Sauerkraut- love in a jar!

Sauerkraut equals good bacteria for your gut.  It is vital to get your gut working properly so that you are able to absorb all those precious nutrients from your superfood.  {allyouneedislove} Complex Green and Complex Berry have 10 billion probiotics blended into the formulas, but you have to also look at where else you can add in the good bacteria during your meals in order to get your health sorted at every opportunity. You can heal your gut, reduce inflammation, and avoid just about ALL chronic illnesses inc. auto-immune disorders, cancer, heart disease, brain disorders, arthritis and diabetes. Yes, your gut is the seat of all illnesses and whatever is happening in your gut is reflected in how your brain functions.  It is where all the work happens to turn what you eat into healthy cells right through your body.  And the bonus for having good gut flora is improved vitality and energy, not to mention happiness in all areas of your life.

Woohoo- give me more bacteria please!!

Remember in order to recruit your army of good gut guys you need to eat them at every meal so get creative and hide the sauerkraut in a salad, or eat it on its own.  It won’t take long before you will be looking forward to it without thinking it is stinky!  Don’t cook it though, you want it raw!

INGREDIENTS

culture starter- {allyouneedislove} Multi-mineral Calcium powder

cabbage (reserve the big outer leaves for packing in the top at the end)

carrot

fennel

garlic

fennel seeds

sea salt

filtered water (not tap)

EQUIPMENT

magimix

big stainless steel bowl

bottles with lids

plunger (take it from your blender or juicer)

knife

tongs and big mixing spoon

tray (for over spill)

PREPARATION

You can use any vegetables you like. Traditionally we think of sauerkraut as being cabbage, but you don’t have to restrict yourself.  Use what is plentiful at the markets and make it while it is still fresh from the grower.  Fruit doesn’t work as it goes mushy.  If the veggies however are sweet, the bacteria will eat up the sugars for fuel as they grow.  I think that the jars look beautiful so you may want to make different ones for the look and the flavour.

Wash the veggies, and slice them either by hand or with a magimix kitchen machine with a grater blade. This is faster and you get smaller pieces than by hand. The idea is to cut up the veggies for the most surface area for the bacteria to work.  Either way is fine.  Mix in a big bowl and get your bottles ready. They need to be clean but we are not pickling, so you don’t need to sterilize them. You could use any jar that closes tightly. Make sure you get out a few different sizes as it is hard to know what size to use, but you have to fill the jars completely.  That is the key.

You need to add water to the mix. It is the water from the veggies that get the bacteria having fun.  To really get the party started faster, I mix a pinch of celtic sea salt in a jar with say about 300 ml of water, shake it and then pour it over the veggies. This is not to make a brine, it is just to get the water to come out of the veggies and start mixing with the bacteria that is naturally on the veggies.  The cabbage does not have bacteria (oddly enough- that is why it is a safe salad to eat when you are travelling to places that may have unwashed salad), so cabbage by itself will need a culture starter.  If you add other veggies they will have bacteria so you could go without a starter. (It is not as scary as it sounds!)

As a culture starter, I make use of our {allyouneedislove} Multi-mineral Green Calcium powder to do the job as it not only has the sea minerals, it also has prebiotics and probiotics for a better head count.  You want to pack the guys in there if you can. You don’t need a starter to make this recipe, but I prefer to get the most out of it while i’m at it.  You can sprinkle the powder over the veggies in the bowl (about 1/2 teaspoon per 500 gm jar, not exact measuring for this) and slowly just move everything around so that all the surfaces get a bit of action- water and calcium powder.  You start seeing the juices happening.  Leave this for 5-10 mins just to get working.

Get your bottles and start packing it in with your tongs.  Do it in layers so that you can get your plunger in and pack it down hard as you go. This releases more juices and it takes the air out as the result will be denser.  You don’t want air in there as this will give you mould.  Once you get to the top and it is as tight as you can pack it, spoon into the jar the juices from the bottom of the mixing bowl and then top up with more water.  Take the thick outer leaves that you reserved and pack them folded to fit in the top- you want them to take up the air and create like a plug, so when you close the lid it will have pressure down on these leaves.

You are done!  Now don’t do what i have done in the past and throw the whole lot away just from seeing a bit of mould.  Just keep on checking it and if there is mould just remove it and make sure the water is covering your goodies and let it keep on going.  They rely on a few days out on your bench and good warmth.  Place them on a tray as they will leak water as the good guys expand their bellies and their numbers and take up more room.  This will show you that it is working.  In winter I will leave the jars in the dehydrator and turn it on every so often to keep them warm. They don’t work in the cold.  The temperature will determine how long it takes, but keep checking on them over 3 to 5 days.  Be careful taking the lid off as you will either just hear a sizzle sound or there has been huge activity and you’ll be covered in a spray as i was when I checked mine this morning.  Hmm 🙂 Try opening them with a tea towel over the lid.  The bright veggie colours will fade over the incubation time.  When they are ready, place them in the fridge and eat a tablespoon with your meals 3 times a day.  Start with a small serving and work your way up as it may be a shock to your bad bacteria who have taken up squatter residence and are about to get kicked out.  Just note how you feel and keep increasing it. Keep taking this as part of your new diet routine.

Don’t get put off by the smell.  I find it sweet now after doing this for a while.  Others think that it stink out your kitchen a little, but it is so cheap to make at home and is well worth it.  One batch lasts for months and you could do it in a group with friends.  It is really easy and the effort gets easier as your confidence builds.

I get excited at what these little guys will mean to my health- that is what i focus on!  Good bacteria helps us absorb the vitamins and minerals that we eat, they help us produce Vitamin B in the gut (this helps with stress, depression, anxiety and energy) and is a good source of Vitamin K which is good for cardiovascular health and strong bones as it is necessary for calcium assimilation.  Our pure plant sourced calcium powder is mineral rich – calcium, magnesium, boron, selenium (74 trace minerals) and balanced also with Vitamin K (from the probiotic phyto-blend with Nettle leaf and Vitamin D from mushrooms.

All this in one little jar- that’s why i call it love in a jar!!  <3