According to some studies and a bit of history, fermented foods, including sauerkraut, may be something to add to the natural health menu.
Like hummus and other amazing raw dishes, the “recipe” you follow for sauerkraut is limited to your imagination. Let me go through a common process here, then close with a delicious recipe similar to a Korean kimchi dish (another fermented food based with cabbage).
Keep it simple sauerkraut
When keeping the process ultra simple you need just two ingredients: salt and cabbage. I’d opt for a nice healthy pink salt and for added nutrition (some say up to 4x), a purple cabbage as opposed to a green.
You simply shred the cabbage, add the salt and put into a container (large crock pot works). Then cover the mix with a plate and something heavy on top (a mason jar full of water, or a couple rocks.. just something that applies a little pressure). Let sit to ferment at preferably room temperature.
An ugly “scum” will float to the top on occasion. This can slow things down (and look bad) so remove it as you see it. It takes about one week when left between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures may encourage a more flavourful ‘kraut, but at the expense of time.
Storing the sauerkraut by a method such as canning is said to destroy the beneficial bacteria. Storing in the fridge if not consumed in a few weeks is fine, or making smaller batches may be a better choice for max benefit.
If you want to explore recipes for making sauerkraut and other fermented dishes, an excellent place to start is with Sandor Ellis Katz’s Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition and Craft of Live Culture Foods.
Brussels sprouts and cabbage
Here’s a tasty recipe for you to try.
- Food Processor (optional, use a knife otherwise)
- 2 heads of purple cabbage
- 7-10 Brussels sprouts
- 2 purple onions
- 3-5 cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoons of salt
- Chop one cabbage in the processor (or cut into shreds), and add to crock
- Chop all Brussels sprouts and mix with cabbage
- Sprinkle 1.5 tablespoons of salt over mixture (evenly)
- Slice onions into thick slices and add them to your mixture
- Add garlic (crushed)
- Chop the remaining cabbage and add it and the remaining salt to the mixture
- Use your hands to crush and mix everything together (liquid should freely come out of the cabbage)
- Place a plate and weighted object on top of the mixture
- Cover with a towel and lid
- After a couple of days clean off scum, then clean again every 2-3 days
- Serve when done (usually about one week)
Note: it is normal for the garlic to take on a blue colour
Image source: flic.kr
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