Fermented foods

Deckard

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Laura said:
Besides, I just love sauerkraut with pork...
You should definitely try Sarma then,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarma_%28food%29

Balkan version is made with sauerkraut leaves and mixed pork/beef mince with nice smoked pig legs cooking with it.
 

LQB

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Laura said:
LQB said:
Laura said:
So basing anything on his experiences is like the cancer trials that were so terribly flawed mentioned earlier in the thread. It's pretty clear that eating carbs while trying to fix something with vitamin C in any form is an experiment in futility.
I agree - its like trying to wade through all the reviews on LC where some folks claim amazing recovery and others claim no improvement at all. There is no data to help explain why things worked for one and not the other. And diet - if we had the data- might explain that.
Yeah, it's like the astrophysicist guy mentioned by Psyche and Megan above: it didn't work for him. My guess is that there was something really flawed in the way he went about it. Though I am impressed by Megan's little experiment with adding back a few carbs in the way of sauerkraut and having such good results. Maybe our bodies are just so messed up that eating properly isn't going to work if we don't get some other things sorted along with it.
After this latest colon experience I had, I can't help thinking that getting things right down there with matched bacteria is crucial - at least for me (and Megan/others). And maybe for some of us, the adjustment period is going to be longer to get these things sorted out.

Laura said:
I've had the experience of having a few more carbs and then when I went back to near-zero carbs, everything worked better. In fact, we've got some home fermented sauerkraut making as we speak. Should be ready in a couple of weeks and then we'll be following Megan's example and having a spoonful with our meals to test it out. Since it is home-made, we know what's in there and that the fermentation is natural. Besides, I just love sauerkraut with pork...
My mother likes a little kraut on the side too. She used to have a dab of it with most meals - less so now on KD. And she adapted to KD much more easily than I expected - easier than I did and she is 82 in April. I wonder if there is a clue here ...
 

mb

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Laura said:
Yeah, it's like the astrophysicist guy mentioned by Psyche and Megan above: it didn't work for him. My guess is that there was something really flawed in the way he went about it. Though I am impressed by Megan's little experiment with adding back a few carbs in the way of sauerkraut and having such good results. Maybe our bodies are just so messed up that eating properly isn't going to work if we don't get some other things sorted along with it.

I've had the experience of having a few more carbs and then when I went back to near-zero carbs, everything worked better. In fact, we've got some home fermented sauerkraut making as we speak. Should be ready in a couple of weeks and then we'll be following Megan's example and having a spoonful with our meals to test it out. Since it is home-made, we know what's in there and that the fermentation is natural. Besides, I just love sauerkraut with pork...
There are so many facets to gut health that I feel overwhelmed at times, but then I start trying to think in common sense terms. Taking things apart scientifically can be fascinating, but when you try to put everything back together so you can use it, the parts may not fit and you may be missing a lot of parts you never knew were there because you never knew to look for them. I think that is a problem with Jaminet's work, although I do find some of his insights to be very useful.

So looking at it from common sense, we have this "small" intestine that's very long and this "large" intestine that is quite short. Both add weight and take up space and need energy to operate, even if most of the work being performed within is accomplished by microorganisms. If you don't eat any plant materials then the large intestine doesn't have much to do, which starts to make it look like a waste of resources, something that evolution should eventually reduce to an organ more like what carnivores have.

My sense, though, is that because we do still have the colon, it is very useful (and gives us advantages over carnivores) and we just don't know what all it's used for. So, after cutting out plant foods for a while to try to control pathogenic microbe activity, I have been trying to feed my colon, but selectively and not too much.

In spite of its name, it isn't all that large, especially if you don't cram it full of waste plant material and stretch it. It's physical configuration seems to be a fermenter, so I feed it indigestible fermentables -- "prebiotics" or foods that pass through the small intestine undigested and then fuel fermentation in the colon. I also have been including a probiotic -- sauerkraut -- to hopefully keep the pathogenic bacteria at bay while the whole thing starts to do some much needed maintenance.

The carb intake from the prebiotics and probiotics is negligible, so this should not affect gluconeogenesis. If Jaminet is correct, the carb content of the low-carb veggies amounts to less than the energy consumed by the (glucose hungry) immune system to keep the bacteria in check.

