Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, basically probiotic rich sour cabbage. Sounds so appetizing doesn't it? It is an acquired taste and comes with a host of benefits. Sauerkraut helps to strengthen your immune system, improve your digestion by reducing bloating, improving nutrient absorption and it contains K2 (important for heart health and calcium absorption, more on that here). The fermentation of the cabbage allows billions of beneficial bacteria to be produced and since homemade kraut isn't pasteurized it is one of the least expensive and easiest ways to add probiotics to you diet! You'll need:
1 Head of cabbage sliced 1-2 tbsp of salt
2 Mason jars 2 Cloths 2 Elastics A bit of water
Ensure to wash the bowl you will use and the jars thoroughly. Since we are dealing with fermentation we want to make sure everything is really clean. Slice your cabbage (can be any colour, I just like the look of purple cabbage) into thin strips and add to a bowl.
Add salt to the bowl and mix with your hands to cover all of the cabbage, massage it if you will.
Allow the salt and the cabbage to sit for 15-30 minutes. Come back to your cabbage and really start to massage the salt into the cabbage for about 5-10 minutes. You will feel the cabbage become more limp and some liquid will be drawn out of the cabbage.
You want there to be a lot of liquid at the base of your bowl. Once this is done, you will need to pick up handfuls of cabbage and squeeze the liquid out of it and add it to a mason jar. Do this until you have packed your jars full of cabbage, leaving the liquid in the bowl. Using a clean spoon push the cabbage into the jar, really pack it.
Once the jar is really packed, leave some space at the top, your kraut will expand. Pour the liquid from the bowl over the cabbage evenly into your jars. You want the cabbage to be covered.
If the cabbage is not covered add a little bit of water.
Next you want to use the cloth (fold it 2-3 times) and elastic to cover your cabbage. Allow your kraut to sit for 2-3 weeks. You will start to see bubbles at the top and some in between the cabbage. After these few days you will have started the fermentation process. Taste your cabbage after 2 weeks and let it sit until your desired taste is reached, some like it more sour than others. Once you are happy with the taste keep in the fridge for up to 6-8 months. Add it to salads, sandwiches, on crackers or whichever way tastes best to you! Happy fermenting! :)