Fermented foods are all the rage! If you didn't know this, you're truly missing out!
A friend came over and I was so excited to show her the one thing I was so nervous to make: sauerkraut. Apparently one of the easiest ferments, and one that I was actually intimidated about making. Maybe because I love the stuff so much.
When I was a little girl my Baba would make sauerkraut by the big old crock. It was by far the best tasting stuff I've ever had and never did I imagine I would be making my own. Why? Well because I listened to my parent's generation tell me it was very difficult and not worth it really. 'Especially when you can pick it up at the grocer'. o.O
I was also under the impression that you had to make large amounts all at once. Until last year I had no idea you could make only a canning jar at a time.
Last year I made an attempt to make sauerkraut and ended up with mold on the top and threw the whole batch out. Apparently all i had to do was scrape it off the top.
Regardless, this year I became adventurous again...no, adventurous isn't the right word. I was desperate for good kraut!
You'll notice in the picture, I used red cabbage. Why? I like it better. No really, I really love red cabbage kraut. It's tastier in my opinion. That is just the superficial idea of the red cabbage! Red cabbage is actually better for you than green.
Red cabbage has 10 times more vitamin A than green cabbage. Both types of cabbage contain vitamin A in the form of the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that can also be converted into the vitamin A you need for vision and to keep your skin and immune system healthy. Lutein and zeaxanthin function only as antioxidants in the eyes. They may help prevent early stage age-related macular degeneration from progressing into the late stage, according to research published in the February 2012 issue of the "British Journal of Nutrition." One cup of chopped red cabbage has 33 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. The same portion of green cabbage only has 3 percent.
Green cabbage has the upper hand when it comes to vitamin K, but they’re both good sources. One cup of chopped green cabbage has 57 percent of the daily intake, compared to 28 percent in red cabbage. Vitamin K is named after the German word “koagulation” because it must be available for blood to coagulate, or clot. Vitamin K also regulates bone mineralization, which impacts bone density. Women with low dietary intake of vitamin K have lower bone density and an increased risk of hip fracture, according to research published in the February 2003 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition."
Vitamin C’s value as an antioxidant comes from its strong ability to neutralize a variety of free radicals, but if you want the maximum benefit, you need to consume the recommended daily amount. Adult men need 90 milligrams daily and women need 75 milligrams. Smokers should add another 35 milligrams and pregnant women need 85 milligrams daily. Vitamin C is also needed for the production of collagen, which strengthens skin and helps heal wounds. One cup of chopped red cabbage has 51 milligrams and the same amount of green cabbage has 37 milligrams.
In addition to delivering oxygen to cells throughout your body, iron is part of a protein -- myoglobin -- that stores oxygen in your heart and skeletal muscles. Myoglobin ensures you have enough oxygen to meet your muscle’s needs during exercise. Other proteins and enzymes depend on the presence of iron to produce energy and synthesize DNA. Your immune system needs iron for the development of cells that fight viruses. Red cabbage has double the iron than green cabbage, providing 0.7 milligrams in 1 cup, compared to 0.4 milligrams in green cabbage. Women should get 18 milligrams, but men only need 8 milligrams of iron daily.
Benefits of Kraut
Sauerkraut contains high levels of dietary fiber, as well as significant levels of vitamin A, vitamin C,vitamin K, and various B vitamins. Furthermore, it is a good source of iron, manganese, copper, sodium,magnesium, and calcium, in addition to contributing a moderate amount of protein to your diet.
Dr. Joseph Mercola sent a sample of his homemade sauerkraut off to a lab and reported the findings of probiotics saying, “We had it analyzed. We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria.”
This means that just 2 ounces of homemade sauerkraut has more probiotics than a whole bottle of probiotic capsules!
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Click below for more amazing health benefits.
How to make your Kraut
I head of cabbage
Celtic Sea Salt ( or any 'good' salt with it's minerals)
1 canning jar
a smashing utensil :D
Take your cabbage and slice it up the way you'd like it.
Generously coat in salt
Let sit for about 20-30 minutes covered to allow the cabbage to bleed out a bit.
You can see on the left, the cabbage is glistening and on the right, the juice from the cabbage.
Add cabbage to your jar and take out some frustration! You want to be able to release enough of the cabbage juice so that it will cover the cabbage as it ferments.
I added some savoy cabbage to fill up my far as I'd used the whole head of red.
Now you can see that the liquid is plentiful and can use your large cabbage leaf to push the rest of the cut cabbage down making sure the entire jar of kraut is covered by the liquid.
Cabbage leaf is pushed in and down just like so
Cover with parchment paper (I used a paper towel and switched out the next day)
Check daily to make sure that the kraut is covered in it's liquid and press down to allow liquids to rise. Push your large leaf back down and cover up until the next day.
Check daily and taste test until you are happy with the flavour. Anywhere from 1-6 weeks.
I sent John to our local butcher at Our Gate To Your Plate to pick up some delicious Galloway Beef sausages for this kraut! Seriously so delicious! My Baba would be proud!
Recipes are going to vary from meals to medicines. It's all about healing from the inside out because we truly are what we eat. What's the point? Well, gardening and foraging for your own foods, shopping local and no processed garbage or pharmaceuticals for what ails you? I think that's enough of point, don't you?
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Your medicine is in the woods.
Your pharmacy is in your kitchen.