We consider traditional probiotic sauerkraut, made the Austrian way, as one of the must-haves for health and holistic living. However, many people don’t eat it because it’s expensive to buy, and seems very tricky to make. But it’s not hard. Making probiotic sauerkraut is deceptively easy.
But what are the benefits? Here’s our top five.
- Traditional sauerkraut is a broad spectrum probiotic
- The fermentation process increases quantities of anti-carcinogenic compounds such as glucosinolates and ascorbigen (ref)
- It stores well and is a reliable source of nutrients when you should have gone shopping but didn’t want to
- It provides some vitamin C, which is a vitamin we are passionate about – not as much as raw cabbage per dry weight, but sauerkraut is very compact
- It’s quick and easy to make. Let’s do it!
Traditional Probiotic Sauerkraut
- Large Bowl
- Two sterilised jars (~300 ml capacity each)
- 10 Cups Finely chopped white cabbage (one large or two smaller cabbages)
- 1 tbsp Salt
- Please see the short video in this blog post for a visual of how the various steps should look. The video uses a food processor for the chopping procedure but the process is the same from that point.
- Pull any grubby outer leaves off your cabbage, reserving two clean ones for stopping the jars later
- Finely chop your cabbages into thin slices and drop loose handfuls into a bowl. Your total weight of chopped cabbage should be about 800 grams.
- Sprinkle the salt through the chopped cabbage and let it sit for 5 minutes
- Start picking up, squeezing and dropping handfuls of cabbage. The cabbage will start out crisp and become softer and more watery as you continue. If you are unsure how this should look, check the video
- Pack your kraut into clean jars, top up with the brine that you just squeezed from the leaves, and stop down the jar with a cabbage leaf so that the kraut is not exposed to air
- Lid the jar and let it sit for at least a week in a warm place. Comfortable room temperature is fine. Peak fermentation occurs by week three, so at that point, or when the jar has been opened, transfer to the refrigerator.
- Once refrigerated, sauerkraut can last up to six months. To prevent contamination or drying out, re-lid the jar after each use.
Traditional sauerkraut often includes caraway seeds, which imparts a slight flavour to the kraut, and adds trace minerals. Caraway seeds are also supposed to be anti-parasitic, if you’re worried about that! If you wish to add some tasty caraway seeds they can be sprinkled in at any stage of the process.
You can also substitute some of the cabbage for other veges: grated carrot or courgette are common. You might add some red cabbage for extra phytonutrients. Red cabbage sauerkraut has a lot more vitamin C than sauerkraut made with white cabbage but tends to be crunchier, so you could do that or you could just stick with the white cabbage and top up with some of our Ascorbic Acid?
If you prefer a visual for your first adventure into traditional probiotic sauerkraut, have a look at the short video below. We did our best to make it sharp and to-the-point, which was extremely difficult given all the travel stories we have that involve fermentation discoveries.
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