It is true that herbs can be powerful medicine. However, traditional wholesome foods can be just as powerful. Traditional foods are the best form of health care you can provide for your family because they retain their nutritional properties and help to build as opposed to depleting the body.
Lacto-fermentation is a traditional method of preserving food. When foods are prepared through the process of lacto-fermentation they produce lactobacilli which are health promoting bacteria. This beneficial bacteria makes foods more digestable and increases the vitamin and mineral content.
Another benefit of lacto-fermented foods is that through the fermentation process they also produce antibiotic like substances and essential enzymes.
Incorporating lacto-fermented foods into each meal is a great way to keep the gut and immune system in tip top condition thus preventing illness and disease.
The process for making lacto-fermented vegetables is quite simple. Once the vegetables have been prepared they are placed in a wide mouth canning jar. Ingredients which are added to the vegetables include filtered water, salt, spices/herbs and whey (whey is the liquid byproduct of curdled milk). If whey is unavailable additional salt may be added. The jar of vegetables is allowed to sit for several days and they are then placed in cold storage.
There are numerous recipes for lacto-fermented foods on the internet. I highly recommend giving them a try.
Makes 1 Quart
4-5 pickling cucumbers or 15-20 gherkins
1 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp fresh dill
1 tbsp sea salt
4 tbsp whey (if not available use an additional 1 tbsp salt)
1 cup filtered water
Wash cucumbers and place in a quart-sized mason jar. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over cucumbers, adding more water if necessary to cover the cucumbers. The top of the liquid should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.
Courtesy Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon 2001
One thing I would like to add is that if you like cruncy pickles as oppossed to mushy pickles you can add fresh grape, oak or cherry leaves to your jar. The tannins in the leaves help to keep in the pickles crunchiness. Enjoy!