Modern living is taking its toll on our gut health, the increase in daily stress, poor diet of processed foods, refined sugars and harmful chemicals used in medications and skin care products directly affects the gut resulting in gas, bloating inflammation, and food intolerances.
By incorporating certain foods into our diet which are rich in probiotics and prebiotics (the active living microorganisms which are found in the digestive tract), we can help relieve any symptoms caused by the imbalance. A balanced gut will promote weight loss, improve immunity, assists with disease prevention and even increases the production of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin.
Sauerkraut is a wonderful source of probiotics and is easy to make as you will see in the recipe below. By making your Sauerkraut you can be sure of the ingredients you are using as opposed to some store-bought products which have been pasteurized and have killed off a lot of the good bacteria. Another great source of probiotics is good quality natural yoghurt.
Prebiotics assist the probiotics in the gut, however prebiotics are found in indigestible foods that pass through our gut and promote the growth of our good bacteria. Examples of these foods are starchy root vegetables that are boiled and left to go cold, slightly unripe bananas, raw asparagus, onions, garlic and oats. Below is a simple sauerkraut recipe to get you started
- 600g x cabbage shaved or chopped
- 100g x carrot julienne
- 300g x fennel julienne
- 1 x tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 x granny smith apple grated
- 2 x tablespoons sea salt
- 1 x 1lt preserve jar or Mason jar
- Sterilise your jar and utensils in boiling water
- Combine cabbages, carrot, apple and seeds and mix together in a bowl
- Place mixture a handful at a time into the jar, seasoning with some of the salt and pounding mixture as you go
- As you pound the mixture, it will draw out liquid from the vegetables, this will help submerge our mixture
- Once all the mix has be pounded into the jar it should be just submerged by that liquid ( this acts as a barrier from oxygen)
- Seal jars and place on a shelf or bench in your kitchen for 5-8 days
- Check the jars daily to see your creation grow, open the lids and release any gases if any and taste it along the way
- Once the desired texture is achieved, which is personal taste but usually a minimum of 5 days in our kitchen
By Executive Chef James Knight