The good bacteria you WANT to grow, which is healthy, beneficial and helpful for culturing vegetables and fruits is LACTO-BACILLI. This bacteria is actually salt âtolerant so whilst your Celtic Sea Salt brine is going to work ensuring that none of the harmful bacteria that MAY be (usually there isnât much in the way of harmful bacteria and micro-organisms but in case there are) present actually grow or flourish, your lacto-bacilli culture is going to work brewing and fermenting your vegetables.
In addition the TYPE of salt you use will have an effect. Donât even both with standard table salt or iodised salt. This has been chemically modified or could have been made in a petrie dish so its not âlivingâ. I choose Celtic Sea Salt because it softens the cell wall and ensures your body absorbs nutrients more freely. Itâs also renewable whereas the lovely pink Himalayan Rock salt is not â once it has been mined away, itâs gone. This is important to remember â you want your choices to be sustainable, not âfly by nightâ and then 5 years from now weâve destroyed all the salt mines in the Himalayan mountains!
To make the Homemade Eco Mum Applekraut that was posted here, using a whey based recipe youâll need:
1 head of organic cabbage (red or white â whatever you like)
2 â 3 organic apples ( you can leave the skin on as it has its own bacteria in it which is helpful with culturing and fermenting)
1tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp of pure Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Rock Salt
4 tbsps of pure whey (from recipe above)
This is basically the same recipe as the previous one with a couple of minor changes.
Remove all outer leaves of cabbage. Shred the cabbage into thin slices â either by hand or in a food processor. Grate apples finely with skin on or off â whatever you prefer.
Place the cabbage into a bowl and sprinkle with ALL the salt. Massage the salt into the shredded cabbage until it becomes juicy. The salt acts as an extractor pulling out the moisture of the cabbage leaves. Pack the shredded cabbage and apples into a 1 litre glass container that has a clamped lid, firmly, pounding with end of a rolling pin or mortar to squash it in. Leave about 3cm from the top of the jar free of vegetables.
Cover the shredded cabbage with PURE water leaving 1cm of water above the vegetables. Add the whey and the cloves to the jar. Seal the jar tightly.
Place the jar into a cool, dark place for about 6 days. Check on it every so often â you will see it bubbling up. This is the process of fermentation and the lactic acid is starting to develop. If you see any white mould appearing, simply scrape it off and push the vegetables back down under the brine. Itâs harmless if you catch it early and wonât ruin your batch. Its important the all the veges stay under the surface of the brine to help inhibit mould growth - it doesn't grow in salty water.
After 6 days store in the fridge â these cultured vegetables will keep for about a 9 months to a year, if left in the fridge. Add 1 or 2 spoonfulâs to every meal for excellent digestive health benefits, from an immune boosting and probiotic rich sour tasting side dish â a great accompaniment to any meal. The juices or brine are also BRILLIANT for gastro, diarrohea and other stomach complaints. Have one or two teaspoons of brine when feeling unsettled.
Well, because; -
- Lactic acid makes it easier for your body to digest the foods
- Increases vitamin C and vitamin A levels in the foods
- It produces a stack of beneficial enzymes for gut health and anti-biotic substances for immunity
- Lactic acid promotes the growth of healthy flora in the intestine which is essential to good overall health
- Fermented foods are rich in vitamin K2 which is a known cancer fighting vitamin
- It cuts the sugar content of foods quite dramatically (the same process sees wine end up as pretty much fructose-free) making it healthier for all.
For more ...
... on why to eat fermented foods, check out my posts on gut health here and here.
For more great recipes, hints and tips on culturing fruits, vegetables and other things at home check out these great resources:
- Nourished Kitchenâs e-course and her recipes
- Body Ecology Diet and sign up for their newsletter
- Nourishing Traditions has some great recipes
- Cultured Food Life is also brilliant and has great hints and tips for you to try
- Stirring Change is an Australian based small business all about the benefits of live, healing foods. Check them out!
- Cultures for Health has some great information and hints too
Have you done some cultured or fermented foods at home? Tell me about it! How did it go?
Love and cultures,
The Eco Mum xo
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