“Sauerkraut, the miracle cabbage.”
– Linda Joyce Forristal, Western Price Organisation
Many sources believe that raw fermented foods are Foods beneficial to the digestive system. by increasing the healthy flora in the intestinal tract or creating the type of environment for them to flourish.
Sauerkraut and it’s juice are traditional folk remedies for constipation.
Fermentation actually increases nutrient values in the cabbage, especially Vit C.
Fermented foods are also said to facilitate the breakdown and assimilation of proteins.
They have a soothing effect on the nervous system.
Best of all, homemade, crunchy sauerkraut is a delicious addition to meals, especially those containing fatty meats.
Making sauerkraut at home
This recipe will make 1 to 1 1/2 quarts (0.95 – 1.425 litres)
Here’s what you will need:
1 head of cabbage weighing 3 pounds (1.362 kilograms)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavour)
Large mixing bowl
2-quart (2 litre) wide-mouth jar
Smaller jar that fits into the opening of the large jar
Clean weights for weighing down the small jar
Cloth for covering the jar
Rubber ban for securing the cloth
Clean everything thoroughly. This includes your hands.
Slice the cabbage as thinly as possible, discarding the outer leaves and the core.
Combine the cabbage and the salt in the large mixing bowl.
Sprinkle the salt over the cabbage work the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands.
Gradually the cabbage will become watery and limp, a bit like coleslaw. Keep this up for at least 10 minutes.
Massage the caraway seeds in.
Pack the cabbage and the liquid into the large glass jar. Push it down hard with your fist.
Weigh the cabbage down using the small jar that you have filled with weights to keep the cabbage submerged beneath the liquid. I also use my sterilized potato masher implement to push the cabbage beneath the water.
Cover the jar with the clean cloth that is held in place with the elastic band. This will keep dust and insects away while allowing air to circulate into the jar.
Press the cabbage down every few hours.
Within 24 hours, or sooner, you will see bubbles which will tell that fermentation has begun. This will take 3 to 10 days.
Keep it away from direct sunlight and at a room temperature of 65 – 70 degrees F (18 – 21 degrees C).
You may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a happy, healthy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off during fermentation or before refrigerating.
If you see any mould, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don’t eat mouldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
I know that my sauerkraut is done when it tastes and smells like sauerkraut.
Store sauerkraut for several months and even longer if refrigerated. As long as it still smells and tastes good, it will be.