I'm on a serious gut health kick this week. And for good reason. Admittedly I've been slacking a bit the last few weeks. Work became stressful, keeping up with everything felt overwhelming and I mindlessly gravitated towards, for lack of a better word, shit food. It had gluten free plastered all over it but just because it was gluten free doesn't mean it was good for me.
It's easy getting trapped in the "it's only a few" mentality but the truth is, if you have gut issues, a few every day is just enough to bring all the symptoms back and make you feel like garbage. I felt a bit hypocritical because here I am, a big proponent of real food stuffing my face with gluten and dairy free food like stuff.
Without much fanfare and self loathing, I decided to just get back to eating real and minimally processed food. And sure enough it's made a big difference. I've mentioned before that I don't like being overly strict because it feels suffocating but it's important to remind ourselves that a lot of what we see on store shelves is not providing any nutrients or any benefit aside from sheer pleasure because it does taste so damn good.
So what to do when you've gotten off track? Start by getting back to the good stuff. For me that always includes nature's probiotics in the form of fermented vegetables. I mean yes, you can go and buy a bottle of expensive probiotics but why when you can just get them through food! Truly one of my favorite ways of undoing some damage is by eating fermented vegetables.
Do you feel intimidated by the idea of making your own ferments? Don't! It's surprisingly simple and versatile and your little gut bugs will be very happy to say the least.
As far as vegetables, you can use whatever you'd like but I find certain combinations work better than others. This assortment is one that my grandparents often made and it's simply cauliflower, green beans and carrots. You can eat fermented vegetables on their own, as a side or chop them up and add them to your favorite dishes.
All you need is a large jar, filtered water, salt and vegetables.
fermented vegetable medley
prep time: 5 minutes
fermenting time: 2 weeks +
yields: 1 half gallon jar
1 small head organic cauliflower
a good handful of green beans
bunch heirloom or regular carrots
2 tbsp sea salt or pink salt
4 cups warm filtered water
1 clove garlic sliced
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
a few springs of fresh dill
Combine warm water with salt and stir until salt is fully dissolved. Let cool.
Break cauliflower by hand into desired size pieces. Chop carrots in whatever shape you wish, either strips or rounds. You can leave the beans whole or cut them in half.
Add all vegetables, garlic and dill to the jar and add saltwater until vegetables are fully submerged. Twist on lid and keep away from any places with temperature fluctuation such as stoves or dishwashers.
Let ferment for 14 or more days. You can "burp" your ferment daily if you want to release some pressure but it's not mandatory. That just means twisting the lid off and back on.