Many Scary Things – One Sensible Plan – Part Two Including Recipes for Raw Sauerkraut, Kombucha, and Kimchi
In the last post, you were reminded that your skin is your first line of defense. Your second line of defense is your gut and keeping it healthy might just be a meal away. Let’s review a few fun facts and then get started with three great recipes.
- Each person has beneficial bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract which keeps bad bacteria under control and modulates your immune responses.
- 80% of your immune system is located in your digestive system.
- Those things which can reduce your probiotic count include but are not limited to: coffee, chlorinated water, antibiotics, and stress.
- Supplementing with a quality probiotic from Nature’s Sunshine is beneficial and would include Bifidophilus, Probiotic Eleven, and Probiotic Power – see the Products page for ordering.
- You can also eat your way to increased probiotic levels.
- Eating fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, and kimchi or drinking kombucha can help you to maintain and increase your probiotic levels.
Skin is your first line of defense; gut health is your second line of defense. Remember, make your body inhospitable to illness and disease by creating an internal healthy environment which sends pathogens packing.
Raw Fermented Sauerkraut
1 Medium cabbage, cored and shredded.
1 TB caraway seeds (optional)
1 TB sea salt (Redmonds Real Salt or Nature’s Sunshine Sea Salt are what I use. Do not use store bought white salt)
2 capsules of Natures Sunshine Bifidophilus. This step is optional, but speeds up the process.
How To Do It:
1. Shred the cabbage. The finer you shred the cabbage, the easier it is to pound the juices out and I personally think a finer shred has better flavor.
2. In a large, sturdy bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds, probiotics and salt. If you don’t like caraway seed, omit them.
3. Pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer for about 10 - 20 minutes to release juices.
4. Place in a wide-mouth glass jar and press down firmly with the pounder or meat hammer until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.
5. Cover and keep at room temperature for about 3 – 5 days before transferring to the refrigerator. Some say to cover the jar tightly while others say a coffee filter fastened with a rubber band works fine. Taste it after 3 days and each day thereafter until it reaches the tartness that you like. The sauerkraut may be eaten immediately, but it improves with age. This will keep in the refrigerator for months. Do not heat as this destroys the probiotics and enzymes which you just created.
Variations and easy ways to incorporate it:
- Serve cold or room temperature as a side dish
- Make Rueben sandwiches using healthy dressing and meat options – even meatless works.
- I like to add Daikon Radish, onion and garlic to my sauerkraut when making it
- You can also try adding shredded beets
- I have also added small amounts of kale and daikon radish greens – these can be over powering so a little goes a very long way
- Too tart? Add a bit of maple syrup to it before serving.
- Use as a condiment with hot dogs, brats, and roast beef.
- I like to add pickle, horseradish, and cayenne to mine when eating with roast beef.
- I like to make garlic bread from my sprouted grains bread, then top it with sauerkraut and then top kraut with a slice of raw cheese – pop it until the broiler until the cheese is melted.
- Garlic bread and kraut topped with tuna mixed with garlic oil seasonings of choice
3 quarts Filtered Water – important since chemicals in water can kill the scoby
4 Organic Black Tea Bags
1 cup sugar, organic preferred (do not use honey, maple syrup, xylitol, or any other substitute)
½ cup kombucha from a previous batch – if purchasing a scoby, follow directions on packaging
1 scoby either purchased or given to you by a friend
Scoby: Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria & Yeast
How To Do It:
- Bring 1 quart of filtered water to a boil.
- Pull from heat and add 4 tea bags and let steep for 15 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and add sugar. Stir until dissolved. Pour into a wide mouth glass jar.
- Add 2 more quarts of filtered water.
- Add ½ cup of kombucha from a previous batch.
- Add your scoby.
- Attach coffee filter to top of jar and secure with rubber band.
- Set in a warm place in your kitchen for 7 – 10 days. After 10 days, sample it for sweetness/sourness.
- It is ready when it is fizzy when you pour it and has lost “sweetness.” The scoby eats the sugar and gives you enzymes and probiotics in return.
- A new baby scoby will begin to form as your kombucha ferments.
- Remove ½ cup of kombucha along with scoby, and store in the refrigerator in a glass container until you are ready to make a new batch.
- Strain and refrigerate the rest of the kombucha.
I love it plain, but you can add juice or fresh fruit to make flavored kombucha. Adding grape juice is my “wine.” Excellent with mango juice which is a favorite of Ruthie's.
4 cups of water
4 tablespoons Redmond’s sea salt or Sea Salt from Natures Sunshine
1 head cabbage, shredded
1 cup daikon radish grated
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
2 Bifidophilus Capsules from Nature’s Sunshine (optional, but encourages the fermentation)
How To Do It:
- In a large bowl mix water and salt to dissolve salt.
- Add the cabbage and daikon radish. Cover with a plate or other weight to keep the vegetables submerged and soak for 12 hours.
- Drain the water and reserve for later.
- Taste for saltiness and add more salt if needed. If it’s too salty, give the veggies a quick rinse.
- Add the rest of the ingredients a mix well, taking time to work the veggies in hands a bit to break them down.
- Put in your glass jar, crock, or ceramic pot and pour the reserved salt water over it.
- Salt water should cover veggies completely.
- Cover with a towel or coffee filter, securing with a rubber band if necessary.
- Let sit at room temperature for 3 – 7 days.
- Taste kimchi daily until it tastes “ripe” then refrigerate.
- Enjoy daily as a condiment or side dish.
Variations – add your choice of:
- Green beans
- Sea Vegetables
- Hot peppers
- Broccoli – a little goes a long way
- Kale – a little goes a long way
- Make it as spicy or mild as you like -- feel free to experiment with the amount of ginger and cayenne that you use