Fermented vegetables eaten in small quantities are a key component of a healthy diet. Lacto-fermentation has been used for centuries as a method of preserving vegetables. Lactobacilli in fermented vegetables makes them more easily digestible and in some cases (1) also increases their vitamin content.
Here is a simple recipe of Sauerkraut, or fermented cabbage, which is a common lacto-fermented food in Europe.
It’s good to note that quality cabbage (whether organic or nutrient-rich conventionally grown) is essential for the success of this recipe. Lactobacilli need plenty of nutrients for the fermentation to be successful, and a lack of nutrients in poor quality cabbage would not give good results.
Makes 1 pound (450g) – Prep. time 30 mn.
1/2 a medium cabbage, shredded
1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp whey OR 1/2 tbsp sea salt
If you don’t have whey (I make my own from yogurt), just replace with 1/2 tbsp sea salt, as indicated.
This means that you’ll either add 1/2 tbsp sea salt plus 2 tbsp whey, OR you’ll add 1 full tbsp sea salt.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and pound with a heavy item for about 15 minutes until the cabbage releases juices.
Place in a glass jar and press down firmly until juices come to the top. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the top of the glass jar.
Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days. Transfer to the refrigerator.
You can eat your sauerkraut right away or let it age.
Eating just a tbsp of sauerkraut together with meals can greatly enhance digestion, as it will provide your gut with plenty of enzymes.