Pickles, Sauerkraut and Health Benefits

Beneficial Farms has two lacto-fermented items for special order.  Pickles and Sauerkraut are both offered each week as special orders for $7.50 per jar.  Lacto-fermentation is an ancient process, used by the Romans and Chinese, for preserving food. It offers many health benefits…and also has a great flavor.  Below is a description from the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook by Sally Fallon that Anne used to create these items. It will also describe the health benefits.  I have additional links below with health information and recipes if you want to start working with fermentation.

Please place your special orders to blog@beneficialfarm.com by Tuesday at 5pm.  Call Pattie at 470-1969 if you have questions on the special order process.

Amy Hetager, CSA Blogger

Sauerkraut: Why it’s Good for Us
Sauerkraut is one of the most common lacto-fermented vegetables eaten, though most all vegetables and fruits can be fermented. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits putrefying bacteria.

Like the fermentation of dairy products, preservation of vegetables and fruits by the process of lacto-fermentation has many advantages beyond those of simple preservation. The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestability and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances.
Sauerkraut contains large quantities of choline, a substance that lowers blood pressure and regulates the passage of nutrients into the blood. Choline has another interesting property in that it aids the body in the metabolism of fats. If choline is lacking, fats accumulate in the liver.

Sauerkraut also contains acetylcholine that has a powerful effect on the parasympathetic nervous system. It helps reduce blood pressure, slows down the rate of heartbeat, and promotes calmness and sleep. As acetylcholine is destroyed by cooking, raw sauerkraut and its juice is preferable to cooked. Acetylcholine also has a beneficial effect on the peristaltic movements of the intestine. Sauerkraut and other lacto-fermented vegetables thus are recommended for constipation.

There is often the tendency to look for exterior infectious agents as the cause of illness. We forget that the intestine that is functioning poorly leads to serious consequences for the whole body. This is why, since most ancient times, lactic acid was used to clean the intestine.

What is astonishing is that lactic acid contributes to both processes—that of decomposition and that of reconstruction. On the one hand it supplies digestive juices in the form of organic acids that help break down the foods we eat, and on the other it activates the metabolic processes whereby these food are transformed into new living substances.

Excerpted from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and
Des Crudities Toute L’Annee, by Annelies Schoneck

For more information on the web:

Here is a link that includes the benefits of lactic fermentation, recipes and sources for all types of food.
Click here for site

If you are interested fermentation, here is a site with lots of recipes.
Click here for site

Here is a site that sells equipment for creating pickled veggies.
Excerpt from site:
Perfect Picklers come with a unique Canister and Lid Assembly, Spacer Cup, Fermentation Lock, Celtic Brand® Sea Salt and Instruction-Recipe Booklet.

Got your own canning jars? The Mason Jar Kit comes with everything above, but without the Canister and fits on any sized widemouth, glass mason-type canning jar.
Click here for the site 

Pattie sent a link to an article about the process
Click here for the article 

Excerpt from Article by Sally Fallon: It may seem strange to us that, in earlier times, people knew how to preserve vegetables for long periods without the use of freezers or canning machines. This was done through the process of lacto-fermentation.Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits putrefying bacteria… Fruits and vegetables are first washed and cut up, mixed with salt and herbs or spices and then pounded briefly to release juices. They are then pressed into an air tight container. Salt inhibits putrefying bacteria for several days until enough lactic acid is produced to preserve the vegetables for many months.

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