Have you been struggling for years to get that flat stomach you have always dreamed of? Increasing your healthy gut bacteria will boost your digestion, reduce bloating and keep your belly soothed and lean. Find out now how you can get a flat belly with fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut. Did you know that your gut is home to about 100 trillion bacteria, both good and bad? The good ones help your body to digest food, absorb essential nutrients and strengthen your immune system. They also keep your colon clean and soothed, which is essential if you want to avoid bloating and enjoy a flat belly. Practicing proper food combining and eating a healthy diet high in raw fruits & vegetables should keep your gut happy and healthy, but your tummy can always use a little extra help – especially if you suffer from a lot of stress, if your hormones are out of balance or if you don’t get enough quality sleep.
Do you want to improve your ratio of good to bad bacteria without spending a cent on expensive probiotic supplements? Try healthy fermented foods like miso, kimchi, natto and sauerkraut. They are loaded with healthy gut-friendly bacteria, which are essential if you want to lose weight and get a flat stomach (not to mention a mental boost!). Fermented foods are also high in vitamin K2, which is great news if you follow a vegan diet because you can normally only get vitamin K2 from animal protein. Vitamin K2 will help your body to produce and absorb vitamin D, keep your bones strong and boost your heart health by keeping your arteries ‘clean’. Can’t find any high quality fermented foods free from refined salt and other preservatives in your area? Why not make your own? I will show you how to create delicious homemade sauerkraut in less than 15 minutes – without including the fermenting process of course. Please don’t feel intimidated! Making raw sauerkraut is super simple and your belly will thank you for it ☺
Homemade Sauerkraut (free from refined salt, vinegar and sugar)
SERVES: +/- 6 cups (20-24 servings)
EQUIPMENT: food processor (or a mandolin/chef knife), 1 extra-large mixing bowl, 1 half-gallon mason jar
1 cabbage of your choice (green, purple, savoy, white…), rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon of Himalayan crystal salt or fine-ground sea salt
- Remove four outer leaves of the cabbage and set aside. We will need these leaves later in the recipe.
- Finely shred the cabbage with a food processor using a 2-millimeter blade. You can also a mandolin or chef knife. Put the shredded cabbage into an extra-large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the salt and gently massage the cabbage for 30 seconds or longer, until the liquid starts to release.
- Let the cabbage rest for 5 to 10 minutes. The salt will pull liquid out of the cabbage. If you are in a hurry, you can add one or several tablespoons of water to speed the entire process.
- Massage the cabbage again until it is very juicy.
- Transfer the mixture into a large jar and press the cabbage down until the liquid rises above.
- Place the reserved outer leaves of the cabbage on top of the sauerkraut. Then add a small weight like a small glass jar filled with water. This will prevent the shredded cabbage from floating to the surface and spoiling. Close the jar with the sauerkraut.
- Cover the jar with a clean tea towel. Leave the cabbage to ferment in a cool, dark place for somewhere between 3 days and 2 weeks, depending on how sour you prefer your sauerkraut.
- Once the sauerkraut is ready, remove the top cabbage leaves and store the sauerkraut in sealed glass jars in the refrigerator.
JULIE’S TIPS & TRICKS:
- This sauerkraut should stay fresh for several months if you store it in sealed glass jars in the refrigerator.
- Make sure the sauerkraut shows no signs of mold or major discoloration. Throw it away and start again if it does. Don’t worry if there are bubbles on top of the sauerkraut though. This means that your cabbage is filled with healthy probiotics.
- Always use a glass jar as opposed to a plastic or metallic container; glass won’t interfere with the fermentation process.
- If you don’t want to add any salt, you can use a mix of unpasteurized ‘Shiro’ miso and purified water, apple cider vinegar or even fresh cabbage juice to extract the liquid from the shredded cabbage.
- Are you ready to try different recipes? You can add colorful vegetables and seasonings such as carrots, beets, broccoli, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, fresh dill, caraway seeds or even hot peppers!
Now I would love to hear from you! What are your favorite ‘flat-belly’ foods and how do you incorporate them into your daily diet? Let me know by leaving a comment down below.
PS: not so crazy about fermented foods? Choose 'prebiotic foods' that are high in soluble fiber like citrus, banana, broccoli, carrots, garlic and psyllium to beat bloating and get a flatter belly. One tablespoon of psyllium contains more fiber than any fruit, vegetable or legume available on the market.