What is your sauerkraut doing for your gut?
There are very few of us that NEVER deal with gut issues. Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and more. I am dedicated to helping those that are dealing with these embarrassing issues and feel they have no where to turn. I once dealt with these issues daily and have done the research to figure out some simple solutions. I learned the power of adding fermented foods to help and with so many choices there is likely an option that will fit even the most discerning palate.
Today, let’s explore sauerkraut! It’s been around for centuries and was once a staple in several cultures around the globe but especially in eastern Europe. Sauerkraut is sour cabbage. By taking cabbage, shredding it and mixing it with salt, microbes flourish and begin releasing vitamin A, C, vitamin K, several B vitamins and more than ten percent of your daily iron needs. Be aware that some of the sauerkraut on the shelves of the grocery store are not truly fermented. Make sure you look for brands that are true raw ferments, brands that have not been cooked or pasteurized and brands that do not use vinegar or sugar to get the most benefits!
Sauerkraut is high in fiber which in and of itself is beneficial for your gut. Even more benefits are related to the lacto-bacteria produced in the process of fermentation. The fiber and the probiotic bacteria help eliminate those pesky gut issues that I mentioned earlier. They regulate the digestive and intestinal systems to help lower LDL cholesterol, manage your weight as well as help support your mood and brain health. With all the nutrients and probiotics sauerkraut also helps support a strong and healthy immune system.
If you are one of many who deal with chronic inflammation, sauerkraut may be your new favorite new food. Sauerkraut is full of antioxidant phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory effects to reduce daily aches and pains in muscles and joints. In fact, the vitamin K in sauerkraut can also contribute to healthy bones and joints so if this is a health concern raw fermented sauerkraut can help.
If you are interested in adding sauerkraut to your daily routine, I recommend you start slow. True raw fermented foods are known to be more powerful than your average probiotic supplement. Too much, too quickly, can clean you right out! Start with just a small amount and work your way up to a little at each meal. This can stimulate your stomach and help digestion so you can get more from your food at each meal!
If you find it difficult to find a good raw sauerkraut in your neck of the woods, don’t fret. Making your own is SUPER easy!
Easy and Simple Sauerkraut
1 medium green cabbage
1 Tbsp Himalayan salt
Have a large one-liter mason jar ready to keep the sauerkraut in, and a smaller jar to press it down.
Peel and throw out the outer leaves of your cabbage, setting one or two nicer leaves aside.
Shred the cabbage into a large bowl.
Add the salt and massage it into cabbage mixture for a few minutes until brine (saltwater) starts accumulating at the bottom of the bowl.
Pack cabbage mixture into the mason jar, press down to get rid of air pockets. Pour remaining brine (saltwater) into the jar making sure that all the cabbage is covered. Air in the jar enables bad bacteria to grow, so make sure the mixture is completely covered.
Use the cabbage leaves you set aside earlier and cut it to the size of your jar opening. Place it in the jar on top of the mixture to prevent any cabbage from floating to the surface.
Place a smaller jar or a small glass weight inside the larger jar, on top of the mixture. This will hold your cabbage below the liquid for fermentation to take place.
At this point I use a piece of cheese cloth to cover the top of my jar which allows air bubbles to escape but make sure the liquid covering your cabbage doesn’t evaporate to expose the cabbage to air.
Keep your jar at room temperature but out of direct sunlight for 1–4 weeks.
And, that’s as simple as it is. It takes a bit of time on day one but in a couple of weeks when you reach the degree of sour you like, take the weight off the top, pull out the extra cabbage leaves you placed on the top of the shredded cabbage, put your lid on your jar and store it in your fridge while you enjoy a little daily! If you want to get fancy in the future, try adding some shredded carrot and a little garlic or dill to add some variety! There are lots of ways to experiment with fermentation and lots of resources online if you run into challenges.
Are you looking to get even healthier? Are you tired of dealing with gut issues? Could you use some support figuring out what foods you could add to your everyday to support your gut health? Curious about how nutritional health coaching can help you make healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. I work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!