Dental decay and gum disease is a sign of systemic dis-biosis. In other words, it is a sign that the normal flora bacteria that coats our skin and lines our GI track (starting with oral cavity) is out of balance. On average, each of us alone have about 500+ different species of bacteria living in our mouth. These bacteria constantly strive to stay in balance with one another. However, when we live an unhealthy lifestyle and consume highly processed foods that are laden with sugar, chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives or GMO byproducts; the bacterial imbalance will set in. What that means is that the normally protective bacteria will become pathogenic. Live, fermented foods will help to re-seed your GI track, including your mouth, with beneficial flora that will also help to re-balance it. Fermented foods should be incorporated into your diet on a regular basis. Fermented vegetables are an excellent option as they can easily be made at home in a very inexpensive way and can also be stored in your refrigerator for months. Here are a few tips on how I make my own fermented vegetables at home:
You will want to start out by shredding together cabbage, onions, carrots and celery. Once you've done that, place the shredded vegetables into a bowl and sprinkle them liberally with salt. If you wish, you may add rye or any other spice of choice into the mixture. Next, with your hands, you will begin to knead the vegetable mixture until you see a good amount of juice being expelled. Your hands should be getting very tired at this point! You will want to firmly press down the vegetable mixture until it is just barely submerged in its own juices. After, you will need to completely cover the dish. I like to use saran wrap but you may also use a ceramic plate to cover it as well. You will want to weigh down the mixture with rocks or something heavy enough to assure that all of the air is expelled. Once you have this done, you will want to place the bowl into a dark and dry area in order for the vegetables to begin the fermenting process. Since I do not use my microwave for anything else, I like to use it as an incubator for my vegetables. You will leave the bowl in that dark place for about five days. By the third and fourth day you will want to start checking on the process. It should start to smell like sauerkraut and you should also start to see little bubbles forming at the edges of the dish. Once it has reached this point, you may leave it fermenting for an additional day or two or you may begin the canning process. Once you are happy with the result, you will then want to divide the vegetables into glass mason jars for storage. Again, you will want to make sure that you are packing it down firmly into the jar so that the vegetables will remain submerged in their own juices. Once the lids are secure, you will than place the jars into your refrigerator for storage. These fermented vegetables can serve as an everyday side dish or can even be used as a condiment to embellish your meat and fish recipes. You will also find a variety of fermented vegetable recipes online that use different types of vegetables and spices as well.
- Dr. Mallery