Did you know that you share your body with about 100 trillion microbes? Sounds creepy right! They co-inhabit your skin’s surface, your mouth and also love a little gastrointestinal hang out! Our microbiome is completely unique to each and every one of us.
So why do we have all these extra little, friendly (and sometimes unfriendly!) critters along for the ride?
Yes, they play a role in digestion, namely going to work on the foods that otherwise would be indigestible. They’re also critical in the production of a a couple of important vitamins – B and K in particular. They are also inextricably linked with our immune system and overall health – have you heard that whimsical musing…the gut is our second brain? I’ll definitely be posting more about the gut-brain-health connection so if this interests you, follow along!
There’s a book on my ‘to read’ pile called ‘Gut’ by Giulia Enders, a microbiologist and gut enthusiast. Let me know if you’ve read it!
Enjoy your fruit and veg and give fermented foods (microbiome boosters!) a go.
The sauerkraut pictured above is beetroot and purple carrot – feel free to mix it up and change the veg around based on what you have in the fridge.
Here’s the how to…
Finely slice or grate your veg – a few beetroots and carrots will do! You could also use a head of red cabbage.
Massage about a tablespoon of sea salt through the veg until it softens.
Pack the veg into a large jar and tamp down so that it sits below the level of liquid.
Press down at regular intervals throughout the first 24 hours.
You can add a little water/salt combo (1tsp salt to 1C water) if required as if anything sits out of the water it may go a little yucky.
Cover the jar with a piece of chux or cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
Leave the jar on the bench for 3-5 or so days (longer if desired!) depending on the time of year/temperature.
It’s normal for it to get a bit bubbly and this can be skimmed if you like. To stop the fermentation process, close the lid and place in the fridge. Make variations by adding different herbs too – it’s all about getting creative. It lasts for AGES in the fridge so don’t feel like you have to eat it all in a hurry :o)
If you’d prefer to buy it, I’ve tried this one – Byron bay Sauerkraut.
The first ingredient is little particles of love…how could you go wrong?
Let me know how you go with your little probiotic jar of goodness!