Properly "tuned," the colon would seem to have the potential to produce a wide array of nutrients and other substances that the human body itself is unable to make. For all I know (and I don't know much at this stage), with the right substrates going in the colon could be able to make vitamin C or something better, and that is why we don't make it ourselves any more. I can also imagine how, by outsourcing some processes to microorganisms, people can adapt to different foods and regions and health threats by changing what's in their guts (and not just in the colon). After all, microbial evolution can take place much faster than human evolution. There is so much we don't know.

As I have suggested before, the gut with its various components is our energy converter, that "understands" the outside world and "digests" food information to provide the metabolic substrates that we require, while blocking harmful information, and yet providing for adapting over time to changes in what is available from outside. It is not a fixed, blind process.

To me there seems to be an analogy with our minds, and how we go about taking in non-food information effectively, and I think it could be more than just an analogy. What particularly strikes me is the way the gut is described in The Polyvagal Theory as a sense organ. It seems to be involved in more than just taking in food. I do wonder (and this is purely speculative) if all those microorganisms are somehow involved in a networked way with this sensing function as well. They are said to outnumber our own cells 10 to 1!

That said, I think I am going to try some pork with my sauerkraut, and see if the pork doesn't taste better.
 

Beau

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Laura said:
In fact, we've got some home fermented sauerkraut making as we speak. Should be ready in a couple of weeks and then we'll be following Megan's example and having a spoonful with our meals to test it out. Since it is home-made, we know what's in there and that the fermentation is natural. Besides, I just love sauerkraut with pork...
That's interesting, how do you guys make the sauerkraut? I wanna try a little experiment myself, I love sauerkraut.
 

mb

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Heimdallr said:
Laura said:
In fact, we've got some home fermented sauerkraut making as we speak. Should be ready in a couple of weeks and then we'll be following Megan's example and having a spoonful with our meals to test it out. Since it is home-made, we know what's in there and that the fermentation is natural. Besides, I just love sauerkraut with pork...
That's interesting, how do you guys make the sauerkraut? I wanna try a little experiment myself, I love sauerkraut.
With cabbage, salt, water, and air (that's where the bacteria are), and something to serve as a fermentation jug, and weights to keep the cabbage submerged. But perhaps someone can fill in more detail. I have read about it, but not actually made it yet myself.

If it turns out that fermented veggies are going to be helpful over a longer period of time then I will start doing it myself, to control the quality of the ingredients and save money. I still don't think they would necessarily be a permanent part of a diet, but we learn as we go.
 

dugdeep

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Megan said:
Heimdallr said:
Laura said:
In fact, we've got some home fermented sauerkraut making as we speak. Should be ready in a couple of weeks and then we'll be following Megan's example and having a spoonful with our meals to test it out. Since it is home-made, we know what's in there and that the fermentation is natural. Besides, I just love sauerkraut with pork...
That's interesting, how do you guys make the sauerkraut? I wanna try a little experiment myself, I love sauerkraut.
With cabbage, salt, water, and air (that's where the bacteria are), and something to serve as a fermentation jug, and weights to keep the cabbage submerged. But perhaps someone can fill in more detail. I have read about it, but not actually made it yet myself.

If it turns out that fermented veggies are going to be helpful over a longer period of time then I will start doing it myself, to control the quality of the ingredients and save money. I still don't think they would necessarily be a permanent part of a diet, but we learn as we go.
Here's Sandor Katz's (Wild Fermentation) recipe: http://www.wildfermentation.com/making-sauerkraut-2/
 

Gaby

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LQB said:
My mother likes a little kraut on the side too. She used to have a dab of it with most meals - less so now on KD. And she adapted to KD much more easily than I expected - easier than I did and she is 82 in April. I wonder if there is a clue here ...
I have noticed time and again how people in their 80s enjoy better health and/or quality of life than their daughters or sons. Perhaps it is related with epigenetics and how back then they were exposed to less levels of environmental toxicity and toxic foods.
 

