The Guy’s Dad has been making Sauerkraut for a few years now. He has been making it since a trip to Germany gave him a lovely introduction to such a healthy food. Having an abundance of home grown cabbage also helped the process along.
We’re very lucky that we manage to aquire the odd jar off him from time to time. The Guy is very fond of it and will eat it on it’s own but with me it has taken a bit of getting used to. I have slowly been adding it to meals and now find it quite easy to eat.
Sauerkraut has long been known to be hugely beneficial to the body with the probiotic advantages derived from the fermentation process.
Natural News states that “Cabbage offers a host of health benefits. It is high in vitamins A and C. Studies have shown the cruciferous vegetables can help lower cholesterol levels. Cabbage also provides a rich source of phytonutrient antioxidants. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies indicate it may help combat some cancers. However, this already helpful vegetable becomes a superfood when it is pickled.”
You can read more about the health benefits and history of sauerkraut here.
The Guy’s Dad was good enough to pass on the reipe so we could share it with you folks. It is very simple (though there is some prep and waiting time involved) but the result is worth the effort.
Sauerkraut-acid cabbage-results from a curing process in which many bacteria appear on the cut edges of cabbage. The added salt draws out natural sugar stored in the vegetable. Some of the present bacteria act upon the sugar, changing it to acids, thus resulting in a mellowing of the cabbage
3½ teaspoons salt to each kg cabbage
1. Choose large, firm, well-ripened cabbage, Allow heads to stand at room temperature for about 24 hours to wilt (causes leaves to become less brittle therefore less likely to break when cutting).
2. Trim away outer leaves and wash heads; cut into quarters or halves, Remove core or cut fine. Shred cabbage with a sharp knife or with krautcutter which has blades set to shred about the thickness of a coin.
3. Weigh the shredded cabbage and add proper proportion of salt. Mix together in a large enameled, stainless steel, or aluminum pot. Let the salted cabbage stand for 3 to 5 minutes before packing.
4. Place in a crock or paraffined barrel. Press gently, but firmly, with hands or wooden spoon to release brine. Continue filling. Brine continues to form for 24 hours.
5. Place a piece of plastic or clean, white, thin cloth over top and tuck inside. Place a fitted top inside the crock. Or use a heavy, weighted plate or heavy duty plastic bag filled with water to keep the cabbage immersed.
6. Let cabbage stand in crock at room temperature for about two weeks. If the temperature is very cool the process may take as long as five to six weeks. Remove scum from surface daily, wash cloth or plastic and replace weight.
7. Sauerkraut is complete when bubbles stop rising to the surface, although fermentation continues. Taste to check flavor during process. When kraut suits your taste, remove from crock. Heat to simmering and pack into hot, sterilized jars. If there is not enough cabbage liquid, heat 1½tablespoons salt to 1 litre water. Pour into jars, leaving 1.5 cm headspace.
8. Seal and process in boiling-water bath, allowing 20 minutes for 1000mL jars 15 minutes for 600mL jars