Cabbage is a perfect food to eat everyday! It’s high in fiber and antioxidants which stimulate detoxifying enzymes that are known to protect against certain cancers and lower LDL’s or “bad cholesterol.”
Lightly cooked and raw are both delicious ways to eat cabbage. It’s great in salads and slaws, in vegetable sautes and even as a juicing ingredient.
But my favorite way is to ferment it, or “culture” it. Fermentation occurs naturally as a result of beneficial bacteria present in the cabbage. When left to ferment for a few days or weeks, the cabbage becomes a tangy, probiotic salad.
Cultured vegetables boost your immune system and help promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Also they cleanse the colon and promote healthy digestion, which is important for absorbing all the nutrients in our food.
Another cool thing about cultured vegetables is that it is a great way to preserve produce. A few years ago, I was over at a friend’s house and we were digging through her frig and we found way in the back a jar of garlic kraut we had made the previous summer! We were a little scared to open it, but it was still delicious.
This super basic recipe is inspired by Donna Gates’ book “Body Ecology.”
3 heads green cabbage, thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 carrot, large, shredded in a food processor
3 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 bunch radishes, washed and thinly sliced
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Remove several cups of this mixture and put into a blender.
Add enough filtered water to make a “brine” the consistency of a thick juice.
Blend well and then add brine back into first mixture. Stir well.
Pack mixture down into a 1½ quart glass or stainless steel container.
Use your fist to pack veggies tightly.
Fill container until almost full, but leave about 2 inches of room at the top for veggies to expand.
Roll up several cabbage leaves into a tight “log” and place them on top to fill the remaining 2 inch space. Clamp jar closed.
Let veggies sit at about a 70 degree room temperature for at least three days. You should see bubbling inside the jar-that is a result of the natural gases produced by fermentation. It should not form mold or be slimy, although it will have a sharp odor. It should taste tangy and refreshing!