Fermented foods are great for your digestive system. We try to eat fermented foods and/or probiotics with every meal. Examples of fermented foods are: tempeh, miso, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi. Bacteria and enzymes that are helpful in digestion will aid your gut in breaking down food. The easiest way to consume bacteria and enzyme rich foods is to make your own, since most products purchased off of shelves have been pasteurized. Pasteurization involves heating foods and liquids up to kill potentially harmful bacteria. The problem is, when heated, the good bacteria are also killed. When making your own, or purchasing, make sure you pay attention to the salt and sugar. The recipe below uses no sugar and very little salt. If you are purchasing from a store, look for the phrase: live cultures and try to find dairy that has not been pasteurized. The availability of these kinds of products can be scarce, depending which state you live in. We found Oksana at a local farmer’s market and she so graciously came to teach us her Russian recipe in person. If you’d rather not go through the laborious work, order hers!
*Try playing around with spices until you find a flavor that your family enjoys.
Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl, twisting and tearing cabbage as you add it. Any glass container will work, but we found that it is easier with a container that has a flat bottom compared to a rounded bowl.
Mix ingredients and knead with hands.
Let it rest. If the cabbage is good, it will juice on its own. You will need enough juice to completely cover the cabbage. If you need to, add distilled water to bring the liquid level higher.
Once cabbage mixture is packed tight and completely covered with water, put a plate over top. This keeps the cabbage from floating to the top of the liquid. Add something heavy to help weigh it down. Cover with a kitchen towel.
Every two days, poke with something slender to help any trapped air escape. After poking, press down mixture again with your fist.
Start taste testing after 1-2 weeks. As soon as the sauerkraut is to your liking, put it in the refrigerator. I would recommend transferring to glass mason jars for storage, but that is completely up to you. Refrigeration will stop the fermentation process. Due to the low pH level of this mixture, it keeps a rather long time in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Heather Brooks, Marketing Manager & Blog and Administrative Assistant
None of these posts have been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to cure, treat, or diagnose any disease. As with any medical concerns, always consult your medical professional before trying any of the ideas presented on this blog. All information has been obtained from various sources and personal experiences.