The power of homemade silage

In autumn and winter, we must support our resilience. Sudden changes in temperature (overheating in the room and cooling out) make it easy to catch a cold. Sometimes it is enough to stand next to a sick person in a bus or other means of communication, to wake up with a sore throat the next day. 

Instead of reaching for further lozenges, think about strengthening the body from the inside. How? The best thanks to home probiotics. Discover the power of homemade silage. 


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What are probiotics and why are they so important to us? 

Probiotics are strains of live microorganisms (bacterial cultures) that exert a very positive effect on the human body. First of all, they affect the digestive system, protecting the intestines from infections caused by pathogens. Probiotics are unaffected by the immune system – they support immunity by increasing the production of antibodies and lymphocytes. Probiotics also neutralize the harmful effects of antibiotics. Pharmacotherapy sterilizes the intestines from a positive bacterial flora, which promotes the development of diseases and ill-being. Probiotics supplement the bacterial flora with good intestinal bacteria, protecting the body, among others against diarrhea and overgrowth of pathogens – e.g. Candida albicans. Interestingly, in many people probiotics also have a soothing effect on lactose intolerance. 

There is a reason why a lot is said that our health begins in the gut. When there are no probiotic bacteria out there, the whole organism suffers. That is why it is so important to provide natural probiotics as often as possible. 

How do you know that there are no probiotics in the body? 

If you regularly struggle with flatulence, overflow in the stomach, with diarrhea (especially with so-called fat diarrhea), various infections (fungal, but also cutaneous – you can bother with recurrent aphthae and frenzy), it is a sign that your intestines need probiotics . In addition, when the bacterial flora is disturbed, too little B12 is observed. If you suspect a shortage of probiotics, it is worth testing the amount of this vitamin in the blood. 

Where can we find natural probiotics? 

First of all, in silage – although they do not have a probiotic effect as defined by probiotic products, our grandmothers already knew what they were doing when they were preparing huge silage supplies for the winter. Pickled vegetables do not lose their nutritional properties and even gain additional ones. As a result of fermentation, positive lactic acid bacteria (Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus plantarum, Pediococcus) multiply. Regular food of silage affects the entire body. When the intestines are working properly, we have better immunity and we feel good, and we do not have to deal with problems with the digestive system. Importantly, silages are also rich in B vitamins that many people miss. It is easy to sterilize the body – it is enough to take oral contraception to get a large deficiency of B vitamins. In addition, in the pickled vegetables we find dietary fiber, sulfur-organic compounds, fungicides and bactericides phytoncides, vitamin E, vitamin C, carotenoids, polyphenols, calcium, phosphorus. 

Vegetables pickled or leavened? 

An important issue is the concept of pickled / leavened vegetables – these are equivalent terms that can be used interchangeably. Pickled / leavened vegetables are synonyms meaning exactly the same product. Vegetables with the addition of vinegar are marinades and according to the law you can not add vinegar to pickled / leavened vegetables – this addition is associated with adulteration of food. 

It’s good to prepare silage at home to be sure what you eat. Purchases of silage can contain preservatives, or they can be thermized – such treatments reduce the content of probiotic bacteria. You have to read the labels carefully. 

What can you eat? 

Vegetables that contain a lot of sugar and water. Sauerkraut and pickles are usually used for pickling, but you can often find pickled beets, tomatoes and carrots. Making silage is very simple – we need washed vegetables, a few sprigs of fennel, boiling brine, ie a solution of water and salt in appropriate proportions, as well as smaller jars or a large stoneware vessel. You can also add herbs and spices at your discretion – garlic, horseradish and cherry leaves are great for silage. Vegetables and additives must be packed tightly in a jar, and then pour whole with boiling brine. This is a very important stage – you have to be careful that the water covers the whole vegetable, otherwise they can simply rot. After pouring, the jar lid must be firmly pressed or = if you are kisimy in a stoneware dish = put a plate on top and press it down with something heavy, for example a large jar filled with water. The silages after 3 days will be ready for consumption. 

The process of pickling cabbage looks slightly different. The cabbage should be chopped and mixed with a grated carrot. Then lay it in layers in a stoneware vessel, so that each layer will be filled with salt and thoroughly kneaded – thanks to that, the cabbage will release the juice, which will prevent the mold process. At the end, leave some space in the pan – the cabbage will leave even more juice. Put a plate on top and weigh it with something heavy. When you do this, pay attention to whether the cabbage is covered entirely with juice. After a few days, the cabbage will be sour, though it will be perfectly crossed after three weeks. After this time, you can translate it into smaller jars and close them tightly – this kind of cabbage will not happen and you will be able to eat it throughout the year. 


You can read also: Diet for autumn


Autumn culinary discoveries

Current time of the year is rather not optimistic. Gray and melancholy outside the window does not necessarily mean monotony on the plate. On the contrary! Autumn is harvest time, abundant with a lot of different products, which we can enrich our kitchen in an ingenious way.

Instead of sitting idle at home, celebrating autumn depression, it is worth visiting the nearby market and see how we can effectively spice up our daily menu. Especially that the majority of seasonally available products in each kitchen guarantee a breath of fresh air and optimism, which is usually difficult in autumn.

Pumpkins, chanterelles, plums …

Autumn is the time of numerous harvests in fields, orchards and forests. Fruits and vegetables such as pears, apples, plums and pumpkins guarantee that at this time of the year it’s hard to complain about culinary boredom. Do not forget about mushrooms, for which the season is just in the best.

Marek Bik, chef of the Krakow restaurant “Da Pietro”, for twenty years serving Italian dishes, suggests several ideas for the ingenious use of autumn treasures. For the seekers of new, interesting culinary experiences, the current season is a great time. All you need is a bit of will and creativity to easily spice up well-known dishes. In this way, for example, we can enrich the popular pumpkin cream with the presence of a cock, which will give it a completely new, surprising character. With the addition of these mushrooms, the tagliatelle pasta tastes great, while the pumpkin can be used, for example, as an ingenious filling in ravioli. When it comes to fruits, let’s remember first of all about plums, which are perfect for all kinds of cakes, such as Italian frangipane.

It is worth trying to try new culinary ideas, especially now, when stalls are simply bent under the weight of mushrooms and seasonal vegetables and fruits. Marek Bik, the chef of the restaurant “Da Pietro”, presents recipes that will certainly effectively remedy autumn chandra.