Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

Raw fermented sauerkraut is an easy, affordable way to enhance digestion and nutrient assimilation. Sauerkraut provides a natural source of potent, immune-enhancing live beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics. Sauerkraut is an excellent source of Vitamin C and is rich in phytonutrients and cancer-fighting compounds, such as anti-oxidants.

Ingredients

  • 1 head red or green cabbage, finely chopped or grated
  • Finely ground sea salt
  • Non-chlorinated water
  • Optional: Herbs (Cumin Sd or Marjoram are nice choices)

Preparation

STEP 1: Chop or shred the cabbage as finely as possible

STEP 2: Start adding the cabbage and salt to your container (anything but metal will do), firmly tamping it down as you go. The basic ratio for salt to cabbage is 2.5-3 tbsp: 5 lb cabbage.  If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can weigh your cabbage out at grocery store on the produce scale. Try to distribute this evenly as you add your cabbage to the crock. Some people measure their salt, others don’t. Too much salt will inhibit fermentation so it’s better to be conservative. If you are adding herbs add them as you add the salt, at a ratio of about ¼- ½ tsp: 1 lb cabbage, basically to taste.

After you have about a 2-inch layer of cabbage added to your crock, tamp it down firmly with a pestle or wooden spoon.  This helps the cabbage release it juices and make a good brine - the salt does this as well. 

STEP 3: After you’ve added all you cabbage/salt mix, place a clean plate over it to weigh it down. Important note: The brine should completely cover the cabbage so none is exposed. If necessary fill a large mason jar with water and place it on the plate to help weigh it down. If the brine has not completely covered the cabbage within 24 hours of making it, you can make your own brine and add it.  Use 1.5 tbsp salt: 4 cups water to make a brine.

STEP 4: Let it ferment! Cover the entire set-up in a cloth to keep out dust, etc. Bubbles and foam are all signs of healthy fermentation, you may skim them off if you’d like. Occasionally some mold will appear on the surface of the brine. Simply skim it off. It’s no big deal and will not affect the sauerkraut below it.

Fermentation times can vary widely.  A warm environment will speed-up fermentation and a cold one will slow it. Let the sauerkraut ferment “to taste”.  Try it every couple of days, and when it tastes good and done (aka sour!) put it in a glass jar with a lid.  You want it to be fresh-tasting and crunchy. If it’s getting soft its been fermenting too long. Store sauerkraut in the fridge once it is “done” since the cold temps will slow fermentation to virtually a standstill.

STEP 5: Enjoy! Have a nice 2-3 tbsp of sauerkraut daily with your meals to add delicious, bright flavor.

Recipe by Jade Alicandro Mace

Thyme Steam Inhalations to Soothe and Clear the Lungs

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One of the best ways to alleviate respiratory congestion during the cold and flu season is with a Thyme steam inhalation. As a full-spectrum antimicrobial, Thyme will not only improve your symptoms, but will also address the cause of your upper and lower respiratory congestion.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tsp. dried Thyme
  • Large pot of water

Preparation

Bring water to a boil, and remove from heat. Add Thyme to water and cover pot with lid. Allow to stand for up to 5 minutes. Remove lid from pot and place pot on heat resistant surface. Drape towel over both your head and the pot, and inhale steam deeply. Continue until there is no steam left.

Repeat several times a day until symptoms improve.

                                 - From herbalgeek.com 

The Delicious and Cleansing Kichari

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup white basmati rice

  • ½ cup mung beans

  • 6-8 cups water

  • 3 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tsp coriander or ½  tsp pwd
  • 1 tsp cumin seed or ½ tsp pwd
  • ½ tsp brown mustard seed
  • ½ tsp turmeric pwd
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro lvs (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups assorted vegetables (optional)
  • dash of sea salt (to taste)

Preparation

Combine the rice, mung beans and water and cook at a low simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes until the beans become soft.  While that is cooking, chop any veggies you are adding (zucchini, sweet potato, carrot, squash, asparagus and any dark leafy greens are all nice).   Add the vegetables to the rice/mung mixture and cook 10 minutes longer.  In a separate pan brown the spices with ghee for a minute or two, being careful not to burn them.  Lastly, add the browned spices and ghee to the rice/mung/veggie mix.  Top with chopped cilantro and a dash of sea salt, and serve!

Notes

Ghee is a digestive aid and increases digestive or metabolic fire (“agni”), improving nutrient absorption and assimilation.  It is known to lubricate the joints and connective tissue of the body, increasing flexibility.  It also enhances memory.

One can “fast” on just kichari for a safe, nourishing and effective cleanse.  Since it is so easy to digest, eating just kichari alone for anywhere from 3-7 days will allow the digestive system a much needed break and give the body a chance to remove built-up toxins (“ama”).  During a kichari cleanse it is important to maintain proper elimination- helpful aids for this (taken in-between kichari meals) include prune juice, psyllium husks with water and oat bran.  Kichari can also just be enjoyed from time to time as a nice, nourishing meal.

Concurrent therapies for cleansing include a tea made of cumin, coriander and fennel.  1 tsp: 1 cup water, drinking 3 cups/day.  And also triphala as well- ½ tsp pwd: 1 cup room temp water OR 2 capsules 2x/day.  Take powder or capsules in morning and evening on an empty stomach.

 

Adapted from The Ayurvedic Cookbook by Jade Alicandro Mace and Mary Ryan

Make Your Own Fire Cider

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup grated Horseradish (very pungent – process in well ventilated room!)

  • 1 bulb of crushed Garlic – optional

  • ½ cup grated Ginger

  • ½ cup chopped Onion

  • ½ to 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (depending on your heat tolerance)

  • 1 qt (1000ml) Apple Cider Vinegar (preferably unpasteurized)

  • 1 – 3 Tbsp. Honey

Preparation

Place the first five ingredients in a wide mouth quart mason jar, and cover with Apple Cider Vinegar. Mix all ingredients together. Make sure that the vinegar is at least two inches above the herbs, and one inch below the lid. In order to prevent the vinegar from corroding your metal Mason jar lid, consider adding a piece of cellophane or wax paper between the jar and the lid.

Allow the infusion to sit in a cool, dark place for 4-8 weeks. Strain into clean jar and add honey.

Note: If you’re using unpasteurized vinegar, then you may find a thin film on your cider once you uncork it, which is perfectly normal.

                           - Taken from Herbalgeek.com and Susan Weed’s Fire Cider Recipe