Sauerkraut is a powerhouse fermented food and is a staple around our home. There are so many benefits of sauerkraut that include better digestion, brain health 🧠, better gut flora, anti inflammatory properties, and even weight loss.
It is PACKED with nutrition - probiotics, vitamin C, K, & A, iron, folate, & calcium to name a few.
Sauerkraut is made through a process called lacto-fermentation. This bacteria, when submerged in a brine, begin to convert sugars in the veggies into lactic acid. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. It's a process that has been used for centuries to preserve vegetables. The result after fermentation is a crunchy, tangy, delicious superfood.
We add it to our salads, burgers, and just eat it by the spoonful as well!
Note: it is very important that your vegetables remain submerged in the liquid. You can use a fermenting weight to keep it submerged, or just do what I do and tamp down the cabbage when needed 🙃
The longer your kraut is allowed to ferment, the tastier it will be. You can taste test it at any point in its fermentation process and see what your preference is!
Don't worry if you see bubbles or foam on the top. That signs of healthy fermentation! If you do happen to see mold growing on the surface, simply skim it off & proceed with fermentation! Just make sure that you are veggies are completely submerged. I hope my tutorial inspires you guys to take a shot at making at home!
3 Golden Beets
2 Lb. Carrots
2 Heads Green Cabbage
2 Heads Purple Cabbage
2 Yellow Onions
3 Heads Garlic
Quality is important in kraut, so everything I use is organic.
Start by peeling whatever needs it, like the carrots and beets.
Either hand chop everything or use a food processor.
If using a food processor, make sure to chop cut the onions and beets in half, cabbage into eighths, and carrots in half so it fits into the hole.
Combine everything into a bowl. You'll be shocked how much it condenses!
Magic Ingredient: salt! Pour a generous amount over your veggies and start to massage. You will see a brine start to form. This is what will allow your kraut to ferment.
If you have some kraut from a previous batch, throw a handful into your new batch.
Now choose your acid. I usually do lime.
Fill your jars with the veggies. Put lids on but do not twist closed (you want it to breathe). You could also put a cheesecloth. Make sure the brine is covering the veggies.
Set on counter or shelf (out of direct sunlight) and allow to ferment. Smaller jars only take a few days. Big jars ferment for a few weeks before we start taking from it. When ready to use it, pop it in the fridge. I typically transfer into a 16 oz. glass jar at a time, rather than putting the big one in the fridge, so we always have kraut fermenting. The last batch was out for about 4 months before we finished it off.
Note: you do not have to make this as such a large scale. I just do a lot because we use it daily. You could do as little as one Mason Jar.
Also, don't get caught up on amounts and measurements when making sauerkraut. Just put in what you have. The salt will do the magic!