Aug 24 2010

Just when you think there can’t possibly be anything new to add to the vintage craft of canning meats and produce, along comes “Pickl-It.” Those of you who can regularly may be way ahead of me on this, but Pickl-It was new to me when I saw it in the back of the Summer 2010 issue of Wise Traditions, a regular publication of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

The Weston A. Price Foundation, found here online, promotes eating foods alive with probiotic bacteria and Pickl-It jars makes the process of lacto-fermenting your own foods pleasant and convenient.

Down through history, foods all over the world were harvested and preserved by lacto-fermentation. In fact, there are those who say the human digestive developed around, and can’t be efficient without, a steady source of probiotic, lacto-fermenting bacteria. Lacto-fermented foods are pre-digested when eaten and are therefore more easily digested by our bodies. In addition, live probiotic foods replenish the good bacteria in the gut, giving humans the help they need to effectively digest food and promote the assimilation of nutrients.

It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution using factory processing techniques that lacto-fermentation fell into disuse in America and Europe. This was because industrial processes could not provide environments conducive to lacto-fermenting bacteria and the use of acetic acid from vinegar was substituted.  Although the acid environment created by vinegar preserved foods, it did not sustain growth of probiotic bacteria and so, foods eaten after pickling with vinegar were not living cultures that aided human digestion.

Returning to tried and true natural pickling techniques, Pickl-It jars use easy-to-do, clever methods to produce a better oxygen-depleted environment to enhance lacto-fermentation. The probiotic microbes that take action on cabbage to turn it into sauerkraut, for example, need an anaerobic or oxygen poor environment to function, the less oxygen, the better. While most living creatures need oxygen and can’t live without it, anaerobic microbes thrive without it and suffer in its presence. Pickl-It lacto-fermentation systems create effective oxygen deprived environments that promote bacterial formation of lactic acid allowing consistent good food flavor, texture and color.

So, for great tasting sauerkraut without lots of mess, go to the Pickle-It web site found here and see what size Pickl-It system will work for you. For beginners, I would suggest the 1 ½ liter “work-horse” Pickl-It system for a first attempt.

Why not try your hand at a batch of sauerkraut by following the Pickl-It photo essay on the Pickl-It website.

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