Homemade Sauerkraut

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.

homemade-fermented-sauerkraut


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.
 
homemade-sauerkraut-recipe


 

Sources:
(1) Availability of Essential Vitamins and Amino Acids for Lactobacillus plantarum in Cucumber Fermentations – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1056934/
Comparative study of vitamin C of cabbage cultivars (Brassica oleraceae L., var. capitata L.), before and after their processing in sauerkraut – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6625831
 
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