How to Improve Gut Health for Cold and Flu Season
Looking for ways to boost your immune system during cold and flu season? Tip: 70% of your immune system is in your gut! The wise saying “you are what you eat” is testimony to the importance of our digestive tract, and there is plenty of information available to learn about the amazing role our guts […] The post How to Improve Gut Health for Cold and Flu Season appeared first on Elite Nutrition and Performance.
Looking for ways to boost your immune system during cold and flu season?
Tip: 70% of your immune system is in your gut!
The wise saying “you are what you eat” is testimony to the importance of our digestive tract, and there is plenty of information available to learn about the amazing role our guts play in our health, and immunity.
The easiest way to immediately improve your digestive tract is with probiotics, and by getting good bacteria from fermented foods. Luckily, there is an inexpensive way to create probiotic-packed fermented foods at home!
So, here are 3 easy recipes to make fermented foods at home and build up your gut health with ingredients you probably already have!
Watch the video for my tips, and see the recipes below.
Fermented Garlic Honey
- Fill a glass jar half to 3/4 full of peeled organic garlic (watch the video for my tips!)
- Pour raw honey over the garlic, leaving at least 1 or 2 inches at the top of jar.
- Loosely cover the jar with a lid so that gas can escape.
- Put jar in a dark place to allow the fermentation process to start, and place in a container to catch any honey that leaks out.
- During the next 2 weeks, open the lid to allow the gas to escape once or twice a day (set a reminder for yourself).
- For the first several days, rotate the jar to flip to upside down one day (secure the lid first!), and then right side up the next day.
- Allow about a month for fermentation, and the more time it sits – the better.
Bubbles may appear and that shows you that it’s fermenting. After several days the honey will liquefy the garlic will soften. Store your fermented honey garlic in a dark cool space.
You can eat the cloves, use the honey as a cough syrup, or use it as a delicious and healthy marinate for foods like salmon, and Asian dishes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
- Fill the glass jar 3/4 full with apple peels and cores, or even slices.
- Make a mixture of sugar-water that will be enough to match the size of your glass jar. The ratio is 1 tablespoon of sugar per 1 cup of water.
- Stir the sugar into the water until it’s mostly dissolved, and pour over the apple scraps until they are completely covered. (Important – 2 inches of room at the top of the jar).
- Loosely cover the jar with either a coffee filter, or fabric with an elastic band.
- Place the jar in a dark and warm spot for 2 weeks.
- Stir it around every couple of days and skim off any scum that develops on the surface.
- After 2 weeks, strain the contents so the liquid is captured and the scraps can be discarded (or feed them to your chickens!).
- Set the strained liquid aside for another 2 to 4 weeks in a dark and warm spot.
By now, the vinegar will have a sweet apple cider smell, but if it’s missing that sharp tang or vinegary smell and taste, then you’ll know it needs to sit for a bit longer. When you’re satisfied with the taste of your vinegar, you can cap it with a lid and store it as long as you like. It won’t go bad!
Don’t worry if you see a gelatinous blob in your vinegar solution – that’s a good thing! This is the infamous vinegar “mother”, which can actually be used to jump-start future vinegar batches. Either remove it and store it in the fridge, or leave it to float in the vinegar.
Your homemade apple cider vinegar is perfect for adding to your drinking water, taking a spoonful to help settle an upset stomach, for cooking, cleaning and everything else you find if you research its many uses!
Fermented Red Cabbage (Sauerkraut)
- 3 cups shredded red cabbage
- 3 cups water (preferably filtered)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
- Peppercorns (optional)
- Sterilize a 32 ounce wide-mouth glass mason jar.
- Stir the salt and water together in a measuring cup until salt is fully dissolved.
- Add the peppercorns (optional) at the bottom of the sterilized jar
- Add the shredded red cabbage to the jar (important – leave 1 inch of space at the top of the jar).
- Pour the brine solution into the jar so that it covers all the cabbage.
- Top with either a fermentation weight or a small dish to make sure the cabbage stays completely submerged in the brine (watch video to learn more).
- Screw on either a regular lid or a ‘burp’ lid and store somewhere out of direct sunlight.
- If you used a regular metal screw on lid, be sure to release the build-up of gasses once or twice per day.
Seeing bubbles in the jar is a sign of successful fermentation. Allow 1 to 2 weeks to ferment, but start tasting after 1 week to test when it’s to your liking. Then put in the refrigerator and enjoy! Consume within 1 month.
I’d love to hear from you if you try either of these recipes! So leave your comments below!
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