Traditionally most cultures included probiotic foods in their daily diet to aid digestion and promote beneficial bacteria in the gut. With modern diets, and processing methods such as pasteurisation, probiotic foods are now rarely eaten.
A simple way to include these foods in your diet is to ferment vegetables. This is a relatively easy process and most vegetables can be used. Use high quality vegetables, ideally organic, as this will influence the quality of the final product. Fermented vegetables are meant to be taken as a condiment to your main dish rather than in large quantities.
One of my favourite recipes is fermented coleslaw otherwise known as ‘coleslaw kraut’.
- 1 medium red cabbage
- 2 carrots
- 6 spring onions
- 1 apple
- 1 tbsp sea salt
Chop or grate the vegetables and fruit or shred in a food processor. Place in a bowl with the sea salt. Pound with a wooden ponder for approximately ten minutes to release juices. Taste the mixture to ensure the salt ratio is appropriate – you should be able to taste the salt without it being over-powering. Place the pounded mixture into a sterilized glass jar which has an air-tight lid. Press the mixture down firmly into the jar. The top of the mixture should be at least one inch below the top of the jar. Seal the jar and leave at room temperature for 3-5 days depending on how warm your kitchen is. After this time transfer to the fridge. Properly fermented vegetables should have a pleasant aroma and keep for many months in the fridge. If a batch goes bad there will be a strongly unpleasant smell.