I've been thinking about my health philosophy a lot lately. It seems that launching a new business is a great time for self-reflection. I strongly believe it is important to know where I stand in this world of overwhelming and often conflicting health advice. So exactly where do I stand? Well, here at the beginning of my new adventure Salus Southern Highlands, I believe the following to be true:
- We are all individuals and our health is no exception. Listen to advice, seek information, evaluate it and experiment with changes. But always listen to your body.
- Small changes can have big effects. If you break a change down into tiny steps then suddenly that change does not seem so impossible. It doesn't matter where you start with improving your health, just start.
- Natural treatments and lifestyle changes are great for preventing disease, treating disease or complementing conventional treatments. You can have the best of both worlds, really you can.
- Perfectionism and idealism have no place in health. Our bodies are not perfect, nor is our health. The aim of a healthy body should be to allow us to live a full and satisfying life, not to distract us from our lives.
To celebrate my newly formed health philosophy, I would like to share with you a recipe that is a great example of small changes having big effects. My Super Kraut. Why is it Super? Because that's what I have to call it to get my kids to eat it. That is only half true actually. My youngest begs me for "more kraut", and my oldest has his merely so that his little brother can't get his hands on it.
Traditionally fermented foods have had a surge in popularity lately, and this is for very good reason. They provide a powerhouse of beneficial bacteria, and provide great support for the function of your digestion and immune system. Keep in mind that everyone has a different tolerance of fermented vegetables. Start with a small dose, then build your dose as you can. If you have trouble tolerating fermented foods, then you may have some underlying digestive imbalances that need some attention.
There are many sauerkraut recipes available online, and if you have already found one that works for you then by all means - carry on! If you are new to fermented food or intimidated by them, then find your first small step to experimenting with them. This might be buying an unpasteurised sauerkraut from your local organic market or green grocer to see if you like the taste.
My recipe is as simple as I could make it. I am busy and I like to keep things quick and easy in the kitchen. It makes it more likely that I will get around to making the things I have time to. Feel free to play around with this recipe, add some colourful veg or some spice. But please don't reduce the salt. The salt is crucial to allowing the right bacterias to thrive. Fermenting is a fairly forgiving process, and is often described as an art. Give it a go and see what you think!
1 medium-sized cabbage
1 heaped Tbsp sea salt
- Pour boiling water into 2 or 3 large glass jars and their lids.
- Tip water out and drain on a clean tea towel.
- Take 2 or 3 outer leave offer cabbage and keep.
- Shred or food process your cabbage. Chunky or fine, you choose.
- Place cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix together.
- Half-fill one jar with cabbage, then pound it with the end of a rolling pin.
- Add more and pound more, until it looks very juicy and your jar is full.
- Repeat with your remaining cabbage and jars.
- Fold one of the outer cabbage leaves and place in the top of each jar. Place lids on.
- Place the jars in a shallow container as they will spill over a little.
- Leave for at least 10 days to ferment, longer is ok too.
- Check on them often, pressing the cabbage down if it doesn't look covered with liquid at the top.
- Place in the fridge and start consuming.