Updated: Feb 11
Why do I include ‘daily ferments’ as one of Engineered Wellness’ seven elements? Well, ferments are truly a great source of probiotics and typically prebiotics. Example ferments include:
Sauerkraut (make sure it is fresh, not canned as canning will kill the bugs)
Apple Cider Vinegar
So much of our food today has been sterilized to the extent its original probiotics are gone. Sure, you can take a probiotic supplement. But, fermented veggies, such as sauerkraut, can give you a great broad spectrum of good bugs in your system. Typically, I will eat just a small spoon of fermented veggies daily; you really don’t need much. Remember, never boil your ferments if you want to keep the good bugs alive (add miso to your soup at the very end just prior to serving).
Fermented foods can be a bit pricey in the stores. So here are a couple quick tricks for making at home. You can also see some examples on my Instagram. I found the first recipe in an old Edible Hawaiian Islands magazine (winter 2014). It has been a staple ever since.
2 ½ pounds vegetables, your choice, grated, chopped, or sliced.
1 ½ tablespoons sea salt, my preference is Selina Naturally Celtic Sea Salt, available here)
Optional: 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh herbs and spices or 2 to 4 teaspoons dried, to taste
Combine in a mixing bowl and massage well for several minutes; it will start to get really juicy.
Sterilize a jar(s).
Pack mixture into the jar, tamping every inch or so to work out any air pockets. Leave at least one inch at the top. Add a weight to keep all veg below the liquid surface. Store in a cool dark place for a minimum of 4 days and up to several weeks, to taste.
Another general go to recipe is to create a brine and place over fresh sliced veggies. The brine is a standard 2 cups of filtered water with 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt. The brine is ready for use once the sea salt has dissolved. Slice carrots, green beans, and cauliflower into salad size chunks. Grab a quart jar and add some dill sprigs (or dried dill) and a teaspoon of black peppercorns, and any other spices you may like. Fill the jar with the chopped veg and cover with brine. Add a weight to the top and let sit to taste (same as above). I love these fermented veggies in salads. Add purple cauliflower for a rainbow pop.