Friday, April 29, 2005

Fermented Cabbage Recipe - for correcting malabsorption

Here is a recipe for fermented cabbage, a very powerful natural probiotic, and very helpful with digestion. I believe this recipe was the major factor in the reversal of my very severe malabsorption problem.


1. Purchase vegetable culture. I get mine from Mercola, but there are other sources. Some people say that cabbage will culture on its own also because there is acidophilus on the plants already, but I always use a commercial culture.

2. Purchase FOS (fruit sugar) powder (or you can use sugar to start the culture – I get FOS from www.bodyecologydiet.com, I use the FOS because I am very sensitive to regular sugar)

3. Purchase 4-5 quart jars and lids (or you can get special fermentation jars that are heavier, but I use quart jars all the time and they work fine.


4. Cut up a head of cabbage (organic if available, but regular works also) into thin strips. When I want a big batch I use two heads of cabbage. Save a few pieces of cabbage whole, to roll up and use in the tops of the jars (more on this below). If you have sensitive or pickiness about taste, you may add seasonings, garlic, other vegetables, etc. I am not selective about taste and like the regular fermented raw cabbage. Some people can not stand that flavor though and need to create a nicer ‘recipe.’

5. Prepare about 1 cup of culture solution, this is one packet of veggie culture mixed with one scoop of FOS (or about 1 tablespoon of sugar if you don’t use FOS) in a half cup of warm water. Let sit for about 20 minutes, to get the culture started

6. Then puree about a cup of cabbage in a blender, and mix in with the culture solution

7. Mix the culture/puree in with the sliced cabbage (this is best in a very large bowl) until the cabbage is all moistened with the culture.

8. Put the cabbage into quart jars, and smash down to eliminate air and get as much cabbage as possible in each jar. Usually one large head of cabbage will make 4-5 quarts. Put a rolled-up piece of whole cabbage in the top, to act as a type of filler and keep the fermenting cabbage compressed as much as possible. You want as little air as possible in the fermenting cabbage.

9. Put the lid on tight (but not too tight or you may have difficulty opening it again because leakage will tighten the ‘seal’ a bit!). If you are using a fermentation jar with a metal clamp on the top the lid will be very tight, but you can more easily open it because it uses downward pressure on the lid and not a screw-top. But you don’t need to use a special fermentation jar or jug, an inexpensive quart jar, or even a used mayonnaise jar, works just fine.

10. Set aside for one week, at room temperature. It will ferment. Every few days, turn the jars upside down for a few minutes to re-moisten the cabbage well. I like to place mine on the tops of the kitchen cabinets, where they will stay nice and warm, be out of the way, but also remain visible so I remember to retrieve them after a week!

11. Refrigerate the jars after a week, this slows down the fermentation, but does not completely stop it.

12. Eat about 1 tablespoon with each meal, this is the most powerful probiotic I have ever found, and I have taken a LOT of them. For the first few days there may be some burning sensation in the intestines as the cabbage changes the terrain. If this is intolerable, stop for a day, or take a half teaspoon or less with each meal, then work up slowly.

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The effect of this is quite amazing. I had severe muscle wasting and had lost all my body fat, and immediately started gaining weight again. I already was on a good diet, had taken supplements many times for dysbiosis, and had worked on stress reduction, and probably those measures also were important. Also, I make and take Kefir with each meal which probably helps as well. But it was the fermented cabbage that made the big difference. My wasting did not reverse until I started using this.

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