Probiotic Fermented Foods and Drinks – Lesson 1
In this series, we will learn some super simple, effective and wallet friendly ways to produce your own gut health products.
Importance of Probiotics for Digestive Health
We’ve all heard about the importance of eating foods with gut healthy probiotics, and taking probiotic supplements. Having an adequate supply of probiotics in the digestive system will help to control or diminish the effects of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease, Food Sensitivities and Allergies, among other digestive complaints. While taking a probiotic supplement or eating yogurt from the supermarket is better than nothing, “There is a much better way to greatly increase your intake of probiotics to provide greater digestive health.”
Why Homemade Fermented Foods are Best
Making and consuming your own probiotic rich fermented foods and drinks will provide a much higher content of probiotics than a supplement, and will help to colonize the digestive tract with healthy bacteria to keep the bad bacteria under control. Many of the foods that we buy in the supermarket are pasteurized, which kills the beneficial bacteria. Sometimes, as is the case with yogurt, those probiotics are added back to the product, but the resulting product is much inferior to what you would make yourself at home. Making your own fermented foods and drinks is so easy that after you get the hang of it, it will become a part of your routine and requires very little time or effort.
Examples of Fermented Foods and Beverages:
- Milk Kefir
- Water Kefir
My Experience with Fermented Foods and Beverages
I have been on a journey of many years combating digestive health issues. At the time of this writing, I have been using fermented foods and beverages for a little over two years to improve my digestive health with great success. My experience to ahre with you is mainly with homemade sauerkraut, water kefir, and yogurt. I make sauerkraut a few times a year; yogurt and water kefir almost daily. I’ve tried kombucha two separate times with no success – perhaps it’s my climate, however, I have had great success with sauerkraut, water kefir, and a yogurt that doesn’t require special equipment, called “Villi”. Starter cultures for water kefir and Villi yogurt can be ordered online online. They come dehydrated, so they must first be re-hydrated before you can begin the process of making your homemade water kefir and yogurt.
Lesson 1 – Making Sauerkraut
- Chop vegetables
- Add salt
- Squeeze juices out
- Place vegetables and jouice in canning jars
- Leave for one month
- Repeat the cycle monthly for a constant supply of delicious healthy gut bacteria
YES IT’S THAT EASY!!
Making sauerkraut is a very simple process of cutting or grating cabbage, and any other root vegetables you’d like to include. I’ve added shredded carrots, red cabbage, celery, jalapenos, etc. You then would add salt, squeeze or press the vegetables – allowing the juices to come out, and firmly press into canning jars allowing the vegetable juices to rise to the top. The juice should remain above the vegetables during the fermentation process. A weight, such as a clean, smooth stone, may be added above the top of the vegetables while they are fermenting to keep the liquid on top. Usually your sauerkraut will be ready to consume within a month. You can taste it after 2 or 3 weeks to see how it’s doing. It will ferment more quickly in warm weather, and slower in cold weather. When it is fermented and ready to eat, you may then put it in the refrigerator.
There are many recipes and instructions to be found online, and once you make it a time or two, you will develop your own method where you can try different ingredients to make whatever taste you’re wanting.
Eating a small amount of sauerkraut everyday will give you a much greater quantity of probiotics than taking a high quality supplement, so you would not only be supplying your body with a richer, healthier diet, you would also be saving money on supplements when you make and consume your own sauerkraut.
In Lesson 2, we will learn the process of making homemade Villi yogurt and in Lesson 3 how to make a yummy fizzy water kefir.