Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cultured Veggies for Cold and Flu Season (and of Course Yummy Snacking)

A few months back I tried my hand at raw homemade sauerkraut and it was a great success.  Since moving to Germany in June of 2012 I have tasted some truly delicious sauerkraut.  It is one of my favorite things to eat here.  However, I have yet to come across a fresh sauerkraut that is not pasteurized.  Some friends told me that I could find it in the deli section of the local supermarket, but I have not found it myself.  Maybe because my German isn't so great (yet).

I didn't let that stop me though.  Within five minutes of searching on Pinterest (what did I ever do without this amazing resource?), I had found no less than ten recipes for homemade raw, probiotic-rich crunchy sauerkraut.  It was so incredibly simple to make that I thought I had completely messed it up and my kraut would be a failure.  Turns out it really is just that easy to make cultured veggies.

Did you know that probiotic rich fermented foods are actually some of the most powerful healing foods?  Our immune systems rely on the absolutely essential layer of defense that lies within our digestive tract.  The beneficial bacteria that live there keep harmful pathogens at bay.  When our gut bacteria are not healthy the harmful pathogens make their way into our bloodstream.  One of the single most powerful ways to ensure we remain healthy (and a powerful "medicine" when we are sick) is to consume fermented foods of all kinds so that we keep our good bacteria thriving.

There are many, many other ways that having a healthy balance of gut flora affects our bodies in positive ways (consider this article about the relationship between gut bacteria and the brain!).  However, I decided to make these cultured veggies today for the sole purpose of having them around to eat when the first signs of a cold or flu show up in the upcoming months.

I used the same method for these veggies as I did with the sauerkraut I made a few months back.  Chop them to the desired size, add salt, cover in water with 2-3 inches of space at the top, and set on the counter for at least a week.  For an extra added immune-boosting and infection-fighting bonus, I added no less than 6 crushed cloves of garlic.  Delicious and powerful! We shall see how they turn out!

(Click here for the original Pin that I used to make these veggies)

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