LQB

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Psyche said:
LQB said:
My mother likes a little kraut on the side too. She used to have a dab of it with most meals - less so now on KD. And she adapted to KD much more easily than I expected - easier than I did and she is 82 in April. I wonder if there is a clue here ...
I have noticed time and again how people in their 80s enjoy better health and/or quality of life than their daughters or sons. Perhaps it is related with epigenetics and how back then they were exposed to less levels of environmental toxicity and toxic foods.
That's a very good point/observation. It seems all subsequent generations since are suffering more and more chronic conditions at earlier ages.
 

Mikey

The Living Force
Megan said:
With cabbage, salt, water, and air (that's where the bacteria are), and something to serve as a fermentation jug, and weights to keep the cabbage submerged. But perhaps someone can fill in more detail. I have read about it, but not actually made it yet myself.
For Sauerkraut we should create a separate thread. But just a comment to this: no air/oxygen! Must be sealed in a self-produced CO2 atmosphere.
 

mb

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Data said:
Megan said:
With cabbage, salt, water, and air (that's where the bacteria are), and something to serve as a fermentation jug, and weights to keep the cabbage submerged. But perhaps someone can fill in more detail. I have read about it, but not actually made it yet myself.
For Sauerkraut we should create a separate thread. But just a comment to this: no air/oxygen! Must be sealed in a self-produced CO2 atmosphere.
The air is where the bacteria come from, although you can use a starter culture if you wish.

You simply have to keep the cabbage submerged in the brine, but certainly out of the air itself since we want it to be anaerobic to cause fermentation and not composting! Here is the description from Deep Nutrition. The starter is optional, but I like the idea of using Bubbies for it.

Deep Nutrition said:
If you’ve never fermented anything, you should. With a little instruction and practice, you can make yourself the best sauerkraut you’ve ever tasted. And it’s ridiculously easy: Shred a cabbage in the food processor. Mix with a full teaspoon of salt and a little liquid from a jar of Bubbies brand pickles (or other fermented vegetable product) and pack into a lightproof container with something heavy, like a jar full of water, sitting on top to keep the cabbage under the liquid. Cover with a towel to keep the bugs off. Wait a week or so, and eat.

Shanahan MD, Catherine (2011-04-22). Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food (Kindle Locations 2349-2353). Big Box Books. Kindle Edition.
I do wonder if one could culture different bacteria for different purposes by using different vegetables and/or starters.

But yes, perhaps we should have a topic about fermented vegetables. Maybe someone that is actually doing it could start it?
 

Mrs. Peel

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I am not real wild about sauerkraut, But i am drinking raw organic kombucha, which kinda tastes like sauerkraut juice anyhow. :P
 

Weller

Padawan Learner
But yes, perhaps we should have a topic about fermented vegetables. Maybe someone that is actually doing it could start it?
Great idea for a new thread! I haven't posted in a while...BUT after adopting a largely keto diet 3 years ago, I found fermented foods to be a huge part of my "diet enlightenment" and a big part in gut healing and have to give it a huge thumbs up and a lengthy post (fermented veggies also have hydrogen peroxide as a byproduct). It came after a realization that every culture had its own version of fermented food, and it tended to be part of the daily diet - sauerkraut, quark, kimchi, pickles, yogurt, miso, kombucha, natto, whatever. Americans have been left out in the culinary cold on this, with vinegar-based pickling (no surprise, I think vinegar pickling was largely promoted b/c of food scientists' concern for microbial contamination, taste consistency, and 'quality control').

I started lacto-fermenting my own veggies but I was totally intimidated at first, thinking I'd wind up with some toxic moldy brew. I started with kraut, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is timid to start with kraut (white cabbage) because you can't screw it up and it's incredibly cheap to make; your cabbage's own lactobacilli will do the fermenting job, no need for Bubbies. After fermentation, scrape off the top layer if you are nervous, and if it smells bad, throw it out and start over. Let your nose be your guide. Put it in the fridge after a couple days to stop fermentation, if you stop the fermentation too early it will be crunchy but won't taste bad; get more courageous from there; usually 3-4 days fermentation is enough at room temp but it depends on your house temperature. It will continue to ferment in the fridge though at a much slower rate. I bought the book "Wild Fermentation" and went with the "Perfect Pickler" for my pickling equipment and recipes since they use a little more 'technology' and I was comfortable with this, but pickling crocks work great too (_http://www.perfectpickler.com/).

