Flavorfully Fermented

A Simple Combination Makes For Major Health Benefits

Posted: January 23, 2013

Recently, Dawn Story, founder of Farmstead Ferments, brought her kraut-knowledge from Charlottesville to the Friendly City Food Co-op for an informational tasting.
 
Story, whose love of sauerkraut stems from her commitment to simple, energy-saving methods, says the food is not only tasty, but packed with health benefits from probiotics to vitamins.
 
Cabbage, salt and time: These are building blocks of any kraut creation, says Story.
 
But not all sauerkraut is created equal, as she’s heard from her customers.
 
“Once people taste my sauerkraut, in most cases, they’ve had sauerkraut out of a can that’s not that tasty.”
 
Story makes brine from salt and water, and then submerges the cabbage to pull water from the vegetable and create naturally occurring bacteria.
 
“Our culture thinks bacteria is bad,” says Story, “but a very small percentage on the planet is actually harmful.” The good outweighs the bad, she says, in most fermented foods.
 
Michele Simmers, of Kate’s Natural Products, agrees.
 
Good bacteria already resides in the digestive tract, so adding more — from fermented foods such as kombucha drinks, kefir yogurt, kimchi cabbage and sauerkraut — can boost the immune system and ease digestive disorders.
 
And eating your probiotics, instead of taking them as supplements, provides a more complete nutritional profile, including added vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
 
For a twist on munching sauerkraut, try sipping the juices it’s brined in, Story suggests.
 
“It rehydrates the body, alkalizes blood and jump starts metabolism,” she claims. Add a splash of juice to stir-fries for an extra zip, or mix up a quick two-ingredient salad dressing with sauerkraut juice and olive oil.
 
Staff writer Kate Kersey contributed to this report.
 

Contact Samantha Cole at 574-6274 or scole@dnronline.com.


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