Traditionally Fermented Sauerkraut
I can still remember the first time I started incorporating traditionally fermented sauerkraut. It was not long after I began working with a holistic Registered Dietitian back around 2014 to get a handle on and heal from my IBS. It was the only traditionally fermented kind I could find at the store.
Little did I know that it would contribute to much of the rebalancing of my digestive system, and that I would become a sauerkraut and fermented veggie connoisseur. Now though, I make my own, because:
- It’s way cheaper. I small jar (think <20 oz) from the store can cost upwards of $10, but you can make a large jar (think a gallon) for just a few bucks.
- It’s like a fun science experiment.
- Fermenting is a great way to preserve veggies.
Supporting a thriving gut microbiome is critical for supporting your immune system and overall health. A simple way to do that is by eating lots of fiber (prebiotics) by way of whole, plant foods and traditionally fermented sauerkraut can help support that. It provides both probiotics (healthy microbes) and probiotics (the food for the microbes). For most people (unless you have a dysbiotic microbiome with an overgrowth of yeast) it’s a great digestive boost to any meal.
How easy it is to make:
- All you need to make kraut is cabbage and salt, and chemistry takes care of the rest. The anaerobic environment that’s created by the brine, and prebiotics from the cabbage make the perfect place for healthy microbes to flourish.
- After the shredded cabbage (~1 medium head) is massaged with sea salt (to ~1 tablespoon salt) and allowed to release it’s water, pack it into a jar or crock and let the microbes do their thing.
A traditional recipe that provides both probiotics (healthy microbes) and probiotics (the food for the microbes). A great digestive boost to any meal.
- Cabbage, green and/or purple
- Sea salt, I use a Celtic salt
Shred the cabbage. I like to use both green and purple, and mix in some red onion. Sprinkle with salt and lightly massage. I use about 1 tablespoon per medium head of cabbage. However, make sure to taste (you want it salty but not overwhelming).
Once the cabbage softens, squeeze out the brine and put into your jar or crock of choice. Press it down so there are no air pockets (I use my fist). Continue this process.
Cover with cabbage leaves or a fermenting weight to keep the shredded cabbage kept down and pour the remaining brine over.
I use a air-lock system to allow the carbon dioxide to release, but recent oxygen from entering in. If you don’t have this, just ensure all veggies are submerged beneath the brine and “burp” everyday (unscrew your lid to release the CO2 and screw it back on). 5. Place in a dark place at room temp (like a cupboard) and let ferment at least a week. Some let it ferment for months, but I personally like the flavor at a week.
Once the taste is tangy and to your liking, store in a cool place like your fridge. Keeps at least a year.
*For those that don't know, my recipes are made as whole and nutrient-dense as possible, but still incredibly satisfying. I share my recipes without measurements and hope they equip you to not feel confined to a recipe, but rather confident in your kitchen to be able to create something unique, nourishing, and delicious all on your own. So take this recipe as inspiration and enjoy! Head on over to my IG @noelle.parton and tag me if you try this out, or contact me if you have questions or comments.
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