As some of you know, I like to make sauerkraut and other fermented foods. Now most people know that these are good tasting, but they don’t always know the health benefits they gain from eating them.
In the past almost every culture in the world has had some form of fermented foods they regularly ate. With the advent of all our prepared foods, we have gotten away from eating fermented foods and even when we do, they are often prepared in a manner that destroys a good portion of their nutritional value.
For example Indian, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine include sweet, sour and salty pickles; in North and Central Europe you will find sauerkraut and pickles. Today these are still available in this country, but the mass production destroys many of the benefits.
When foods are fermented the bacteria, yeasts or molds used in the process, create probiotics like Lactobacillus Acidophilus which is a beneficial micro-flora commonly found in yogurt, kefir and fermented vegetables. These are good for your intestines and work to keep the unfriendly intestinal organisms under control.
Fermented foods that I make at home include cultured vegetables that are made with shredded cabbage and a few other grated vegetables packed tightly into a ceramic or plastic container and fermented for up to 2 or 3 weeks or longer. The process creates an acidic environment for friendly bacteria to reproduce raw sauerkraut is a good example.
You will notice that I mentioned raw sauerkraut, at the point you can it, which we sometimes do to prepare it for long-term storage the heat from the canning process does reduce its nutritional value. If you keep it in the crocks that are used for fermenting, it will store for quite a while.
Here is a link to a prior post on Making Fermented Vegetables, a Skill that Makes it Easy to Preserve Food.
Once you develop this skill, you will find that you can preserve various fruits and vegetables in a very tasty form. An as a added benefit they will have higher levels of probiotics than the various supplement you can get in the stores and they aid in digestion and help support the immune system.