Skip to comments.DIY Sauerkraut: The Power of a Fermented Powerhouse
Posted on 04/10/2009 2:51:45 PM PDT by nickcarraway
There has been a lot of talk in recent health news on the power of fermented foods. Items like sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kefir and kimchee receive nutritional gold stars for their ability to boost the healthy flora in our digestive tract and in our immune system. While all fermented foods contain health benefits, sauerkraut stands out as the grandfather of them all. This fermented cabbage dish dates back to the first century A.D. and its roster of health attributes makes it nothing less than a fermented powerhouse.
Sauerkraut contains an abundance of lactobacilli, a kind of healthy probiotic, in addition to Vitamin C , manganese, vitamin B6 and folate. The fermentation also produces specific compounds called isothiocyanates, which have been associated with preventing cancer growths in animal studies. Before the modern days of refrigeration, sauerkraut was (and still is) a European staple because of its long shelf- life and its stellar Vitamin C content which prevented diseases like scurvy. Even though most of us buy our sauerkraut jarred and packaged from the grocery store, many of its nutritional benefits are lost during the pasteurization process. Fortunately, sauerkraut which literally means sour cabbage can be made at home very easily with just a handful of ingredients, one big jar and patience. Plus, you can add additional ingredients like carrots, beets, purple cabbage, garlic, onions and even apples that are not typically found in store-bought varieties.
Here is a quick guide for making your own sauerkraut at home:
Start by gathering your ingredients: Green or red cabbage or a combination of both, additional veggies of your choice, fine sea salt, and a well-sealed ceramic or glass jar. Chop the vegetables, toss all them into a large mixing bowl and add 3 tablespoons of sea salt for every five pounds of veggies.
Next, mix and squeeze the mixture well then pack it tightly into your jar. Cover the container securely and mount something heavy on it like a large bottle of water or a book to weight it down and then cover the entire thing with a towel.
Every few hours for the next two days, press down on the top and make sure the mixture is submerged in the brine. Continue checking your sauerkraut everyday removing any residue that develops on the surface. After about 3 days, sample your sauerkraut. If you prefer a more pungent and tangier kraut, let it ferment longer. Just make sure that every time you open the lid, you press it down and place your weighted object on the top of the container.
Most sauerkrauts are ready to eat in 3 to 7 days and if you live in warmer climates, consider storing it in the refrigerator after a week or two.
Kraut must be outlawed. It directly impacts the emission of methane gas by humans further debilitating the planet.
From the way he told the story, it sounded like he was robbing the cookie jar.
You left out the part about making sure the stuff is at least one mile down wind from any human habitation.
Bring on the cabbage soup with sausages. And beer me.
It may also cause insanity...
From Sept 11, 2001, New York Times article/interview with Obama associate and friend, William/Bill Ayers.
"During his fugitive years, Mr. Ayers said, he lived in 15 states, taking names of dead babies in cemeteries who were born in the same year as he. He describes the typical safe house: there were usually books by Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh, and Che Guevara's picture in the bedroom; fermented Vietnamese fish sauce in the refrigerator, and live sourdough starter donated by a Native American that was reputed to have passed from hand to hand over a century."
"Mr. Ayers, who in 1970 was said to have summed up the Weatherman philosophy as:
'Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at,' is today distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
New York Times, September 11, 2001:
"No Regrets for a Love Of Explosives; In a Memoir of Sorts, a War Protester Talks of Life With the Weathermen"
Me too...with mustard.
Add chile powder, garlic and some dried shrimp or anchovies and you will have kim-chi!
If you were craving Vitamin C, it would have been like robbing a cookie jar. I wonder if we crave sourness when our bodies want Vitamin C. Even with our modern complete diet, there are times I crave vinegar. Sometimes it is a whole sour pickle, pepperoncini or gardenaria; sometimes it is saurkraut.
OTOH, maybe it is the salt?
I used to hate kraut until my Czech husband showed me how it was done by the old timers. Since then, I have developed such a yen for the stuff that I am making it (or attempting to—some efforts are better than others) all the time. Yum! Zeli!
I grew up eating home made saurkraut- msde in a crock that held at least 40 gallon- never covered, always weighed down so the brine covered the kraut, scum that formed was skimmed off every day or so. It sat out in the back yard behind the house in the semi-shade. I suppose by today’s standards I am dead.
Dill pickles also made in a very large open crock. Very good stuff.
I’ve made Sauerkraut before. Good stuff. :)
The Germans call it Blaukraut
40 years ago, a fellow army aviator told us about his time in Korea. His wife wanted to try Kimchi. Since he went to the field every week and returned only on the weekend, he said okay if she ate it on a Monday.
After several weeks, he came home one Friday evening and one whiff was all he needed
You had KimChi!!
Kefir and miso I can take in small amounts as for the rest... you wouldn't like me if I ate them.
It's a shame because I love them so. There is nothing better then a plate of sausage and sauerkraut.
I want to buy 10 gallon crocks this year (local potteries still produce them here) and try my hand at my own sauerkraut. Once it’s fermented I’ll can it.
My parents did that, too. Only they had several smaller, perhaps 10 gallon, crocks and kept them in the breezeway. I remember the heavy weights. They also made beer. To this day I associate those two smells. All our stuff must have smelled of it.
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