While discussing numerous tips to begin the new year on a healthy note, I advise adding probiotics to your diet. Probiotics are good, live bacteria. Our bodies need this good bacterium in order to build a balanced gut flora. Consuming a diet high in probiotics is especially helpful in easing digestion, reducing the risk of food allergies, and preventing sickness. Unfortunately, today, many people are overconsuming antibiotics, not realizing that when killing the bad bacteria, they are also destroying all the good bacteria in their system. Even if you are not sick, and you haven’t taken antibiotics in the past; probiotics will help keep you healthy in so many ways!
Sauerkraut is also a wonderful food to include if you are aiming to build immunity holistically. I recommend it to my clients, along with other high probiotics foods like kefir and natural yogurts. It tastes great beside your brown rice and salmon or atop your chicken and vegetable salad at lunch. Sauerkraut has the delicious tart taste of pickles, without all of the added sodium and preservatives. Although many stores sell sauerkraut in the pickle aisle, the majority is not full of the live bacteria we need. That’s why I advise you either buy a refrigerated version or simply make this recipe at home. I enjoy making different flavors, sometimes adding a bit of pepper for spice, turmeric, and other times even fresh ginger. Ginger has a myriad of health benefits, which I cover in my book, Sunnah Superfoods. Ginger also aids in digestion, which would pair well with cabbage. You can also add a few whole black peppercorns for a kick in flavor. Get creative; there are so many flavors you can make.
1 medium sized green cabbage head
1 tablespoon Himalayan Pink Salt (you may use unrefined Celtic sea salt)
1 cup water and extra Himalayan Pink Salt (may or may not be used)
2-3 mason jars (16 ounce works well)
1. Shred the cabbage into very thin slices; place into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the pink salt. Use your hands to squeeze the cabbage while mixing it around. Continue this until water starts coming out of the cabbage.
3. Place some of the cabbage in a glass mason jar and squeeze down with a fork. Add some of the liquid. Continue adding the cabbage until you fill up the jar.
4. If there’s enough liquid to cover the top of the cabbage, mix the water and extra salt and pour until the cabbage is submerged in it. This may fill about 3 16-ounce mason jars.
5. Close the lids very well, and keep them on your countertop.
6. Open the jars and check the cabbage after three days; if the liquid went down and the cabbage is showing, add a bit more of salt water (mix water with salt), enough to cover.
7. The sauerkraut should be done within 10 days. Remove it off the counter and place it in the refrigerator for best preservation.
8. Enjoy it with salad, chicken, and any other entrée you like.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, Sunnah Superfoods, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.