Small Steps, Sensible Choices, Superior Health.
Do you eat foods that contain
probiotics or are you taking probiotic pills?
I had been taking a probiotic supplement for years because I knew how important it was to having a healthy immune system.
But like most people, I was looking for ways to cut costs without sacrificing our health.
That's when I started to search and learned more about foods that contain probiotics. I had played around with making some sauerkraut in the past but not on a regular basis.
But then I got serious about wanting to improve our diet by adding specific foods that contain probiotics and enzymes.
So I started learning more about the benefits of fermented and cultured foods.
People have been preserving their food this way for thousands of years, especially before refrigeration was developed.
I started learning about milk kefir and bought some from the store.
There are many brands and they come in both plain and fruity flavors.
I tasted it and thought, this is yummy, just like a drinkable yogurt, we can do this!
The only problem is that it got too expensive for two of us to drink it everyday. So I bought a book and learned how to make it.
Now if you can't or don't use dairy, you can make kefir from other types of non-dairy milks like plant and nut milks.
You can also make water kefir which is a sort of bubbly drink that you can flavor with fruits etc.
I also found some helpful articles on making milk kefir on the internet.
All you need are the kefir grains and milk (pasteurized is okay but not ultra-pasteurized).
I also learned that making your own kefir has about 30 + strains of beneficial probiotics, way more than store bought kefir or yogurt.
Fermented or cultured foods are foods that contain probiotics and enzymes. Some of the most common ones you might be familiar with are sauerkraut, pickles and beets.
However, I'm not talking about the kind you can buy off of the grocery shelf. In an effort to mass produce and cut costs, these foods are no longer cultured or fermented, they are just prepared in a vinegar base to get a similar taste.
Unfortunately, they can no longer be called foods that contain probiotic benefits.
But you can still find cultured or fermented vegetables, usually at a health food store, but they will be in the refrigerator case.
Just like with the milk kefir, I went to our local Better Health store and bought some Bubbies brand sauerkraut and pickles.
They were delicious but again, I wasn't really saving any money because quality prepared foods do cost more than commercially prepared foods.
I started with sauerkraut and pickles because I knew my husband liked both and would eat them. Sauerkraut is quite simple to make.
You only need a little bit of the powder and once you've made something you can stretch it's use by re-using the brine for your next batch.
If you choose not to use the powder, you can use whey. Whey is simply the yellowish colored liquid that drips from yogurt.
When this liquid is added to your vegetables they magically turn into healthy foods that contain probiotics.
To make your own whey, pour plain full fat yogurt into a towel and let the whey drip into a bowl.
I usually leave it for several hours or overnight. You want to make sure it's not dripping anymore.
When you unwrap the towel you have a wonderful homemade cream cheese that you can do so many tasty things with it.
And you also have some whey to use for making your own foods that contain probiotics!
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that I first tasted at a Weston A. Price Conference. Someone once told me that Kombucha tasted terrible so I never had a desire to try it until I was handed a free sample.
Oh my.... it was delicious! The one I tasted was flavored, but I haven't flavored my homemade kombucha, it tastes almost like a mild, sparkling apple cider.
Kombucha is a drink but it still falls into the category of foods that contain probiotics.
It not only has enzymes and probiotics but it also has loads of B vitamins, amino acids and contains glucuronic acid which helps the body detoxify.
As I usually do when trying something new, I headed out to my local health food store to purchase some kombucha. I wanted my husband to taste it because he wasn't with me at the conference.
Again, lots of yummy flavors but at $3.00+ per 16 ounce bottle, I knew I couldn't continue to buy kombucha from the store as that was defeating my purpose of saving money and staying healthy.
So I needed to learn how to make kombucha. Making kombucha is also pretty simple once you have what you need. So here's what you'll need, a 1 gallon jar (I got mine at ACO), some sugar, tea bags and a scoby.
The scoby is the hard part if you're squeamish because quite frankly, it's kind of ugly. I had to order mine on-line because I didn't know of anyone making kombucha in my area.
Scoby and Kefir grains will continue to multiply so you can always
share with friends and family. But I didn't know anyone so I ordered
Tips For Getting Started on Fermented Foods
If you are new to fermented or cultured foods that contain probiotics, start slowly.
They are wonderfully powerful and they will start putting replacing all the bad bacteria with their goodness.
However, when the bad bacteria die off they are toxic to the body.
Sometimes your body may not be able to detoxify and get rid of them as fast as they are dying off.
If that happens, you may have some minor flu-like symptoms, or maybe a headache or nausea.
If it happens, don't be alarmed, just cut back and introduce them a bit more slowly.
My routine is to drink milk kefir for breakfast. I like it a little flavored so I mix in a few drops of liquid stevia and a little vanilla, so yummy!
I then have a few cultured veggies at lunch, carrots or pickles, etc. with some kombucha.
At dinner I have more fermented veggies and sometimes more kombucha. You only need a couple of tablespoons of the fermented veggies at a meal.
Again start with less if you're new to eating these powerful foods that contain probiotics.
When I travel and can't get my fermented foods I will take a probiotic supplement with me.
If you want more information on probiotics, the Additional Resources below, has some links to more information.
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How to Choose and Take Probiotics
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