Then there are fermented products: the "new" ancient food! Take Kombucha for example. The other day at the food co-op I had my choice of at least 15 different varieties of the fermented beverage, each offering my gut a healthy bouquet of friendly bacteria! Hallelujah! What a beautiful thing!
Sauerkraut is also enjoying a fresh place in the healthy obsessed spotlight, despite the fact that this form of food preservation has been around for at least 2,000 years. The modern abandon of old traditions such as fermenting, has brought us full circle. We now recognize the powerful merits of these once casually rejected foods.
Fermentation was a way to preserve perishables before the dawning of refrigeration, but it also supported the health and longevity of many cultures. The friendly bacteria naturally occurring on the leaves of the cabbage for instance, are cultivated and multiplied by the fermentation process. The end result is a food that strengthens the complex ecosystem of the gut, and aids digestion on every front.
A while back, I photographed my friends, Donna and Heidi as they prepared a crock of kraut. A native to Austria, Heidi was raised with kraut as a traditional food. I am thankful to her for passing the tradition on!
Here are photos from the process:
After a few uninterrupted weeks of lacto-fermentation, the kraut was born! Each serving contains helpful lactobacilli for the gut, vitamin C and other live cultures!
I recommend a book on the topic if you are considering preparing your own.
"Making Sauerkraut and Pickled Vegetables at Home" written by Klaus Kaufman and Annelies Schoneck, is a good one!