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Randy Schwartz of Heart-Lock Health Coaching discusses the health benefits of cultured vegetables with Dr. Greg Chappell of Chappell Chiropractic Wellness Center in Traverse City,MI. Randy relates how these fermented foods contain probiotics which can have a significant positive affect on gut and immune system health and reduce inflammatory conditions in the body. These positive physiological effects could help the body prevent or fight chronic diseases and auto immune dysfunctions and improve problems such as digestion, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.
SAMPLE RECIPE: CULTURED RED CABBAGE
Ingredients: to prepare 1 gallon
1. 3-4 small / medium red cabbages
2. 3-4 garlic cloves
3. 3-4 bay leaves
4. 1 packet of Culture Starter
5. ½ teaspoon raw honey
6. ½ cup warm filtered water
7. 1 quart room temp filtered water
1. Cutting board
2. Large chef’s knife
3. Mandolin slicer or food processor
4. Juicer or blender
5. Gallon sized glass jar with airtight lid. Or 2 half gallon sized, etc.
6. Extra Large mixing bowl
7. Canning jar funnel
1. In small bowl dissolve 1 packet culture starter in ½ cup warm (but not HOT) filtered water. Then dissolve ½ tsp raw honey. This will give the culture something to feed on. They will consume all of the sugar content by the time your culture is complete.
2. Remove 6-8 outer leaves of the cabbages to be saved until the end for packing down your shredded cabbage.
3. Cut cabbages in quarters, remove core.
4. Shred approx. 3 red cabbages into mixing bowl
5. Juice ½ of a red cabbage.
6. Poor into mixing bowl
a. Culture Starter from step 1.
b. Juice from ½ red cabbage from step 5.
c. 1 quart room temp. filtered water
7. Massage the mixture together using your hands for approx. 5min in order to soften shredded cabbage a little and ensure even distribution of cultured brine solution.
8. Using a Canning Jar Funnel, transfer shredded cabbage into your fermenting jar.
a. Make sure to pack it down tightly using your fist or potato masher.
b. Distribute garlic cloves and bay leaves in between layers of shredded cabbage.
c. DO NOT fill jar to the top. Leave about 3 inches of empty room at top.
d. Poor culture brine from mixing bowl into jar. Only fill until shredded cabbage is covered. You must leave 3 inches of empty space for expansion. (If you do not have enough liquid to cover cabbage, add more room temp filtered water)
9. Fold whole cabbage leaves from step 2, and place in jar on top of shredded cabbage to keep the cabbage submerged underneath the brine solution. Fermenting is an anaerobic process. The shredded cabbage must be submerged to keep it out of contact with oxygen in the air.
10. Securely close lid. Set Jar in a safe location where it can remain undisturbed for approx 5-7 days. Place a towel or brown bag over the jar to limit its exposure to light.
11. Check on your fermenting jar once a day to monitor its progression and pressure build up. You may need to “burp” the jar once every day or so, to avoid an overflow. Your cabbage will expand as it is fermenting.
12. After 5-7 days your fermented red cabbage should have a brilliant bright red color. Open the jar and discard the whole cabbage leaves.
13. You may now enjoy your fresh cultured red cabbage!!
14. Store in refrigerator. Can be stored refrigerated for approx 3 months.