Fructose Free, Gluten Free, Gut Health, Recipes, Traditional Foods

Sauerkraut – Why one of the easiest things to make in your kitchen is also the most nourishing

I’ll let you in on a little secret I have discovered.

There are some really easy things to make in your kitchen to nourish your family.

I have been reading “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. It’s got loads of information about different types of food and healthy recipes. It explores some of the more traditional foods that people from around the world used to consume and still do. There are some things here that our great grandmothers would have prepared. With the growth of technology over the years and the growing popularity of processed foods, the art of preparing these traditional foods is being lost.

WHAT A SHAME.

It makes me wonder if the disappearance of these types of food could be to blame for the whole host of modern diseases which plague us today.

The mind boggles.

My first stop was Sauerkraut. I was surprised how easy it is to make. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage which is commonly consumed in Germany and Eastern Europe. It is an incredibly medicinal food, full of enzymes, probiotics, vitamins and minerals. It’s incredibly healing for your digestive tract. Not only is the actual sauerkraut highly nutritious, but the juice is also very potent. Sauerkraut and other cultured foods are instrumental in achieving excellent gut health. Gut health helps us build our immunity and fight off disease to keep us healthy.

To my surprise it is actually very tasty. I have started to serve it as a side dish with our main meals. The kids are loving it, except my son. I even started calling it “Mummy’s magical potion” in an effort to get him to eat it, but alas he will not open his gob and stick it in. We’ll persist.

There were quite a few additional noises coming out of their rear ends with the introduction of this to their diet. I am happy to announce things have since settled in that department!

I buy up cabbage when it’s cheap and bottle it up for our extended family to enjoy. Then they ask for more after a matter of days. It’s keeping me busy.

This is my sauerkraut which is brewing at the moment. We are about 5 days in.


Sauerkraut Using the Wild Method of Fermentation

All you need is 4 things.

One medium cabbage (organic if possible)
2 tablespoons sea salt
Filtered Water
One large glass jar which is big enough to stick your fist into.

  1. Slice your cabbage into 1cm ribbons and put it in a very large bowl. I use a bucket.
  2. Scatter the salt over the cabbage.
  3. Using two hands, grab handfuls of the mixture and squish hard. Repeat until the salt begins extracting juice from the cabbage. Add some water to encourage the process. Do this for about 10 minutes. You are done when the cabbage is limp and you can squish some cabbage and water runs out of it.
  4. Grab handfuls and stuff it in your jar. With each handful pack it into the jar with your fist so it is very tightly packed in. Leave about 3cm at the top of the jar for the cabbage to expand and for the juices to rise during the fermentation process. The cabbage will naturally ferment with the microbes that live within the cabbage.
  5. Ensure your sauerkraut is fully submerged in it’s own water so the top doesn’t get mouldy. I fold up one of the outer cabbage leaves and stuff it in to keep the whole mixture below the water line. If you don’t have much juice, just add some water so the cabbage is submerged. Screw your lid on.

No oven. No cooking. Just make it and leave it.

In 2 to 3 weeks your sauerkraut is ready. When it’s done, pop it in the fridge and enjoy. Remember not to waste the juice.

To keep it interesting you could add a couple of grated carrots to the mix.

This is a healthy food that you can make once a month to nourish your family. It couldn’t be easier.

16 thoughts on “Sauerkraut – Why one of the easiest things to make in your kitchen is also the most nourishing”

  1. In one of the fermentation books I read it said to keep it somewhere dark and cool for the first few weeks, until it's 'ready'. Did you do something similar, or leave it out on the counter?Also, with the filtered water, do you recommend a particular type of filter…?Thanks for your help with this on Instagram this morning. πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Talia, I just left mine on the counter in the kitchen it worked fine.With filtered water you want to chose a reverse osmosis filter because it gets rid of the fluoride. No probs hon xoxox

  3. I tried making sauerkraut a few week ago. I was excited to try it as I've read so many good things about how good it is for you. I don't like cabbage at all (it's one of my 'just can't go there' vegetables) but I was hoping sauerkraut might be ok. Sadly it wasn't, I didn't like it. I was so disappointed, I really really wanted to like it. (Same story with quinoa for me, I really want to like it…but I just can't.)

  4. I got these HUGE jars from a friend, and as soon as I saw them I knew they'd be perfect for Sauerkraut. I've never actually tasted it, but I'm trying to oh-so-slowly wean onto GAPS. I tried making it once, and it went furry at the top, but I suspect that's because I left the lid open, for some reason I thought I was supposed to :/ I love your tip about the cabbage leaf on top, I shall try it when cabbages are cheap!

  5. Hi love, it went furry (moldy) because the cabbage was exposed to air. It needs to be fully submerged underneath the brine. Give it a go. (Cabbages are cheap at the moment!). But yes close the lid as well so you don't get bugs eating your hard work!

  6. Hi Taryn, our sauerkraut is still salty and not sour after 3+ weeks on the windowsill. Any ideas why it’s not turning sour? Should we throw it out and start again, or wait longer?

    1. Hi Sue, don’t throw it out! Here’s what you do. If there is room in your jar, add more water (pretty much fill it up). Or just take half of the kraut out of the jar, put it in another and top both jars up with water. An extra cup or so. Let it ferment a few more days and try again. Remember the juice of the kraut is highly medicinal with heaps of natural probiotics so it won’t go to waste. You’ll find that the saltiness goes and the sourness will arrive. I did this to my latest batch. I added too much salt and my cabbage was only small. It works. x

  7. Hi Taryn,

    Do you ever use whey in your ‘kraut? I briefly looked through Sally’s book at a friend’s house the other day, and saw (at least in the one recipe I read!) she put a few teaspoons of whey in from her home-made yoghurt.

    Also, what does your family do with the ‘kraut juices?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Mel, I don’t normally. I just let it ferment via the “wild” method. Whey makes the fermentation happen quicker. Kraut juices are very medicinal, we drink it, don’t waste it!

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