I've been reading some about fermented foods and how they have incredible amounts of probiotics (Dr. Mercola has an interesting article here on fermented foods). Sauerkraut, for example, is known to have high amounts of probiotics and also Vitamin C that is actually more usable for your body than taking Vitamin C in other forms.
When I'm overseas, things like probiotics and probiotic starter cultures are not as accessible for me, so I decided to start with something that I can find locally and that doesn't require starter cultures. We have a friend here in Puebla who is German-Mexican and he loaned me his crock and some sea salt, as he likes to make sauerkraut, too (if mine turns out good, I'll give him some!).
Then I looked at quite a few websites for a good, yet simple recipe for sauerkraut and was pleased to find this one. Not sure about the rest of the content on that blog, but there is a link to another interesting article on fermented foods, as well as links to other recipes that I'd like to check out here.
But for now, I'm starting simple with just sauerkraut. Besides, as the Dr. Mercola article points out, there can be a significant "healing crisis" (die-off reaction) if you begin taking too much fermented food too soon. I am curious to see if I can get Miguel and the kids to eat any, first of all, and then if we'll notice any difference in our health issues. Miguel suffers from something like irritable bowel syndrome and all the kids and I have a yeast/cheese culture intolerance. After reading about GAPS (Gut And Physiology Syndrome), it makes me wonder if we don't all need to pay more attention to probiotics.
I chopped up a cabbage and a half today and now it's setting in the pantry waiting for the fermenting process to begin...I used the pestle in the picture to pound the cabbage and it worked really well!
So...I guess I'll find out in a couple of weeks whether this recipe worked for me or not!