There is a lot of hype in regards to Probiotics, and a lot of new companies popping up that say we need them, over and over again. Were you aware that ‘probiotics’ are prevalent in FERMENTED FOODS?
So what are FERMENTED FOODS? Fermented foods can be bought in the grocery store – or you can make them yourself. They include Kimchee a Korean and or Asian food, Indian Chutney, German Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Brine Pickles, Kefir, Relishes, Pastes and etc.
Fermented foods offer a variety of positive effects on health. “You are literally bathing your GI tract in healthy, food-related organisms,” says food research scientist Robert Hutkins, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
A study in the journal Gastorenterology says that fermented foods with live probiotics can also improve brain function. Because fermented foods are strong they should be eaten as condiments, and not consumed in large quantities. Too much or overdoing the intake of fermented foods might cause bloating, cramping and other digestion problems.
When eating fermented foods as a condiment the recommended amount would be a half-cup. You can start there and work it up to more as long as your body can handle probiotic cultured vegetables and liquids.
Fermented foods are not to be seen as a ‘medicine’. They should be seen, rather, as a fun food, delicious, easy, and as a healthy addition to a meal.
In an earlier Test Kitchen, I posted my Kimchee recipe. I also make my Sauerkraut.
SAUERKRAUT – so easy try it:
Using a small head of Organic green cabbage – finely shred the whole head. Put in a bowl, add 1 Tbsp sea salt. Wash your hands and then mix the cabbage and salt by squeezing it and moving it around until the cabbage becomes limp and begins to release its juice. (can also use a wooden spoon for this process).
Pack the mixture into a clean 1 quart wide mouth Mason jar. Pack it down and add until it fills the jar. The cabbage should be submerged in the juice. Leave about 1 inch at the top. Cover with a clean piece of cheesecloth. I have a special lid with holes in it that I put on over the cheesecloth to hold it in place. Put it in a cool place. I put mine at the bottom of a lower cupboard. Leave it there for about 1 week, checking it but not opening it. The bubbles you see signal fermentation is taking place. It is ready to eat in 3-5 days, but keeps well in the refrigerator for several weeks. I have kept it for 2-3 month. I found that the longer I kept it the better it tasted. It is up to you. You may like it so well you will eat it up quickly.
I found this recipe in a local newspaper over 40 years ago. I love it. It tastes much better than store-bought Sauerkraut. I also pickle red beets, okra, red cabbage, and other vegetables. Yogurt is also a source of probiotics. I use it is as long as I make my own, and, I do not use cows milk. You can buy what is called ‘Yogurt Starter’ at any health food store. I have never made Kefir as I find it tedious to make.
BENEFITS OF FERMENTED FOODS!
- Boost immune system
- Maintain healthy Intestines
- Strengthen bones (rich in calcium)
- Weight loss
- Improve Mental Health
- Improve Digestion – and the list goes on.
Fermenting the food preserves the beneficial enzymes, Omega-3 fatty acids, the b-vitamins, and etc.
For other fermented food recipes – and yogurt recipes, just google them. You will find ‘You Tube’ videos and all kinds of information.