of food, the prevention of harmful bacterial growth, and for greater lengths of preservation purposes.
Of all haling spices, my utmost favorite and absolutely essential spice in majority of my recipes is Turmeric.
Turmeric is my key player, my golden shining star 🙂
Turmeric is a spice that has been used in cooking for centuries. Scientists have determined that turmeric has many biological activities, although they do not fully understand exactly how it exerts these effects. From laboratory experiments, it has been deduced that substances in turmeric (called curcuminoids) prevent inflammation by inhibiting the molecules that mediate inflammatory reactions. Curcuminoids may protect the body in a few ways: they enhance the activity of an important detoxifying enzyme and they also act as antioxidants by neutralizing free radicals (which can cause DNA damage). In rats, turmeric prevented the development of kidney damage from toxins. Turmeric also stimulates the flow of bile in the gastrointestinal tract.
A seed I haven’t really explored is becoming a new favorite to use…Caraway.
Caraway Common Names
- Black cumin
- Black caraway
- Black seed
Caraway is greatly known to provide great assistance with troubled digestion, flatulence, colon infections, kidney issues, cardiovascular concerns, and can even be used as a menstrual support for women. There are several ways to use this powerful seed, and each preparation method is purposeful!
Nigella sativa is a flowering plant found throughout India, Arabia, and Europe. The seeds, commonly known as black seeds or black cumin, are used in cooking and in traditional medicine for inflammation, infection, and cancer.
Constituents from N. sativa demonstrated immunomodulatory (1) (2) (11), antioxidant (15), antiparasitic (13) and hepatoprotective effects (14) in vitro and in animal studies. N. sativa seed may be useful in the treatment of asthma (21), hypertension (5) (10) (22), rheumatoid arthritis (26), dyspepsia (27), and diabetes (28) in humans. Thymoquinone, a major constituent of N. sativa, exhibited antiepileptic effects in children with refractory seizures (23). N. sativa may also relieve symptoms of allergic reactions (12), but allergic contact dermatitis was reported with topical use (19).
1 Large Green Cabbage
2 tsp Caraway
1/2 – 1 Tsp Turmeric
2 Tbsp pink sea salt
Cut cabbage in half & remove the core from the center.
Chop cabbage into fine long shreds, like shredded cabbage. Chop by hand, or use a mandolin. I’ve found that by using a mandolin you can also turn your kraut into a delicious relish texture 🙂
After chopping into fine shreds, place all of your cabbage into a large mixing bowl.
Evenly disperse 2 tablespoons of salt over the cabbage and let it sit for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, with clean hands or with gloves, massage the salt into and throughout the cabbage.
The cabbage will begin to soften the more you massage it, as water is released from it as well. Once the cabbage is to your preferred texture, you can add the turmeric & caraway.
Massage these two spices very thoroughly so that the cabbage is completely covered in it.
When everything is mixed together, pack the cabbage tightly into your glass mason jar. You can use your hands, a fork, or a wooden spoon to tightly pack your soon to be kraut in the jar.
Since you’ll be using a mason jar, you”ll need to use a weight to hold the cabbage down as more water is released through the fermentation process.
There’s a few ways you can make your own kraut weight at home 🙂
Option 1: Fill a small jelly jar with rocks & set it on surface of packed cabbage, inside the mouth of your mason jar.
Option 2: Fill a small clean baggie with small rocks and set on surface of cabbage, inside the mouth of mason jar.
– These two options serve as a weight to hold cabbage under liquid-
Next, cover the top of your mason jar with an unbleached napkin or cheese cloth with a rubber band.
Let your kraut ferment for 4 to 14 days for optimal nutritional benefits and taste 🙂 You can let it ferment for longer if you like 🙂
It’s best to let your jar ferment out of the sun. Let it set in a dark space, and in room temperature climate.
As the days progress during the fermentation, you may notice that your jar will begin to smell sour, have more liquid than before, little bubbles may develop, or even a milky looking color may form at the bottom of the jar. This is normal, so please don’t be alarmed!
If you find there isn’t enough liquid by the time your batch is complete, you can add more water. But please, make sure its purified.
As a precaution, when eating your kraut, if there is any sign of visual mold, or even smell or taste of it, toss the batch. Your cabbage can mold if its not completely submerged by liquid.
Enjoy your kraut on anything and everything!
Love to enjoy over salads, rice, and definitely love to have with a sprouted bagel!