Wellness + Nutrition

Probiotics & Fermented Vegetables the benefits of probiotic rich fermented foods

8th December 2014

Humans have been fermenting/ culturing foods for hundreds of years, apart from it preserving foods and improving taste, it also has amazing health benefits. Natural fermentation infuses food with beneficial microbes, also known as probiotics or good bacteria. There are many health benefits to eating fermented foods, not to mention fermented drinks like kerfir and kombucha, below a abbreviated list;

Probiotic Benefits

  1. Strengthens your immune system
  2. Improves digestion and assists in elimination
  3. Good bacteria assists in natural weight loss/management
  4. Destroys toxins in the food we eat
  5. Prevents candida overgrowth
  6. Fermentation improves the nutrition in the vegetables, for example fermented cabbage has 200 times more Vit C then raw cabbage.
  7. On a enviromental note, fermenting in season veggies reduces the carbon footprint.
  8. Lowers blood pressure.

My favourites fermented foods are kimchi, suaerkraut and a simple mixed veggie ferment. They are all very easy (and extremely economic) to make at home, here is the recipe for a great ferment to start with:

  • Use organic veggies if possible, do not peel them, just wash them well, or remove top layer from cabbage, or top and tail where needed.
  • Wash and sterilise two large consol (mason) jars.
  • You wil need 5 large carrots and one small red or white cabbage.
  • Dissolve 4 heaped tablespoons of pink salt in 700ml of boiled water.
  • Shred carrots and cabbage finely, mix them together and pack tightly into your mason jars.
  • Then fill the jars with the salt water until the salt water covers the surface of the vegetables and gently tap jars to encourage all the air bubbles to escape.
  • Now you just screw your lid on tightly and leave your jars outside of the fridge for 2-4 days depending on the season. In winter jars should be left out of the fridge for at least 4 days, but in warmer weather 2 days should be sufficient to start the fermentation process.

NB: Be sure to “burp”, (open) the jars once a day for the first 4 days to let out gasses from the fermentation.

In approx 5 days, or less in warmer weather, you should have some lovely crunchy naturally pickled veggies, the longer they stand the more “pickled/sour” the taste. They will keep well for a long time in the fridge. Your veggies should have pleasant pickled or beer like smell, if they smell off, you should probably start your process from scratch, but this is a unlikely event.

My daily Yoga Kitchen Lunch Bowl ALWAYS includes fermented vegetables. Will be sharing some lovely bowl combination some day soon.

Have you tried fermented foods and if so which ones are your favourite? Would love to hear from you.

With ♡, yoga kitchen

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