Make Fermented Vegetables
It may sound strange to put together the terms “bacteria” and “food“, but in reality, things like that happen more often than you imagine. Most of us consume bacteria without even knowing – yogurt, sourdough bread, soy sauce, wine – and no, it is not a bad thing. Bacteria are used to make food taste in one very interesting way, because when the two “entities” – food and bacteria – meet, something miraculous happens – fermentation, a process now discovered more than 5,000 years. Besides that they convert food into something unique, bacteria are very important for the health of our body.
A healthy digestive system, aided by friendly bacteria in our body is the key to an existence full of vitality and energy. Perhaps you did not know, but an adult organism should be host to over 1 Kilogram of friendly bacteria, but poor quality food, or antibiotics taken voluntarily or contained in animal products, stress and other “comforts of the modern life” as drinking water containing chlorine or antiseptic toothpaste, reduce drastically the population of bacteria in the digestive process which helps us every day.
What does the decreasing of the number of friendly bacteria mean? Digestive system slow population growth of candida bacteria type, impaired immune system, concentration problems and disharmonious development in children. In short, destroying the intestinal flora and destroy the body’s ability to fend off intruders and keep a balanced energy balance. When we take antibiotics, it lasts six months until they recover the friendly bacteria in our body. Half a year!
Why are the bacteria friendly with our body?
Because when you eat fermented foods, you ingest the friendly bacteria called “probiotics” that are responsible for proper disposal of the body, improve digestion, boost the immune system, produce antioxidants that make the skin look brighter, reduce cholesterol and balances the blood sugar. Ingesting fermented products, we range the population of friendly bacteria in our body.
Lactic acid is the main active bacteria in fermented foods, and helps the body produce natural antibiotics, anti-cancer compounds, and even produced that can turn off toxins and poisons action. Furthermore, fermented foods, even inspiring acidity, actually have a low pH and helps alkalifying the body, which is exactly what we want.
Here are some excellent examples of fermented foods for a healthy body – pickles, kefir, yogurt house, shocked soup, kimchi (pickled vegetables obtained by fermentation at room temperature), kombucha. When buying fermented products, make sure they do not contain sugar, E numbers, and, most importantly, they have not been pasteurized. Heat destroys the bacteria, even those friendly ones, so fermented foods must be cruel to be beneficial. So the safest is to prepare them at home.
Here are some indications on how to prepare a fermented red cabbage
Ingredients: A small red cabbage, fresh, bought from peasants; half a small red onion; Himalayan pink salt (is very important to use a quality salt, such as the Himalayas or the sea untreated for substances to be treated with table salt, which we find at the supermarket, kill bacteria). You will need a jar that closes tightly, very, very well cleaned. Wash it very well, and take it through the steam of boiling water, to sterilize it. All the tools you use – plate, knife, jar must be very, very clean.
Cut cabbage chopped, mince onion with a knife, put everything in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Squeeze cabbage and mix it with your fingers for 2-3 minutes, until tender and juices are starting to come out of it. Put it in the jar clean, pressed it well, leave 3-4 inches of space at the mouth of the jar for gas and if the cabbage begins to swell, turn right jar and leave it at room temperature for 2 days. You will realize that it is ready after the sour smell like pickles. If it smells too strong, you can mix with other vegetables. You may ferment in the same way carrots and Chinese cabbage.
The fermented aliments undergo through a process that serves to conserve aliments, in the same time creating a series of beneficial enzymes, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins from the B complex and probiotics. The natural fermented aliments are recommended by doctors as being beneficial for the digestion and the body’s supply with nutrients. Besides the fact that fermented aliments are very tasty, they provide us a series of benefits for the health.
By consuming fermented vegetables regularly, you can benefit from the introduction of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. These help slowing down or even reversing some diseases. Probiotics are important for the maintaining or improving the health of the gastro-intestinal health and the body’s immunity.
Fermented aliments or vegetables provide a better absorbtion of the nutrients by maintaining an optimal balance of the bacteria and the digestive enzymes from the digestive tract. Combined with a healthy diet, fermented vegetables can keep us away from the vitamin supplements in the drugstores.
Fermented aliments are cheap. Introducing them in the daily diet of you and your family may be an efficient way of saving the family budget. They can be very easily prepared at home.
They are easy to conserve. The lacto-fermentation process helps keeping the aliments fermented on the long run, without losing from their nutrients. You can do this thing with the majority of the fruits and vegetables from your garden.
How do we get our own fermented vegetables?
You must wash very well the selected vegetables, chop them into small pieces and put them into jars. You can use celery juice as a brine solution, because of its content of natural sodium. To ferment the vegetables, you can use kefir or whey. Pour the fermented solution over the vegetables, and then add the celery juice.