Another great benefit: once made, naturally fermented foods last forever, like months, in the fridge, but you usually eat it long before it reaches that point. I do a lot of cauliflower, pickling cucumbers, and kraut. I also experiment with baby zucchini, radish, beets, carrots...just about anything you can think of as tasty pickled (i.e. crunchy and acidic) works great and goes really well with fatty meats or salad. Spices like tumeric, dill, and coriander add flavor too.

I was also a huge kombucha fan for quite a while, for a few years I had it 2-3 times a week, but now I find that I can't drink more than half a bottle once a month...it seems much more acidic/harsh to me now than lacto-fermented veggies. I think your own personal need for detoxing or whatever is what drives the craving or tolerance for it; I'd rather have the pickled veggies instead now, and not much, maybe half cup a day. Kvass (fermented beet juice, or other fermented veggie juice) is on my to-do list. There are a couple companies selling kvass in natural food stores, I like this better than kombucha now.

I am also a giant fan of kimchi, though the spiciness/saltiness may bother some people (I haven't undertaken making my own kimchi, which is fermented napa cabbage and salt with red chilis - wow is it stinky. Koreans sometimes have a separate fridge for fermenting it b/c it stinks so badly; beware eating it in a public place or folks will think there's a sewer leak :/). I find with fatty meats or fish (like asian soup with salmon, or grass-fed beef stew or pork chops) it helps digestion, and leaves you with a "clean" feeling after eating, like a digestive. I suspect it helps you extract more nutrients from the other foods you eat with it, though I have no info on this. Along with the probiotic benefits, I think the lactic acid produced with natural fermentation (rather than vinegar in processed pickled foods) is gentle on the system. Great stuff!
 

shijing

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FOTCM Member
I've also read in several places now that if for some reason you have to take a series of antibiotics, eating fermented foods is one of the best ways to replenish the gut flora that get killed off (you should be eating them during the entire series, not waiting until the end).
 

JonnyRadar

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I'm fermenting a batch of kraut right now, it's been sitting for 6 days at the moment, I'm planning to leave it at room temp for the full 14 days that the recipe calls for. I'm using red and green cabbage with Utah sea salt, caraway, and coriander seeds. The caraway gives it a nice rye smell.

If you use mason jars to make kraut, one trick to keep the cabbage submerged is to cut a food-grade plastic lid into a small circle, squeeze it into the jar on top of the cabbage and place a shot glass or other small glass on top of it, and then screw the lid down to hold the whole thing in place.

Regarding oxygen/no oxygen: I keep the lids on the mason jars sealed except for a once a day burping... That also helps to keep down on the smell of fermenting cabbage in the kitchen. :P This is my first batch though, excited to see how it turns out!

Edit: spelling
 
don't forget to save some sauerkraut for making bigos ;-)

_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigos

Bigos (Polish pronunciation: [ˈbiɡɔs]), known as a Hunter's Stew, is a traditional meat stew typical of Polish, Lithuanian, Belarusians and Ukrainian cuisine, considered to be a Polish and Ukrainian national dish.[1][2][3]

There is no single recipe for a savoury stew of cabbage and meat, as recipes vary from region to region and from family to family. Typical ingredients include white cabbage, sauerkraut (kapusta kiszona in Polish), various cuts of meat and sausages, often whole or puréed tomatoes, honey and mushrooms. The meats may include pork (often smoked), ham, bacon, sausage, veal, beef, and, as bigos is considered a real hunters' stew, venison or other game; leftover cuts find their way into the pot as well. It may be seasoned with pepper, caraway, juniper berries, bay leaf, marjoram, pimenta, dried or smoked plums and other ingredients.

Bigos is usually eaten with mashed potatoes or rye bread. As with many stews, bigos can be kept in a cool place or refrigerated and then reheated later – it is said that its flavour actually intensifies when reheated. One observed tradition is to keep a pot of bigos going for a week or more, replenishing ingredients as necessary (cf. perpetual stew). This, the seasonal availability of cabbage and its richness in vitamin C made bigos a traditional part of the winter diet in Poland and elsewhere. It is a popular dish in Poland to be served on the Second Day of Christmas.
 
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