Three days ago I took a few minutes out of my day I made sauerkraut. I bought one green cabbage, shredded it, added salt and whey, and mixed it up a bit and pounded it (very meditative to pound a cruciferous vegetable, let me tell you). Was called away and forgot about it. A few hours later I mixed it and pounded some more and packed it into jars, and left them on the counter for three days. Voila! After about 20 minutes work, I have sauerkraut, the winter vegetable miracle, and a great impromptu ‘salad’!
Like most people in the US today, the first time I ate sauerkraut it was out of one of those jars from the store. The manufacturer makes the sauerkraut, adds preservatives and then pasteurizes the kraut, which kills any beneficial bacteria that ever lived in it. Plus, it doesn’t taste as good as homemade, it’s usually mushy, yuck! When I was a kid, I called the stuff ‘sour crap’ to annoy my family members. As an adult, I did like it occasionally on a hot dog. But never with anything else.
Then I made the sauerkraut out of Nourishing Traditions. I was a bit scared to eat it when it was done… I mean, I left FOOD on the counter for three days! And then I’m supposed to eat it? But I took a tiny bite, and it was surprisingly good, with a crunch that I wasn’t used to in sauerkraut. Plus it made me feel good! Pretty soon I was eating it with all sorts of things.
Make ‘Kim’s Kraut Coleslaw’
And today, I made a ‘kraut coleslaw’ out of my sauerkraut, and it was soooooo good!! Very easy too, just get about a half cup of sauerkraut (best with newly made sauerkraut I think), add a bit of mayonnaise, and lots of black pepper. You could also add just a touch (teaspoon or less) of honey or grade B maple syrup [See Resources] if you like the sweeter coleslaw. Make sure you get some of the sauerkraut juice in there too. Try this! I’m a coleslaw lover, and this is much healthier than eating raw cabbage coleslaw. What a great side dish, sure wish my family would eat it! You really only need a tiny bit of this ‘salad’ to make a difference in your digestion.
Health Benefits of Sauerkraut
I did some research on sauerkraut to write this blog post, and I was amazed how much information is out there about it. This is one food that has been eaten by my ancestors (I’m German/English descent) for hundreds of years. And every country has their own twist on the recipe. People used to eat a fermented side dish with almost every meal. Any lacto-fermented vegetable can aid in digestion, provide extra nutrients, and help digest meats or other foods.
For more info on why unpasteurized sauerkraut is so good for you, please see this article from the Weston A Price foundation web site.
Until then, happy sauerkraut making! And let me know what you put in yours. I’m thinking of combining mine with the ginger carrots, yum.
Rating: 1 fork (key)
I am the only one in the house that will even try it. <Sigh>
Page in NT: 92
- 1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
- 1 T caraway seeds (optional)
- up to 1 T sea salt [See Resources] – I have used only 2 teaspoons of sea salt (using whey also) and had success
- 4 T whey (optional: for a casein/dairy free recipe, omit and use twice the sea salt)
In a large bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds, salt and whey. Pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer or just squeeze with your hands (this is actually very soothing and meditative) for about 10 minutes to release juices. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly with a pounder or meat hammer until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage (fridge, cellar, or cold basement). The sauerkraut may be eaten immediately, but it improves with age.PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.