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Sauerkraut Recipe for Good Bacteria Probiotics

sauerkraut recipe healthy food good bacteria probiotics

So why would you make your own sauerkraut recipe when you can simply buy it in a store? Well, because like anything homemade it often tastes better (unless you screw up the recipe, which I have been known to do). And because this way you know you have a true fermented product, not a sterile, no good bacteria (probiotics) vinegary cabbage. The basic recipe is simple, but I’m sure you could modify it to play with the flavours. 

A few years ago I was in Germany for some biopuncture training. We noticed that we didn’t have a lot of vegetable options when we’d eat out, but sauerkraut was almost always included. I’m sure it helped us to digest the meat (don’t eat sausages anymore, so might be harder to travel through Germany now), bread, and beer. Though I was glad to get back to fresh veggies at home, it was delicious and I love this sauerkraut recipe below!

Have you ever made sauerkraut and do you have any tips?

Sauerkraut recipe basics
The minimum amount of time to make a sauerkraut is 3 days, but taste it to see if it's long enough. Longer time helps develop the flavour more as it ferments further. Put it in the fridge (or cold cellar) when it tastes right to you.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium head green cabbage
  2. 1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
  3. 1 Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)
  4. Two-quart wide-mouth canning jar or two-quart mason jar
  5. Smaller jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
  6. Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the smaller jar
  7. Cloth to cover the large jar
  8. Elastic band or string to secure the cloth
Instructions
  1. Clean and rinse everything well.
  2. Discard any wilted or limp outer leaves and trim out the core of the cabbage.
  3. Slice the cabbage into very thin ribbons,
  4. Place cabbage in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Sprinkle salt over the cabbage and massage it in, squeezing the cabbage with your hands until the cabbage becomes limp and watery (like coleslaw). It will take 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Optional to mix in caraway seeds.
  7. Stuff the cabbage into the large canning or Mason jar, tamping it down with your fist.
  8. Include the liquid that was squeezed out of the cabbage while you were massaging it.
  9. Optional: Place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage to help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
  10. Put the smaller jar into the large jar and weight it down with the stones or marbles.
  11. Cover the mouth of the large jar with the cloth and secure it with your elastic band or string.
  12. For 1 day, press down the cabbage by pushing on the inside smaller jar every few hours (obviously go to bed, don't stay up or wake yourself to do this).
  13. * If the liquid hasn't risen above the cabbage after 24 hours, then dissolve 1 tsp of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to your larger jar to submerge the cabbage.
  14. Ferment for 3 to 10 days, keeping it away from direct sunlight.
  15. Check it daily to make sure cabbage remains submerged in liquid.
  16. Taste it after 3 days. When it tastes good (may take more than 3 days), remove the weighted jar and put a lid on the large jar. Refrigerate it.
Notes
  1. Try to have the temperature at cool room temperature, as having it too cold will make it ferment really slowly and too hot will sometimes make it mushy.
  2. If you notice a foam or white scum on the top of your cabbage, this is part of the fermentation process and you can skim it off either during fermentation or before placing in the fridge.
  3. If you see mold, skim it off right away and make sure the cabbage is still fully submerged.
  4. As a fermented food, your sauerkraut will last for at least 2 months. Longer if refrigerated.
Acupuncture, TCM, natural health, Vancouver, BC http://www.activetcm.com/
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