"Ewwww, gross! Sauerkraut? That's stinky!"
Part IFirst I must start off with a lengthy explanation as to why we, as sane persons, would put something nasty like kimchi or sauerkraut into your mouth on purpose... (Btw - we have actually grown to like it, thanks to an awesome guy named Oleg - who is sadly no longer running his restaurant).
My family and I have recently (that's a relative statement) discovered a number of food sensitivities that have stemmed from what we have concluded to be leaky guy syndrome. Basically what happens is when the bacteria in your gut gets thrown out of whack by things like antibiotics or stress, other things that are not so desirable, like yeast and bad bacteria, start to take over your digestive tract. The result is now there are holes in the digestive tract that allow food particles to pass into the blood stream that shouldn't. Then, in response, your immune system begins to identify those food proteins and such as foreign invaders.... now you have an auto-immune response to the foods you love! This is in addition to the chemicals that the bad bacteria, yeast and fungi produce when they digest the food you swallowed. Just think, if mushrooms (fungi - ie Candida) are bad to eat, maybe it's not good to have it growing in your stomach either!
Well once this happens, there are three choices - ignore it, take a psycho-tropic drug to alter your mind, or treat the problem. We opted to treat the problem... and yes, the doctor did suggest a psychotropic drug as an option! Isn't that the common denominator behind so many people that get depressed and kill people? I digress...
Treatment for this condition (leaky gut)
In order to keep it simple, however, let's focus on probiotics. So we already covered the good and bad that can happen inside your digestive tract and how it can get thrown off. Now let's talk about fixing it. Sure, you can spend lots of money on probiotics and it would probably get things healed faster... but since I have limited funds, that's not always the path I get to take in life. Instead I get to try and make my own!
One such probiotic is the bacteria lactobacillius (I found that here). The cool thing about this stuff is that it grows on a lot of the food that we already eat! The white film on grapes, yep, that's it! Eat anything from your garden, it's probably on there too. In this case, it certainly grows on cabbage leaves, and cabbage is what you make sauerkraut from!
Other good sources of probiotics include the following: Yogurt, Kefir, Kimchi, Kambucha and pickled anything, assuming it's a bacterial pickle, not a vinegar pickle. Also - You can it, you kill it! Don't cook your probiotics, they will die and will be of no benefit to you!
If you know of more sources of probiotics, please chime in!
Suggestions for recipe's...
Fresh and Fermented has a great recipe in it for sauerkraut with beets, carrots and green peppers! We made about 10lbs of it a few months back and loved it... not so much by itself, but it's great on hamburgers, in breakfast mixes, mixed in with just about anything it seemed. My lovely wife even put some of it on some frozen fruit and thought it was good. I chose not to adulterate my fruit, as I think it's best the way God made it!
Fermenting for Dummies had some nice looking recipe's as well...
The Idiots Guide to Fermenting - This has some neat recipe's I'd like to try some day, especially the ginger ale!