More times than not my counter top’s full of sizzling mason jars spreading their sour stink throughout our poorly ventilated apartment. My hubby and I used to argue about “the way I eat” and how it would drive him bonkers. But he’s settled down ever since I started sneaking spoonfuls of it into his shakes.
We ferment all kinds of veggies and drinks in our home and we do it for the sake of gut healing. See, gut problems lead to indigestion and malnutrition — undigested foods turn into toxins, and organs malfunction and allow other toxins to grow and thrive. With my son, the label makers liked to call this autism. Autism usually comes with horrific gut issues. And, I learned, that by repairing the gut we allow for the whole body to heal.
We began our recovery with fermented young coconut water (coconut kefir). I am blessed to have found this. Because it was coconut kefir and coconut kefir alone that helped clear the terrain for deeper healing. Kefir brought back eye contact where there was none. Kefir helped him focus. Kefir changed the bacterial make up in his gut, and he began craving greener foods. Soon, he loved all of his green veggies. And, we all know that green is good! Green heals!
Once I had the kefir in my own system as well – I could see the light at the end of the autism tunnel and it was bright!
Soon, my motto for health through food became Green it, Blend it, Ferment it. I use Body Ecology controlled culture starters to ferment, and I highly recommend this if you or your children have severe digestive problems. You can ferment wildly like so many of our raw friends do. But, BED’s starters are very hearty and have been specifically formulated with bacterial strains to conquer candida, create vitamins, and assimilate nutrients from food and more.
When you ferment food you save the body time digesting. You make the nutrients more readily absorbable. You promote detox. The body begins to heal because it’s finally receiving the proper nutrition from every bite. So, even if your child lacks HCL (hydrocholoric acid) in the stomach and has a hard time digesting everything he eats – fermented foods take hold and share their love inside his body. That’s why it’s such a necessary step when trying to undo the autism mess. I advise my clients to begin with a tablespoon of coconut kefir each morning as a first step in the recovery journey. They can usually work their way up to a quart of the amazing drink within time.
Here’s my method of kefir making:
1 box (9) young coconuts (which can be purchased most inexpensively at your local Asian market)
1 pack Kefir Starter
I glass pitcher
3-4 sterile quart sized mason jars
- Begin with room temp (75 degrees or warmer) coconuts and starter pack
- Open 3 coconuts (I just poke hole right below the tip with a screwdriver), and pour into glass pitcher. Make sure that the water is clear and not pink or brown.
- Pour that liquid into one jar.
- Add the kefir starter.
- Lightly stir
- Close the jar and let it sit out for 24-36 hrs.
- Then, split that batch into 2 jars.
- Add fresh coconut water from 3 more coconuts.
- Close jars and let sit for another 24 hrs.
- Repeat until you have used all of your coconuts.
When the coconut water ferments it becomes a bit cloudy, bubby and tastes a little like champagne, you may sense that it smells like bread or beer and that’s fine. Don’t toss it if it doesn’t smell like roses. Sometimes the jars talk, sizzle, make funky sounds and even vibrate and move on your counter top. Seriously! So, if there’s tons of action coming from a jar, I’d watch out. Tops do pop off. Handle this with komucha care. Every batch won’t ferment at the same pace. Too much bubbling could mean it’s done fermenting and you can take a drink. Each jar of kefir can ferment about seven more jars. So you will want to leave about a ¼ cup of this magic juice in each jar to start the next batch.
No need to go too fast when embarking on your fermentation journey. There’s plenty of time to experience the magic. Check out the recipe in this issue of Health in High Heels! Just promise me you’ll go slowly with the kiddos. This stuff is very detoxing and chances are that they’ll be releasing a lot. The detox will be amazing if you support it with colon therapy, skin brushing, spa baths, energetic and emotional reinforcement as well as good old fashioned sleep.
Reactions to probiotic foods like kefir are really as varied as our kid’s symptoms. Some kids get hyper for a while others disconnect. It’s generally a sign that the body is pushing out the old. The body really wants to heal. If you sense that embracing fermented foods as part of your autism healing plan is something you need to do for your child, then please don’t hesitate to contact me for help and support along the way. We can make healing easy if we do it together.
PS. The coconut meat can also be fermented with about a tablespoon of Kefir. This takes about 12 hours. You can do it overnight and wake up to a yummy raw yogurt in the morning!
“Hey Liver Toxins — Beet It” Fermented Beet Salad
(Originally published on Health in High Heels)
5 lbs red beets, shredded in food processor
Tons of dill
Juice of 4-5 lemons
2 cloves garlic
Caraway seeds to taste
About ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
Few cabbage leaves
1 green apple
Few stalks of celery
1 culture starter from Body Ecology
Humongous mixing bowl
Sterile quart-sized mason jars
- Empty room temp starter culture into 4 oz warmish water and set aside
- Shred your beets and add to mixing bowl
- Finely chop half of your dill and add that to mixing bowl
- Blend 1 green apple, about 4 cups water, handful of beets, celery, garlic and lemon juice and the remainder of dill in Vitamix or really good blender.
- Add water/culture starter mix to your blender.
- Pour liquid mixture over beets and mix well.
- Stuff your outrageously clean mason jars with these cultured vegetables leaving about 1.5 inches at top.
- Roll up some cabbage leaves and place atop each jar before sealing…. This helps prevent explosion.
- Seal tightly and run under hot water and wipe clean.
- I always do a blessing or intention on my veggies…. you can do this now if you choose.
- Ferment for 5-10 days at room temp.
The longer you ferment… the more sour they become.
This is a very cleansing food, so begin trying them in small amounts. You can use this mix as a dip for blue corn chips, raw chips, a topping for any salad or wrap, mixed with a nut or seed cheese for extra zing. Or you can even sprout some quinoa and/ or sesame seeds, blend them together and make dehydrated crackers with it. Very yummy, still raw — and possibly easier to get the kids to love.
Image Credit: Beet It, By Darwin Bell