This is the time of year here in Atlantic Canada when the weather begins to shift to chilly air, and this September, also very damp and rainy. Everybody seems to get the sniffles, maybe even a bit of a cough. The schools ask for tissues to be sent in for all the runny noses. Usually, I head to the store to find some decent chewable vitamin C for the kids to ward off the pesky colds but these days I'm more into natural food sources that not only get the job done better but for much less the cost.
I went out yesterday and picked some rose hips as I've read they're high in vitamin C and will make some syrup out of them hopefully, to most likely be added to the inevitable hot cups of herbal tea the kids will be asking for, especially if they start to get sore throats or coughs. But talking to Lydia yesterday reminded me of the big crock of sauerkraut I've had sitting hidden in the back of my fridge! Sauerkraut is a veritable superfood and you can't get much cheaper than cabbage, especially this time of year. It almost makes you think God put cabbage on the earth for such a season as this...it's sauerkraut weather! When I was growing up my great grandfather used to have a big barrel out on the deck that they'd fill with shredded cabbage and salt in the fall . They had big mashers and they'd pound it down to release the juices and then it would just sit there and ferment away. They'd bring in the sauerkraut as they needed it... I even liked it as a child!
Sauerkraut is rich in vitamin C and many other nutrients, not to mention the probiotic benefits.
"Sauerkraut contains large amounts of specific antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin; these compounds are proven preservers of ocular health in humans. Sauerkraut is also rich in many diverse and vital nutrients include essential minerals such as calcium and potassium, as well as magnesium, and an abundance of the vitamins C and K. The great thing is that, there is no requirement to consume large amounts of sauerkraut to gain health. Eating just a few tablespoons of the pickled cabbage on a daily basis will suffice for most people." (taken from this extensive article on sauerkraut)
The question is, will all of my children eat it??? I already know Amilia (10 mos) will eat it, I gave her some this morning. She is not a picky eater at all and I love it! My other children are doing better and better, especially since I've removed all processed foods and even starches and gluten. I'm slowly adding back a few of these foods (like potatoes and sweet potatoes in moderation) while monitering to see how they respond. But I'd love to see them eating sauerkraut this time of year especially! They all like coleslaw so I'm thinking I could play around with a version that included sauerkraut, sounds intriguing to me.
Another natural source of vitamin C is mountain ash berries. My parents have a mountain ash tree in their yard but I haven't gotten any as of yet. The berries can be dried and then ground into a powder and added to food as a supplement. You can also purchase acerola powder to be used in the same way, which I think is very economical as well as a natural food source. For more info on vitamin C and foods that contain it you can check out this little article.
Vitamin C cannot be stored by your body so it's very important that you are taking in adequate amounts through your daily diet. Bring on the sauerkraut!