Get your gut healthy the vegan way – find out how!

Three reasons you should make your own sauerkraut at home: Number one – it’s super cheap. Number two – it’s really easy, and number three – it is extremely good for you!

So let’s go make it!

There are various ways that one can make sauerkraut using a variety of flavours but the key ingredients and the method will always be the same. In this presentation, we are experimenting with red cabbage instead of the traditional white cabbage which is often used that everyone has become so familiar with.

Ingredients:

Red Cabbage, beets, juniper berries, and salt.

Here is further information that may bring you up to speed regarding probiotics and why they are so good for us.

Some other ways that you can make sauerkraut easily:

  1. White cabbage, pink Himalayan rock salt, dill, horse radish.
  2. White cabbage with 1 x T of salt, vinegar, and organic sugar in each container.  Then top up to 2/3 boiled water.
  3. Mixed combo of white and red cabbage with quince, caraway seed and salt.

Make sure all containers and jars are ultra clean before you fill them up.

Your method will be similar in that you will cut your cabbage in half, take out the core – then quarter. Always opt for a good quality salt with lot’s of minerals, as you shan’t be throwing out the water.

Shred to your desired thickness, salt and massage – then allow to stand for up to a day. (this allows for the salt to release the juices from the cabbage, and makes the rest of the process a singe).

Add to a container (a handful at a time, then press to release water further).  You can add your other flavours in-between.  N.B. Horseradish not only adds wonderful flavour but doubles up as preventing possible mould. You want to press down your cabbage hard into the containers until the cabbage is covered with brine.

Finally, preferably keep those ingredients press down with a plate, on top of which you shall set a  weight such as a 2 litre bottle filled with water etc so that your cabbage stays submerged in it’s juices.

Cover your container with a cheese cloth or damp cloth so that it has some room to breath. Never fill your container up all the way to the top as, as your sauerkraut starts to ferment – it expands before it settles down.

Place in a safe corner away from any action but check on it every day wiping away any foam which may develop on the sides.  The fermentation process ought to take about three weeks, but taste your sauerkraut – you may even enjoy after a week.

Probiotics is the total buzz word right now, and that’s exactly what is in sauerkraut. It’s got tons of good bacteria which is great for your gut! Ready good for indigestion and immunity, giving your vegetables absolute superpowers! Cabbage is a great source of A, C, fiber – it’s a great veg to eat on it’s own but even better fermented!

 

 

 

 

What are probiotics – why are they good for us?

Probiotics are a microorganism introduced into the body for its beneficial qualities.They are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for health, especially our digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But our body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. They are naturally found in your body, but can also be found in some healthy vegan foods.

How Do They Work?

  • When we lose “good” bacteria in our body, probiotics will help replace them.
  • They lower the amount of “bad” bacteria in our system that causes infections or other problems.
  • They help balance our “good” and “bad” bacteria to keep our body working like it should.

What Do They Do?

Probiotics help move food through our gut. Researchers are still trying to figure out which are best for certain health problems. Some common conditions they treat are:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
  • Antibiotic-related diarrhea

There is also some research to show they ease the symptoms of non-stomach-related problems. For example, some people say they have helped with:

  • Skin conditions, like eczema
  • Urinary and vaginal health
  • Preventing allergies and colds
  • Oral health

Benefits of probiotics for re-establishing and maintaining gut integrity and optimal health. What is the purpose of probiotics, who should consume them and for how long, and are they vegan?

Who and for how long?

Unless you’ve never been on a dose of antibiotics in your life, never eaten an animal product injected with steroids, hormones or antibiotics, never travel and are able to shield your body from environmental toxins via air, water and food – then you can stand to benefit from daily probiotic consumption.

Benefits of probiotics:

Our bodies require a healthy dose of good bacteria in order to maintain wellness. Meanwhile probiotics perform many daily functions:

  • break down and digest food
  • produce vitamins
  • suppress other microbes that threaten to take over, such as yeast
  • replenish good bacteria destroyed by antibiotics and environmental insults
  • manage diarrhea and urinary tract infections
  • potentially alleviate medical conditions such as: ◦Irritable bowel syndrome

◦Diarrhea, especially when associated with antibiotic use

◦Ulcers

◦Colitis

◦Chronic yeast infections

◦Autoimmune Illnesses

  • display minimal side effects, mainly gas initially as gut integrity is re-established

Enjoy natural vegan probiotics – fermented plant foods (cultured vegetables, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, coconut kefir, kimchi, kombucha, etc…). But always keep in mind that these foods may or may not have been cultured with lactobacillus which from an ethical standpoint you want to avoid.

Fermented foods are cheaper than supplements, tastier, and usually more effective. Adding these delights to our daily intake is quite feasible and in many ways preferred, but it will require additional education, planning and incorporation of new foods. Making our own fermented foods is cost effective, tasty, and usually more effective, and at least we know exactly what goes into them. Start with the easy ones to make like sauerkraut – obtainable to have a bottle of that in our fridge always.

The casein protein:

Unlike lactobacillus, casein is a mammalian milk protein that is non-vegan. In many cases, casein invokes a severe food allergen – avoid.

What to look out for in a “vegan” probiotic:

  • Read “vegan” labels – make sure you can view all the ingredients prior to purchasing online
  • Magnesium Stearate – look for “vegetable magnesium stearate” instead
  • Casein = milk protein
  • Capsules made with gelatin = horse, cow, sheep hoof remnants
  • Honey, Bee Pollon, Royal Jelly, Propolis, Beeswax = bee related
  • Lac Resin/Shellac = bug juice, think M&M’s coating
  • Cholecalciferol = animal version of vitamin D
  • Vitamin A – from fish or animal livers

Vegan Options:

Overall my recommendation for anyone, especially the true vegan (avoiding lactobacillus), is to consume probiotics from cultured and fermented foods. This is a delectable option because it provides nourishment while enjoying the probiotic benefits within real, whole vegan foods rich in water, fiber, nutrients and phytochemicals!

The great news is that there are plenty of convenient options for getting started such as a daily dose of fermented veggies (cultured veggies, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles) soy products (1-2 servings of soy or coconut based yogurt, tempeh, miso) or beverages (like Kombucha and Kevita).

In fact, learning the art of fermenting vegetables in your own kitchen may be that next challenge you’ve been seeking as a veteran vegan looking to take your health to the next level!

What is kombucha:

Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is a probiotic beverage. This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability.

What is kimchi:

Spicy pickled cabbage

What is tempeh:

Tempeh is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegan burger patty.

What is miso:

This is a paste made from fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt, used in Japanese cooking.

What is Kevita:

Is a beverage handcrafted from four strains of live probiotic. Flavors include Coconut, Mango Coconut and Pomegranate. KeVita is certified organic, non-dairy, non-GMO, gluten free and vegan.

What is Coconut kefir:

is a beverage that’s becoming more and more popular due to its incredible health benefits, for everything such as boosting immunity to fighting off harmful yeasts and bacteria. While kombucha brought back the hip factor to the world of fermented foods, coconut kefir is taking the reigns pretty quickly.

So there ya have it – take full advantage of another mega wonder of nature. Stay healthy, keep fit, be happy, always vegan.