Have you ever heard of the microbiome? I hadn’t either until one of our customers talked to me about it and told me about a book called “Brain Maker” by Dr David Perlmutter (www.drperlmutter.com) . According to Perlmutter, more and more research is pointing to the importance of the colony of microbes (the microbiome) that should be present in our gut. In fact, “Research at the leading edge of medicine is now acknowledging that the state of the microbiome is so key to human health that it should be considered an organ in and of itself.” A healthy microbiome can apparently help any degenerative or inflammatory condition.
So how do you get and keep a healthy microbiome? Perlmutter offers 6 essential keys. The one at the top of the list is “Choose foods rich in probiotics”. And this is where sauerkraut comes in.
Sauerkraut is cabbage that is fermented with lacto bacillus. It is produced when you finely chop a good healthy cabbage, add some salt, mash the cabbage to break its cell walls and leave it “to do its thing” in an anaerobic environment. The lacto bacillus that is naturally present on cabbage, and other vegetables that grow close to the soil, multiplies and the cabbage turns into sauerkraut. Depending on how long you’ve left the lacto bacillus to multiply, the sauerkraut is lightly acidic (or sour – hence the name sauerkraut), strongly acidic or somewhere in between. People who want to heal their microbiome want it to be as full of lacto bacillus as possible. However, if you don’t like the taste, you may not eat it so to start with make it to your liking and you will probably develop a taste for greater sourness over time.
Sauerkraut is easy to make. We'll be making a batch of sauerkraut and talking about how to do it and how to avoid things going wrong. Help grate and mash the cabbage, and taste a batch that was made several weeks previously. The sauerkraut is made in our traditional glazed stoneware fermenting crockpots from Poland. An ingenious yet simple design that gives your lacto bacillus an anaerobic environment to thrive in. It has a moat of water around the lid that makes the pot air tight from outside, but allows the carbon dioxide produced during the fermentation to escape from the inside.
Nicki giving the sauerkraut making demonstration in the Pond Room on Hazelcombe Farm.