I LOVE sauerkraut! Now before you screw up your nose I ask you how many kinds have you tried? There are many different cabbages and additional ingredients that can be used, each producing its own unique flavor profile. Just because you’ve tasted one doesn’t mean you’ve tasted them all. Sauerkraut can be an art and craft like wine making AND it can also be super simple. I invite you to make your own and experiment. To get started all you need is good quality unrefined sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, about four 4 cup mason jars, two heads of cabbage and your favorite music.
How To Make Sauerkraut
Before you start turn on your favorite music and groove while you work.
- 2 medium cabbage heads, cored and shredded (I love using purple or heirloom cabbages)
- 2 tablespoons of salt; unrefined sea salt or pink Himalayan
- 4 small whole limes that will fit through the mouth of your jars
- Chop cabbage in food processor or by hand. You’ll want it not too big but not too small either.
- Toss cabbage and salt together in a large mixing bowl and begin to massage the cabbage and salt together with your hands, massaging it thoroughly to break up the cellular structure of the shredded cabbage.
- When the cabbage starts to become soft and releases its juice, transfer it to your jars distributed evenly amongst the four. Pack the salted cabbage into the jars as tightly as you can, eliminating air bubbles. The back of a large spoon works well.
- Continue packing the cabbage into the container until the cabbage is completely submerged by liquid. I like to use a large outer cabbage leaf over the top to keep everything submerged below the liquid line. Put the lime on top of the leaf you used as cover and place the lid on the jar. The lime acts as pressure to keep the cabbage submerged and releases more liquid.
- Allow it to sit at room temperature, away from direct light, undisturbed, for at least 1 month and up to 6 months, testing the sauerkraut every few days until it is done to your liking. Now if you are in a warm tropical climate this process might take only 4-7 days. Once it’s where you like it, transfer it to the refrigerator or other cold storage where it should keep for at least 6 months and up to 1 year.
Favorite Ways To Use Sauerkraut
Personally I’m such a fan I eat it right out of the jar as is. Especially on a hot day or just after a workout. Just in case that’s not for you then here are some other ways you can enjoy it.
- add to wraps, sushi rolls
- add to your salads
- as a condiment, seasoning to any meal
- goes especially great with kale, collards, spinach, chard and sprouted legumes
Sauerkraut contains high levels of dietary fiber, as well as significant levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and various B vitamins. additionally, it is a good source of iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium, and calcium, and check this out; it even has a moderate amount of protein.
The biggest health benefit of sauerkraut comes from the probiotics or good bacteria it adds to your gut and therefore the rest of your body providing great digestive and immune support. How does this support immune health? Because a very large portion of your immune system actually lives within your gut and is directed by bacterial organisms.
After eating foods like sauerkraut that provide probiotics, these bacteria take up residence on the lining and folds of your intestinal walls, where they communicate with your brain via the vagus nerve. I call this communication between the but and brain the ripple wave as it travels up and down like a ripple. They also act like your first line of defense against various harmful bacteria or toxins that enter your body.
This ripple wave communication only happens on an empty stomach and is what allows for gut healing and repair, for brain healing and repair and especially the reduction of inflammation. And it’s the microbes or bacteria in your gut that control these messages. If your bacteria are the good kind, your brain will get the signals it needs for healthy functioning. If not, well that’s when things go astray and lead to illness and disease of all sorts.
Even more reason to enjoy your sauerkraut.