The importance of gut health & homemade sauerkraut

Having a healthy and diverse gut microbiome (gut bacteria) has been proven to be a crucial factor in all of the following aspects of health:

  • Digestion
  • Immune function
  • Hormone regulation
  • Detoxification processes
  • Vitamin production
  • Brain health and mood

We encounter, stressors, chemicals and necessary drugs on a daily basis, all of which can affect the balance and health of you gut flora. I try to eat at least one thing a day that contains some healthy bacteria to ensure I am combatting this effect…

Some example of food sources:

Natural yoghurt, fermented foods like sauerkraut, natto and kimchi, keffir drinks… watch out for the yoghurts and probiotic drinks that contain lots of sugar, avoid that if you can.

A super simple and cost effective way to make your own sauerkraut at home:

PREPARATION

  • Sterilise a glass jar with boiling water or dishwasher
  • Finely chop your choice of cabbage: either Chinese, white, sweet or red – NB keep one of the big outside leaves for use later)

In this recipe (photo) I used red cabbage and grated red and golden fresh beetroot

  • Take a handful and blend it briefly to make a small amount of finely chopped more mulch like
  • In a bowl mix it all together with a generous sprinkling of sea or rock salt (this helps draw out the moisture from the cabbage helping the fermentation process to start)
  • Now transfer into your jar compacting down well as you go, I used the end of the wooden spoon – be form, this helps in breaking down and releasing further liquid as you go
  • When you get to the top squish in and seal with the large leaf you kept behind, just fold up or chop as necessary and push down firmly

FERMENTATION

  • Close the lid and place in a warm room or airing cupboard, it doesn’t need to be hot, just a bit above room temperature, or room temp on a summers day!
  • You can then leave it to ferment for 3-7 days, checking every day or 2 and opening to release the gases before re-sealing
  • If kept at room temperature it can be left for up to 2 weeks but keep checking
  • Check the taste and when you’re happy with it move to the fridge and enjoy with salads, sides to meat dishes or just to snack on…for up to 2 months.

 

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