Part of the juicing program we followed involves taking pro-biotics, those millions of hard working good bacteria that sort out your gut and make it a happy place. I have tried various times over the past few years with drinks & pills and they have all ended in disaster and a not very happy tummy.... This could mean that I don't need them but various stomach troubles leads me to thinking that this isn't so, I just need to find the right ones.
I like crunchy, sour & salty...this is what was most apparent after 28 days straight of juicing. I didn't miss sweet things or indeed any of the things I thought I would miss the most but I missed salty in a big way. I have always loved salt not in a sprinkle table salt from a shaker over everything kind of way but on certain foods it is a must...Anyway I'm rambling and maybe a salty post is for another time.
So as with all things the closer to the natural produce for me is best, less tinkering means more goodness and I have decided to take several different routes to a healthy gut...Water Kefir and fermented vegetables for starters.
Our journey has begun with water kefir, I had dabbled with milk kefir sent to me by a most generous soul a few months ago but after giving up dairy i decided to try to convert the grains but this was a big disaster...start again. So I purchased a couple of packets of specific water grains from the Happy Kombucha who specialise in all things fermented and their water grains are on half price at the moment so if you fancy giving it a whirl pop on over to the site.
They arrived super fast with great instructions which involved fermenting the grain over a 24-48hr period in some sugar water laced with ginger & lemon...already sounds yum don't you think. This makes your basic Kefir water which can then be fermented grainless for a few more days depending on your tastebuds. We have been experimenting with various flavours adding it to the basic kefir water after it has been strained and these have included mint, ginger, blackberries and some elderflowers and cherries as an alternative to that most delicious but sugar laden syrup that is usually a summer staple here. It seems to be going down a treat with the big boys guzzling for England and even the most picky of eaters is partaking of a glass with breakfast and as an after school snack (as you can see by her fingernails she had already been out digging around looking for strawberries....its 6.30am!)
Then onto cabbage and the most magical sauerkraut...I have been buying raw unpasturised kraut from my local health store and thought it was high time to give it a go at home. This crunchy delight full of friendly happy shiny bacteria is at the top of my list for daily munching. So armed with my favourite Alys Fowler book Abundance and various how to's from across the t'internet I decided to start small with my UK version of the pickl-it jar, if anyone has a uk source of these or something similar please shout as drilling and faffing with the lids is such a nuisance. The site was also a wonder of info on fermenting so if you have any questions its a good place to start.
So it sits on a shelf waiting for bubbles and the magic to start....and lets hope it doesn't end up on the compost heap...I also started a small jar of red cabbage & ginger...thought it might be a nice combo, we shall see.
So if you fancy having a go yourself below are a few links to get you started, it seems like bread that everyone has there own way so use these few links as a starting place and let your fermenting journey unfold....x
most useful places to visit
Sauerkraut in a mason jar
German Sauerkraut in a jar
Nifty plastic mason jar lids.....as given the heads up by Gloria Nicol
Kilner Jars - find your nearest stockist