14 May 2015
Fermentation Basics: Ginger-Garlic Sauerkraut
Lindsay Wilson brought so many yummy fermentation recipes to her class at the Fall Conference 2014. We're going to post them here in a series, so come back and look for more! For our third installment, here's a standard favorite with a twist:
Ginger-garlic Sauerkraut Recipe
Makes 1-2 quarts
1 medium cabbage head, cored and shredded
2” chunk grated ginger
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T sea salt
4 T whey (if not available, 1 more T sea salt)
In a bowl, mix cabbage, garlic, ginger, sea salt and whey. Squeeze with hands for about 10 min to release juices.
Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly you’re your fist (or a wooden pounder) until juices come to the top of the cabbage (add a little water if needed).The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.
Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage (40 degrees cool or cooler).
The sauerkraut may be eaten immediately, but it improves with age.
All about beneficial bacteria:
- Benefical bacteria are numerous strains of bacteria that assist the digestive system in assimilating and absorbing vitamins, minerals and other nutrients - Bifidobacteria, Lactobacteria, Propionobacteria are some of the main ones
- One of my favorite, Lactobacteria, you can find on anything near the soil or even in the soil and it is common all along our digestive tract from the mouth to the anus; this is the lactic acid producing bacteria that is a common fermenter
- Beneficial bacteria help your body to synthesize vitamins, absorb nutrients, keep pathogens at bay and interact directly with your immune system for your overall health
- There are pathogenic bacteria in the gut no matter what; if your beneficial bacteria are thriving and healthy – the pathogenic bacteria will be kept in check and will actually participate in some small beneficial functions within the intestines
- Pathogenic bacteria, if they become too prominent can cause major problems for the digestive system and the health of the body
- Pathogenic bacteria also bounce back and reproduce faster than beneficial bacteria
- Many pathogenic bacteria are corkscrew shape; they wedge themselves into the gut lining and create a whole in which undigested foods and proteins pass into the bloodstream – this is one indicator of Leaky Gut Syndrome; eventually, this contaminated blood can and will affect the brain and cerebral function
- Pathogenic bacteria also produce very toxic substances as byproducts called endotoxins
Probiotic foods and supplements:
- Introduce beneficial bacteria and sometimes yeasts to our guts
- Can be applied to the skin for skin issues and can be inserted or applied vaginally for yeast infections
- Yogurt, kefir, lacto-fermented fruits and veggies, kombucha, water kefir, unwashed organic or chemical-free veggies and fruits, traditionally fermented sourdough
- My favorite probiotic brands: BioKult, Prescript Assist
- Probiotic pill or ferment - both are fine, however pills can be expensive. Once you are in the rhythm of ferments, it takes no time at all. Probiotic pills have between 50 million to 10 billion beneficial bacteria strains; ferments from 1.5 billion to 10 TRILLION beneficial fellas (.9 ounces of sauerkraut, in this example)
- Ways to damage your gut flora (and kill beneficial bacteria): antibiotics, vaccinations, birth control, pain-killers/analgesics (taken for months at a time), steroids, sleeping pills, poor diet, certain diseases, stress