Saurkraut-an Easy Homemade Probiotic

For all the wealth of good that sauerkraut can offer, you can rarely buy it at its full potential at a supermarket.  I found one brand that came close to the nutrition of homemade, lacto-fermented sauerkraut but it would cost a health-conscious buyer $10 for ONE jar! Cabbage has to be one of the cheapest vegetables available and when you make sauerkraut or another ferment such as Kimchi you can maximize what you pay with do-it-yourself health benefits.  Cabbage is one of the fewer seasonal vegetables around in fall and winter and is super easy to preserve using this method. It keeps well for a few months in the fridge. Lacto-fermenting is a traditional form of preservation that goes as far back as the ancient Greeks; this method encourages healthy bacteria formation in the intestines and is a “living” food due to the enzyme content. This recipe was taken from one of my all-time treasured books, “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. Use this as an everyday beneficial condiment or wherever you would typically use commercial sauerkraut.

This made two quarts for me (the author wrote that it would make one) using a medium-sized cabbage so I simply doubled the other ingredients but if you find that a medium cabbage just makes one quart–by all means half the rest!

Recipe:

Medium-sized head of green cabbage

8 Tbs. whey (I used the whey from draining my yogurt. Also, 8 Tbs. is– simply, 1/2 cup)

2 Tbs. caraway seeds

2 Tbs. sea salt

Directions:

1. Core and chop the cabbage.

2. Add whey, salt, and caraway seeds to the shredded cabbage.

3. Pound the ingredients together for 10 minutes with a meat hammer or pounder to release the cabbage juices. (I timed myself and as I worked the cabbage became more translucent and juicy.)

4. Transfer cabbage to a wide-mouth quart jar and press down very firmly to pack down and allow the juices to cover the cabbage. Leave at least 1 inch of head space at the top of the jar.

5. Cap tightly and keep at room temperature for 3 days before moving to cold storage.

This is my 3 day old sauerkraut, ready to be moved to the fridge. The flavor will improve with time but it can be eaten right away!

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This entry was published on February 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm and is filed under The Basics, Winter. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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