Fermented cabbage is very high in vitamin C which is essential for healing a leaky gut. Vitamin C is anti-inflammatory and immune boosting.
While good quality sauerkraut can be obtained in most stores now, I still prefer to make my own as I think it tastes the best. I put a lot of love and anticipation into my sauerkraut, as I don’t eat it until it has been fermenting for at least three months.
Making your own sauerkraut is very cost effective if you are eating on a budget. Not only are you making it for pennies, fermenting vegetables increases the bioavailability of nutrients, making this a ‘food hack.’
I used to cut my cabbage in a food processor but I feel that all time considered, including clean up time, it’s actually faster to cut it yourself. Plus, I like touching the cabbage myself instead of letting a machine cut it.
Sauerkraut works anaerobically, meaning it does not require oxygen. Any vegetable that is above the level of the water can grow mold or undesirable bacteria strains.
I do my sauerkraut in one quart jars because I prefer to open a smaller amount at a time. You can use any size jar that you want. An open jar in the fridge will keep for six months to a year. If kept at cooler temperatures, unopened, like in a root cellar or in the fridge, sauerkraut will keep for two or more years.
You can add whey to your cabbage to make the sauerkraut. Not using whey is called wild fermentation. It allows for different bacteria to grow than using a dairy based whey. I prefer to make my sauerkraut without whey.
With all ferments, variety is key. Using both whey and simply salt to make your ferments provides good variety in your diet.
Ingredients for Making Your Own Sauerkraut:
1 Medium Cabbage
2 tbsp Salt
Directions for Making Your Own Sauerkraut:
Remove and rinse outside leaves and reserve them for the tops of your jars to keep the vegetables from coming up the level of the water.
Slice cabbage into slivers. As you slice it, keep turning it to keep yourself safe and keep your cabbage evenly sized.
Add a little bit of salt and massage with your hands for a few minutes. The salt starts breaking down the cell walls of the cabbage, which will save you from having to beat the cabbage a lot.
After you have massaged your cabbage, let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes.
Knead your cabbage again.
Once you have kneaded your cabbage to the desire texture, fill your jars. It’s best to continue kneading until you can squeeze a little bit of water from the cabbage.
Fermenting cabbage produces a decent amount of gas, Make sure to leave head room in your jars to accommodate. This means lightly packing cabbage into your jar, about ¾ full.
Add water to just under the shoulder of the jar.
Sometimes cabbage produces enough liquid while it's fermenting. If it doesn’t feel free to add more liquid.
Top your sauerkraut off with a whole cabbage leaf, packing it along the sides of the jar to keep all the vegetables below the level of the liquid.
Seal with a two piece lid.
Leave on your counter. No need to burp this ferment! This process works anaerobically, without oxygen. If your jars burp, overflow or explode, you simply packed your jar too tight with vegetables.