Carrot ginger sauerkraut
Our bodies are homes to trillions of microbes. In fact, we have 3-4 pounds of bacteria that live in our gut and it's important to maintain a good balance of beneficial microbes to keep us physically and mentally healthy. This is such an exciting time when it comes to taking care of ourselves!
More and more research is proving that the quality of your gut microbiome is directly related to your physical and mental well being.
There are many ways to cultivate a good microflora. Eating real whole foods, especially lots of fruits and vegetables is a fantastic way to ensure that your microbiome is well taken care of. Another way to introduce beneficial bacteria is to incorporate live probiotics to your diet. Probiotics are ingredients that contain an adequate dose of live microbes that have been documented in target-host studies to provide a health benefit.
These would include foods like: Kefir, yoghurt, kimchi, tempeh, miso, craft beer, wine, sourdough and sauerkraut.
Here is a recipe that I have modified from Find your balance
Fermented carrot and ginger sauerkraut
1/2 cabbage (2 cups)
4 large carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 gloves of crushed garlic (depending on how much garlic you like)
5" ginger, minced
2 tbsp salt
you will need a 500 ml mason jar with lid
1. Shred your cabbage. You can either chop it or shred it in a food processor
2. Shred your carrots using a shredder or food processor
3. Add your shredded cabbage , carrot, chopped onion, minced ginger, crushed garlic and salt to a large bowl.
Time to get dirty!!
Next, using clean hands, mix all of the ingredients together. Massage this mixture until well combined.
You have two options
Massage the mixture, squeezing and mixing for 5-10 minutes until liquid forms in the bottom of the bowl or when you squeeze the mix in your hands.
Leave the bowl and its contents on the counter for 8 hours or overnight. That's right, just walk away from it and let it sit. After 8 hours you will notice a liquid in the bottom of the bowl
Place the mixture into a glass jar and pack it down, with a clean wooden spoon, removing any air bubbles from the mixture, until the vegetables are completely immersed under the liquid
Place a cabbage leaf over the contents to submerse it under the liquid
Cover with a lid or place a cheese cloth over it and secure with an elastic band.
It's important to leave at least 1"-2" of head space to allow room for fermentation.
Place in a cool place away from direct sunlight for up to a week , checking it regularly. If you have a cover on it, you don't have to unscrew the top but you can to let some of the gasses out if the top of the cover is taut and resists getting pushed down. Brace yourself for the amazing smells that will come out!
I like to check and make sure that there is no mould growing on the surface. If there is mould, don't be alarmed, just scrape it off and let the fermentation continue.
At the end of the week, check for mould again and taste to see if it is to your liking. Let it sit for a few more days until it tastes just right, then store it in the refrigerator with the cover on. Fermentation will slow down in the refrigerator but over time you might need to release the pressure.
Use your nose and intuition when it comes to knowing if it's still good or if it has gone bad. If it smells the same as when you made it, it's good but if it smells musty and mouldy then it's best to throw it out and make a new batch.
Those bugs in your belly will thank you!