The vegetables must be completely covered in celery juice. On the top of it, put a large cabbage leaf to cover the vegetables. You can add herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano. Close the jars hermetic and keep them in a warm and wet place for 24 hours. After this period, the jars are kept in the refrigerator or in a cold spot, to slow down the process of fermentation. The entire process can last until 3 days of summer or 7 days of winter.
Fermented foods bring significant benefits due to their rich body of probiotic bacteria essential for the balance of intestinal flora. Their pungent taste is due to the transformation of sugars into alcohol compounds, through the intervention of bacteria or yeast. Experts say that the introduction of fermented foods in your diet often has positive effects on the functioning of the entire body, including the immune system.
What are the fermented foods? Fermented foods have gone through a process of lacto-fermentation, in which lactose is converted to lactic acid. Lactobacilli development gives a sour taste to food, making it also easier to digest. Meanwhile, lacto-fermentation has the effect of preserving and produce beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, omega-3 and various strains of probiotic bacteria.
Natural fermentation of food was shown to be effective in preserving the nutrients in food and its decomposition into a more digestible. Various world cultures since ancient times consume fermented foods, from sauerkraut, to various types of yogurt.
The main benefits of this type of food consumption are:
Probiotic supplementation. Eating foods that have gone through a natural fermentation process increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal flora balancing microbial flora at this level. Studies show that probiotics supplemented help cure many diseases, improving the health of intestinal digestion and strengthen the immune system.
Facilitating the absorption of nutrients. A good balance in the bacterial flora and a sufficient amount of digestive enzymes help absorb a larger number of essential nutrients that come from food consumed.
The easier conservation of aliments. Natural fermentation helps preserve long-term food without loss of nutrients that they contain without adding potentially harmful chemicals.
Saving personal budget. Certain foods can be preserved by fermentation home with very inexpensive ingredients (salt, vinegar etc.).
Fermented foods benefits for the health: All foods undergo the process of lacto-fermentation natural health perspective, but some of them are distinguished by stunning effects on the body.
Sauerkraut is prepared in a brine of water and salt, to be preserved especially during the cold season. It can be prepared in combination with various types of meat and tomato sauces or can be consumed in salads or as a garnish for sandwiches. Doctors and nutritionists indicate many benefits of this food. It is low in calories, helping in weight loss. It provides vitamins C, B and K, and minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine and copper) and a significant amount of dietary fiber. Uncooked sauerkraut is an excellent source of lactobacilli, assisting digestion and prevention of oral herpes. Sauerkraut installation prevents anemia, stimulates detoxification of the body and regulate digestion. Vitamin B12 pure, contained in the fermented food, protects the nervous system. Being richer in vitamin C than fresh sauerkraut, boosts the immune system and prevents premature aging by generous content of antioxidants.
2. Pickled Cucumbers
Pickled cucumbers are not only an ideal garnish for many dishes, but also a food with a high nutritional value. The probiotic bacteria from pickled cucumbers facilitate the elimination of toxins from the body. An ideal source of dietary fiber, pickled cucumbers assist digestion and prevent bloating and constipation. Because they contain fewer calories and no fat supplies are recommended in diets.
3. Kombucha Tea
This type of tea effervescent called “the immortality tea” in China, is prepared from herbs and fruits that undergo fermentation by the action of symbiotic culture of bacteria and fungi. A small amount of alcohol (2%) is produced during the process. This tea rich in probiotics treat constipation, hemorrhoids, rheumatism and headaches of nervous origin. It is effective in preventing and combating atherosclerosis and hypertension, and the treatment of influenza, common cold and epidemic diseases in general. Because it is a powerful stimulant of digestion, Kombucha tea is consumed with caution when hyperacidity gastritis and colitis fermentation.
This savory fermented drink is rich in calcium and probiotics. Since most of the lactose content gets to be decomposed, intolerant individuals can consume it without experiencing unpleasant side effects.
Yogurt is prepared by bacterial fermentation of milk. Lactose is converted to lactic acid, which is why this food is more easily tolerated by people with lactose sensitivity. Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin and vitamins B6 and B12.
Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian specialty, prepared by fermenting soybeans in a controlled process. It represents an excellent protein source for people who follow a vegetarian diet, but also a good way to supplement probiotics in their diet. Also, it contains all essential amino acids for the body.
7. Miso paste
Miso is a fermented paste, made from barley, rice or soybeans. Miso provides full lactic acid bacteria, making the category of foods rich in probiotics. It is used to flavor soups, sauces or pickles, being appreciated for important proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Now you know how to get your own dose of health made at home! Enjoy all the benefits of the fermented vegetables at your own place right now!