Fermented Vegetables

The healing properties of raw fermented vegetables have been known in many cultures around the world for centuries. Fermented vegetables were once an important part of our winter supplies. They ensure an adequate supply of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements during the season when there are few vegetables and lettuce. In addition to their delicious taste, fermented vegetables also provide live bacterial cultures. These ensure a healthy intestinal flora, strengthen our immune system and make us immune to many diseases. Unfortunately, many people today only know the sauerkraut, which is usually offered as a preserve that no longer contains any vitality.

Fermented vegetables for a healthy gut

Raw fermented vegetables are living food that contains natural enzymes and active lactic acid bacteria. It is precisely these useful little creatures that can achieve great things. They create a healthy, balanced environment in our digestive organs and harmonize our intestinal flora. A large part of our immune system is located in the intestine. If the intestine is healthy, unwelcome invaders (harmful bacteria, parasites, fungi), but also many chronic diseases have no chance.

The active beneficial microorganisms in fresh fermented vegetables can therefore be extremely helpful in numerous digestive and health disorders. Candida (intestinal fungal infection), stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis (a chronic inflammatory bowel disease), colic, a variety of food allergies, cystitis, or vaginal fungal infections are some of the numerous areas of application of these beneficial bacteria.

Uncontrolled appetite disappears

If the harmful microorganisms dominate in the intestine, then we often develop an uncontrolled craving for certain – mostly unhealthy – foods, such as. B. sweets or pasta. Those who incorporate more raw fermented vegetables into their diet will soon find that these strange cravings will dissipate over time.

Fermented vegetables preserve the vitamins and phytonutrients

In addition, there is a very high content of vitamins and phytonutrients in fresh fermented foods. Phytonutrients are sometimes also referred to as phytochemicals. These are natural bioactive substances that only occur in plant foods and act as antioxidants, immune stimulators, and anticoagulants in our bodies. With these properties, they counteract the most important of all modern-day causes of death such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Fermented vegetables in stores are often worthless

Commercially fermented vegetables have become rare. Shops often only sell sauerkraut – in jars or cans. This sauerkraut is pasteurized, i.e. no longer raw and therefore no longer contains any useful properties. Some health food stores, delicatessens, or farm shops still sell fresh raw sauerkraut.

You can also make fermented vegetables yourself. The result is high-quality products that you cannot buy anywhere else of this quality. Products to support your health and extend your life.

How to make your own fermented vegetables:

Slice or grate collard greens, carrots, beets, turnips, garlic, onions, etc. as finely as possible. Then add some high-quality crystal salt and/or sea asparagus (e.g. dulse seaweed, sea lettuce, or similar), juniper berries, or a few caraway seeds. Stir the mixture (about ten minutes) to form juice (brine).

Now layer the vegetables tightly in a suitable container, e.g. B. a pot made of ceramic. Cover the vegetables with a plate or other lid that fits snugly over the jar so that air cannot get to the vegetables. The plate or lid must lie directly on the vegetables.

This is followed by a clean weight (e.g. a mason jar filled with water) which pushes the vegetable mixture down and allows the brine to rise so that the brine covers the vegetables (and possibly the lid/plate as well). Stretch a clean cloth or a close-meshed mosquito net over the container to keep dust and flies away.

The jar should be kept in a place where the temperature is between 15 and 22 degrees Celsius for 3 to 7 days, possibly longer depending on the air temperature and your taste. (The longer the veggies ferment, the more intense your flavor experience will be.)

During the fermentation period, the beneficial bacteria multiply and convert the sugars and starches naturally found in vegetables into lactic acid. Check on your vegetables every day and skim off any impurities. Nothing can happen to the herb itself as it is safe under the brine thanks to the anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment. Once the desired flavor has been achieved, fill the vegetables into screw tops or mason jars, seal and store them in the fridge.

You can combine fermented vegetables with any meal. It can be kept refrigerated for up to six months. These vegetables are cheaper than probiotic products and they contain essential enzymes and valuable living lactic acid bacteria, which are still present in your pantry and become active for your health even after a long period of storage.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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