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Fermented foods are one of the healthiest recipes on the planet. Sauerkraut is made with cabbage slices in the long fermentation process which ensures even after several months it's quality and nutrient level would remain intact. A homemade sauerkraut recipe is the easiest way to add probiotics to your daily meal.
You can enjoy the deliciously sour and crunchy sauerkraut alone or you can also add it as topping on your beer-braised brats or as a layer in a sandwich or any other snacks to enhance their taste and nutrient value.
The best part of this recipe is that once you prepare them you can stock them for several months without deteriorating their quality. Moreover, you need the least amount of ingredients for prepping this homemade probiotic diet for you and your family members.
Though you can easily avail it in a grocery store but it’s better that you make your own as it will not only be cost-effective but also you have opportunity to try a new recipe every time to test a new version of sauerkraut for you as it can easily be made in a number of ways.
The recipe making process is extremely easy, this is the reason it is one of the primary choices of people who are curious to try a new recipe every time and new in this talent. Just you need to combine your shredded cabbage in a container and add salt as per your taste.
Use a crock if you are making a lot of sauerkraut for long time usage purposes or store them in a mason jar if you are preparing small batches of sauerkraut. By the time the cabbage will release liquid for a soaking solution. Leave the cabbage submerged in this solution for several days to weeks to let it ferment into a sour and crunchy taste that you can eat along with your regular meal.
During this long fermentation process, several healthy bacteria are produced which helps your gut flora when you consume them. As it is homemade so there is no additive found in it as it is found in stores sauerkraut.
Important Tips for Making Good Sauerkraut
By following the below-mentioned tips you can easily make the best version of the sauerkraut recipe.
Use a Fresh Cabbage
In order to make your recipe more delicious and nutritious make sure that you use only a fresh cabbage as its ingredient. You can use any color cabbage but the fresher one only to make your ultimate product more crispy.
Don’t Miss Adding Salt
Salt is an essential ingredient of this fermented recipe as it not only enhances its taste, texture and shelf life but also helps in the healthy fermentation process. Yes, you can use the salt amount as per your taste and preference but adding this in sauerkraut is a must. For one-quart sauerkraut 1, tbsp salt is ideal or you can add 1 to 3 tbsp salt per quart of water as per your choice.
Make Sure Cabbage Remain Submerged in Brine
This is another crucial step for making your sauerkraut successfully. The shredded cabbage should stay submerged totally underneath the brine so that the essential lactic acid bacteria can proliferate easily. This will help in protecting the fermentation process from unusual bacteria or mold. You can use fermentation weights to keep the cabbage submerged easily.
Keep Everything Clean
The whole fermentation process of the sauerkraut recipe depends on certain healthy bacteria activities. So it is essential that you ensure that there are no unwanted bacteria at all in the container. For this, you need not to bleach anything but make sure the crock or jar that you are using is washed with warm and soapy water. Also, keep your hands well cleaned.
Keep the Container in Moderate Temperature
For perfect fermentation of sauerkraut make sure you keep your container under moderate temperature. 64 to 67 degrees temperature is considered ideal for the fermentation purpose as at this temperature anything works well. If the temperature gets higher than this the fermentation gets faster and can develop a mushy product. Whereas in cooler temperatures the fermentation process gets very slow.
Give It Enough Time
Don’t be in a rush when your target is to get a highly tasty sauerkraut. You can prepare sauerkraut within a few days and store it in the refrigerator but it will not be that much tasty as it could be.
Whereas if you keep sauerkraut in lower temperature and give extra fermentation time like for 2 weeks the ultimate product will be great in taste and texture. However, you can do an experiment with a time frame to get when you are ultimately getting the best flavor and texture of sauerkraut.
Move the Container in Refrigerator on Right Time
The ideal fermentation time is the key to a perfectly made sauerkraut. So once the fermentation reaches your desired level move it instantly in the refrigerator for cold storage to stop further fermentation. You can store your prepared sauerkraut for up to 6 months in cold storage and if your kraut is beneath the brine.
Easy Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe
steps and enjoy this healthy and cost-effective probiotic diet at your home for
several months when stored properly in cold temperature.
- 2 Cabbages of about 5 pounds
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 - 2 tbsp Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)
- 1 Fermentation crock of 2-quart size or mason jar of one half gallon size with airtight lid or fermentation weights
- First, you need to clean your crock or mason jar whichever container you have taken and your hands properly with warm soapy water.
- Now it turns to slice your cabbage into small and thin ribbons size. In order to make this job easier first remove the outermost layer and cores of your cabbage. Slice this bigger size cabbage into four quarters so that it can be further sliced easily. Now slice each quarter of cabbage into small ribbons. If you have a food processor in your home then you can do this work much speedier way.
- After slicing the cabbages, place those small-thin slices into a clean large size bowl and sprinkle salt over it. Now squish and knead the salt and cabbage with your hands for at least 10 minutes. You will see after a few minutes the cabbage will start releasing liquid. Enough amount of liquid brine will be collected by the time to submerge the sliced cabbages easily in the jar or crock. Mix caraway seeds in it, at this point if you are using it in your recipe.
