Sauerkraut – Basic Recipe
[Recipe adapted from Sally Fallon’s Garden of Life]
Sauerkraut - Why is it good for us? In Germany and Poland, sauerkraut is fervently consumed daily as it is known for its ability to support digestion by feeding beneficial gut bacteria. In Korea it is kimchi. The proliferation of lactobacilli produced in this fermentation process also enhances the digestibility and vitamin levels of vegetables, supports our immune system helping us to fight infection.
One more thing…sauerkraut & kimchi is so much more fun to make with friends & family! pic. Making Sauerkraut & Kimchi with Kemmy Foo, my good friend and naturopathic colleague.
You will need:
• Several clean glass jars with lids & 1 pestle or wooden mallet & 1 large mixing bowl
•1 organic cabbage Medium sized (1kg) (I love red cabbage. Green is ok too.)
•1 tablespoon good quality sea salt
•4 tablespoons of Kefir whey (you may use already fermented sauerkraut for an inoculant or simply add another tablespoon of salt.)
•1 tablespoon of caraway seeds.
Germans have always sliced the cabbage with a specially made machine and pounded them with a wooden mortar in a large crock to bruise the cell walls. I like to cut thin slices by hand. It all depends what texture you would like to achieve.
Grate cabbage with a hand grater or process in a food processor, or slice thinly by hand, then mix in a large food grade plastic bucket with the salt and Kefir whey. Leave for 15-20mins and have a cup of herbal tea.
Pound with a large stone pestle or wooden pounder of some kind, until the juices start to come out of the cabbage. I also like to squeeze the cabbage juice out with my hands. (Kids love this process too!)
Press the mixture into a clean glass jar using a wooden spoon. Press firmly until the juice rises to the top and covers the mixture, which it will do when it is pounded enough. Leave at least one inch or more of space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion. Add ½ a leaf of cabbage to hold down the sauerkraut.
Cover the kraut and store the jar in a cupboard for 3-5 days (depending on the ambient temperature) before transferring to the refrigerator. The sauerkraut may be consumed after a couple of weeks, though if you allow the fermentation process to continue for a month or so in the refrigerator.
As with all fermenting, follow your nose. If it smells putrid or you have any doubts about the quality, then discard the sauerkraut and start again.
Christine Carley - Naturopath BHlthSc (Nat) NHAA
Christine works as a naturopath at Love thy Health in West Footscray & Point Cook Health Centre.
This article provides general information and is not intended to constitute advice. All care is taken to ensure information is accurate and relevant. Please see your Practitioner for health treatments and advice.