Every world cuisine and culture has some form of fermented food — the Koreans: kim chi; the Japanese: miso; Easter Europeans: sauerkraut; Indonesians: tempeh; Malays: sambal; Mediterraneans: yogurt, and the list goes on. It is not accidental; fermentation creates healthy bacteria in the food that aids our digestive track. This is our quick fix to good digestion, a healthy gut, and a strong immune system.
While you might be taking probiotics, they are not as powerful and versatile as real food. Different fermented food gives you a different spectrum of healthy bacteria; therefore eating yoghurt alone might not be enough — add food like sauerkraut, kim chi, miso, and tempeh.
It’s also worth knowing that commercially fermented food is often poor in quality. Yes, it did have good bacteria at the beginning of the preparation process but often times it gets heated in order to have a longer shelf life. The process of heating kills the good bacteria as well. The optimal solution for best health? Make your own yogurt.
- 1 cup of sauerkraut (be sure to get one in the fridge section of the store, not on a shelf. It should never contain vinegar)
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil or flaxseed oil
- Heat up a frying pan and roast cumin seeds till fragrant (do not burn)
- Toss sauerkraut, cumin seeds and oil in a bowl
- If you need more fat/oil to digest it better, go ahead and add more
Is it OK to warm the sauerkraut in the pan while you roast the cumin seeds? I don’t usually like to eat sauerkraut cold. Would warming it up cause it to lose it’s strength in probiotics or vitamins?
Good question. Yes, the higher the heat, the more it will destroy the probiotics. However, warming up the sauerkraut in a pan with a touch of hot water too, will be good. Also, add some oil to it if you like (at the end of heating, not to fry it); it might agree even better with your tummy.