Fermented Food Series #1 - Pickles
Most athletes only think about their gut when they have an issue during a hard workout or on the day of their event. However, athletes would benefit from healing their gut so that they have optimal nutrition to help with recovery and during their performance. Fermented foods can help athletes heal their gut. They have been linked to supporting the immune and digestion system because they are loaded with good bacteria.
So what are fermented foods? They are foods that have gone through a process called lactofermentation. Lactofermentation is when natural bacteria feeds on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. Not only does this process preserve the food but also creates enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, b-vitamins and probiotics.
Making your own or buying quality fermented foods is best for you because they contain no sugar, vinegar, and table salt. Making your own fermented food is easy so why not give it a try?
Make Your Own Pickles
Did you know that pickle brine can help stop cramping? Some athletes have pickle juice before or during workouts.
1 large English Cucumber
1/2 cup large dill, chopped
1 bottle of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Duse and nori flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried Chilli flakes (optional)
Wash and cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Lay the flat side of the half on the cutting board and carefully cut into thin slices
Put all of the cucumber slices into a large bowl and add the chopped dill, salt, dulse and nori flakes and optional chili flakes. Mix all of the ingredients well.
Using your fingers, tightly pack the cucumbers into a 1 pint mason jar. Fill to the point where the jar starts to narrow at the top.
Fill half of the mason jar with apple cider vinegar and the other half with filtered water
Make sure all of the slices are covered with water
Lightly apply the lid but do not close it.
Place the jar in a bowl so that it will catch any liquid that may spill over. Put the jar in a inner wall of you cupboard and allow fermenting for 48 hours. If any of the pickles were uncovered they will turn black, discard these pieces (if any) and then close the lid and refrigerate.