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Today I want to talk about Probiotics. Probiotics are basically beneficial bacteria. We have billions of beneficial bacteria living in our digestive tract. Friendly bacteria helps us digest food and absorb nutrients efficiently. These friendly or beneficial bacteria are very important to our health. In our gut, good bacteria can displace bad bacteria that inhibit our overall health.
Poor gut health can result from:
- poor diet
- over consumption of animal based foods
- added hormones
When good bacteria flourishes it wipes out the bad bacteria leaving your whole body feeling better. There have been many studies done about bacteria and the gut connected to mood. Studies have found that many people with an unhealthy digestive tract also have mood disturbances like depression and anxiety. When the gut is cleaned out and good bacteria replaces the bad, the mood is lifted. Many times when dealing with some allergies, chances are your gut is out of balance.
What Makes Probiotics?
Probiotics are created by fermentation. Friendly bacteria are all around us. So fermentation takes those friendly bacteria, collects them and gives them a good place to grow. Probiotics are found in Kombucha, Kefir, Yogurt, Buttermilk, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, and bacterially cultured cheese.
How to make Kombucha:
How to make Coconut Kefir:
How to make Garlic Sauerkraut:
How to Make Fermented Vegetables:
The origin of fermented foods began thousands of years ago when food needed to be preserved after a harvest. You can ferment cabbage, beets, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, garlic, onions, and many other fruits and vegetables.
It is a very simple process.
You will need:
- 1 Glass Jar
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1/2 Tbsp. Sea Salt
Any Combination of Veggies:
- chopped cauliflower
- chopped beets
- chopped carrots
- chopped green beans
- chopped bell peppers
- sliced radishes
- sliced daikon
- sliced cucumbers
- chopped turnips
- chopped broccoli
- chopped kale
- chopped onions
- chopped green onions
- chopped garlic
- cabbage leaves (for the top)
Any Combination of Herbs and Spices:
- dried chili peppers
- black peppercorns
- bay leaf
- fresh dill
- fresh basil
- fresh tarragon
- fresh mint
- sea vegetables (arame or hijiki) – use less salt if using these
1. Dissolve your sea salt in water in a glass jar.
2. Place your favorite combo of veggies in a quart jar.
3. Add a few layers of herbs and spices too.
(Make sure you leave about an inch of space from the top of the jar.)
4. Cover the veggies with your salt brine, again leaving an inch from the top.
5. Put lid on but don’t screw too tight. (you want a bit of space for gas to release)
6. Set your jars in an undisturbed place out of direct sunlight.
7. Taste the veggies after about 5 days. Have they soured? You can let sit for a few more days. Its an experiment, there is no exact amount of time.
8. After the veggies have soured to your liking, vacuum seal them and place the jars into your refrigerator and they will store for months.
You can eat the fermented veggies raw. Add on top of quinoa, rice, beans, leafy greens. Add them to a lettuce wrap. Making fermented vegetables is super easy and cheap as you can see from the directions above. If you still don’t have time you can always buy them. Regardless, get those probiotics into your system. You will feel the bad bacteria leaving and the good replacing as your gut heals and your whole body feels easier to live in.