- Now put the cabbages into fermentation crock or jar and close the lid. Pour the liquid if any in your bowl into crock or jar. You can also add extra water if the brine or water existing in the jar is unable to cover cabbage entirely. In the case of fresh cabbage additional water is not needed to mix and even if it requires then also there is no issue.
- If you are using a mason jar as a container then make sure that you are adding fermentation weights and fermentation seal to ensure the cabbage remains beneath the brine. You can also use fermentation crock for proper fermentation of your recipe.
- The fermentation process will start just within a day and it will take up to 2 to 5 weeks time. The fermentation duration will depend on your expected tartness level and temperature in which fermentation is processing. This simply needs your patience to get ultimately the desired level of taste and texture in fermented sauerkraut. You can check the tartness level after 2 weeks and leave it as it is if it is not yet reached your expected level.
- Stop the fermentation once it reaches to desired tartness level. You can eat it instantly or can store it in the refrigerator for further use. It will remain in the right eatable condition for up to six months.
- Enjoy this delicious recipe directly in your meal or you can add it in soups, salads, or as topping on meats.
- It is absolutely normal to see foam, bubbles and white scum on top of the cabbage during fermentation process.
- There must not be any actual mold over cabbage. If it exists it must be scraped from top safely. Make sure the cabbage submerged in brine are in completely healthy condition.
- For a perfect salt level you can use the ratio of 2% of total cabbage weight. For this you can weigh your cabbage first and as per that can add 2% salt of the measured weight. Use only a good quality salt in your recipe.
- Depending on your fermentation timing the nutrition data may vary. Those who are taking long fermentation time their ultimate product will lose naturally generating carbohydrates in cabbage over time.
- The serving size can vary depending upon your measuring method like scooped or packed.
Sauerkraut Health Benefits
By consuming sauerkraut in your regular meal you can enjoy its several health benefits which are quite obvious enough as it is naturally rich with vital nutrients.
Rich Source of Probiotic
Probiotics are one of the healthiest and high budget diets that everyone cannot afford in spite of knowing its vital benefits for health. However, this healthy diet can be made available to everyone because sauerkraut is of high quality and the lowest budget probiotic that every individual can afford eating.
As you can prepare your own sauerkraut at home so even you won’t have to spend money on purchasing it from the store. Just invest a very little amount of money for buying fresh cabbages and within a few weeks, this healthy probiotic will be available to you. It is loaded with naturally occurring bacteria that strengthen your gut health. Also, it supports your digestive function, immune function, and mental health.
Loaded with Nutrients
Sauerkraut is loaded with multiple vital nutrients which gives a boost to your health in a much easier and effective way. One cup which contains 142 grams of sauerkraut provides the following amount of nutrients.
- Calories- 27
- Protein- 1 gram
- Fiber- 4 grams
- Carbs- 7 grams
- Vitamin C- 35% of the RDI limit
- Vitamin K- 23% of the RDI limit
- Vitamin B6- 9% of the RDI limit
- Iron- 12% of the RDI
- Sodium- 39% of the RDI limit
- Manganese- 11% of the RDI limit
- Potassium- 7% of RDI limit
- Copper- 7% of RDI limit
- Folate- 7% of RDI limit
- Fat- 0 grams
Boosts Immune System
The consumption of sauerkraut helps in boosting your immune system with its high nutrient and probiotic effect. Its healthy bacteria produced in the fermentation period are highly beneficial for your gut health which poses its impact on your immunity system as well by boosting it. These bacteria keep the gut lining in a healthy position.
By preventing the leakage of unwanted substances from the gut to your body it protects your body from immune responses. It boosts the growth of natural antibodies in the body that reduces your risk of developing common cold and flu issues. Also, it protects your body from getting affected with an infection such as urinary tract infections, etc. by working as a natural antibiotic.
Aid in Digestion
This fermented food is highly beneficial for your gut health. It improves your digestion and helps in the natural treatment of the leaky gut issues. The human body gut contains approx 100 trillion microorganisms or gut flora which is 10 times greater than the cells in the whole body.
As sauerkraut is rich with probiotics which are the healthy bacteria thus it helps in the removal of harmful toxins and bacteria from your body. In this way, it improves digestion and prevents different health issues growth associated with the bad digestive function of the body.
The consumption of sauerkraut on a daily basis helps in preventing common digestive health issues like constipation, gas, bloating, and diarrhea issue.
May Help in Losing Weight
The consumption of sauerkraut in your day to day life may also aid in losing your body fat or weight. As it is loaded with high nutrient and 0 fat content, so there is no risk of fat gain after consuming it.
As this fermented food is healthy for your digestive health so it ensures that you won’t have to gain unnecessary body weight due to improper digestive function of your body.
Also, its low calorie and high fiber content ensure that your stomach will naturally feel fuller for a longer duration after its intake which helps in preventing your frequent cravings for unhealthy snacks which can rapidly increase your weight.
So try this easy homemade sauerkraut recipe and enjoy its delicious taste along with nourishing and boosting your overall health naturally.