by Phillip Day

A cheap and highly effective way to boost your bowel flora and hence immune system is to prepare a ready supply of home-prepared, fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut. Any vegetables may be fermented, and this was the standard method your forebears used in centuries past to preserve vegetables as winter closed in. A cupful or two per day added to the diet will provide the body with billions and sometimes trillions of colony-forming bacteria, which help regain a healthy balance over harmful pathogens such as Candida, staphs and others.

Here’s how to run up your first batch of home-prepared sauerkraut: Take one white cabbage and three carrots. Ensure they are organic and have not been irradiated by food suppliers to the supermarkets. Chop up the cabbage to sauerkraut consistency (thin short ribbons) and do the same with the carrots (I usually coarse-grate them). Put the mix into an open kitchen basin and add 1.5 tablespoons of Himalayan salt. Mix in then leave the lot for 45 minutes to wilt.

Return, roll up your sleeves and get the fingers into the mix and squeeze and scrunch the sauerkraut to break down the cell walls and release the liquid into the basin to mix with the salt to create brine. Do that for 10 minutes until the mixture is thoroughly wet and squishy.

Next, take a medium sized kinder jar (those air-tight, lock-down sealable jars) and pack with the sauerkraut. As you push down tight, you’ll notice the brine level will rise. When you’ve packed to the top, take a couple of uncut cabbage leaves, which are springy, and place on top of the mix as an arch so that when you close the lid, the springy leaves push the sauerkraut pulp under the brine. Lock the kinder jar and put away.

Leave for 7-10 days to ferment. Make sure you keep as much air out of the jar as possible. After fermenting, remove the uncut cabbage leaves and the mixture is now ready for use. It will last almost indefinitely but best kept in a fridge and withdraw for use. You may vary the recipe according to taste. Sauerkraut goes with a surprisingly wide variety of dishes.

For more information, log on to YouTube and search on ‘How to prepare fermented vegetables’ for some quick tutorials.