The gut houses a significant amount of the immune system, so it’s important to keep the gut healthy. One way to do this is by eating foods that contain probiotics - friendly bacteria that help keep your digestive system healthy by controlling growth of harmful bacteria. To help maintain healthy levels of probiotics, feed them with foods rich in prebiotics - indigestable carbohydrates that are food for probiotics. No foods naturally contain both probiotics and prebiotics so it is a good idea to consume both types of foods in most every meal.
Since fermentation produces probiotics, these fermented (pickled) vegetables are an excellent source of probiotics. Here is an easy recipe for pickled vegetables, used for hundreds of years in Europe;
organic fresh vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, cucumbers, onions, garlic, cabbage, radishes, celeriac and green tomatoes
1 tablespoon organic mustard seed
1 tablespoon organic black peppercorns
a handful of fresh organic thyme and dill
filtered water and Celtic sea salt
optional: a tiny branch of cherry wood or grapevine*
Use a clean glass jar and stuff it tight with the washed vegetables and the other ingredients except water and salt. In a separate glass bowl, make enough pickling solution to fill the vegetable jar within 2 inches of the top by dissolving the salt into the water at a ratio of 1 liter water to 1 tablespoon salt. Pour the salt water over the vegetables making sure to completely submerge all vegetables while leaving 2 inches of free space in the jar for fermentation.
Cover lightly and leave at room temperature for 5 to 7 days, depending on the warmth of the room - fermentation proceeds faster at warmer temperatures. Ferment to taste and when complete put the jar in the refrigerator to prevent any further fermentation.
Enjoy knowing that probiotics from these vegetables are boosting your immune system and helping maintain a healthy gut flora.
* branch of cherry wood or grapevine helps the vegetables to stay crisp for longer