Fermented foods are a great addition to a healthy lifestyle. I believe that there are 15 major components of healthy living, and consuming fermented foods is one of them.
Here are all of the benefits of this fermented sauerkraut recipe:
- Rebuilds the healthy bacteria in your gut. Intestinal bacteria gets destroyed by antibiotic use and chlorine in water. Even you haven’t taken many antibiotics, you might be consuming them unknowingly if you eat meat or poultry that come from factory farms or consume tap water. Eating this sauerkraut recipe regularly will help turn this around.
- Helps with digestion due to the high amount of beneficial bacteria.
- Boosts the immune system according to an article published in “The Journal of Applied Microbiology” in June 2006. This is because a large portion of the immune system is based on healthy levels of gut flora.
- It can help to heal peptic ulcers due to its high level of vitamin U.
- It can help to prevent cancer as cabbage is part of the cruciferous vegetable family. According to a study in Finland in 2002, the fermentation process also produces a substance called isothiocyanates that were found to prohibit the growth of cancer. So cabbage on its own helps to prevent cancer and the fermentation process enhances it and turns it into a superfood, so its a double whammy.
- It is inexpensive to make.
- It preserves well and can last a few months in the refrigerator.
In the recipe, I call for acidophilus. Cabbage leaves naturally contain beneficial bacteria so you really do not have to add acidophilus if you don’t want to or don’t have any in the house. However, I feel it is better to use it because it is quite a bit of work to make this sauerkraut recipe, so you should make it as nutrient dense as possible. I have made it both ways, with acidophilus and without, and both ways this sauerkraut recipe came out fine. I usually use this brand, about I am about to switch to this. Dr. Mercola, who makes this probiotic, has his staff make huge batches of sauerkraut every week using this probiotic. When they had it tested, one serving had more beneficial bacteria than a whole bottle of probiotics bought in the store. The homemade version using his probiotics also had way more beneficial bacteria than store bought sauerkraut.
Please keep in mind that if you don’t want to make this sauerkraut recipe yourself, and choose to buy it in the store, do not buy the canned variety. It is made with vinegar and does not contain any beneficial bacteria. What you want to buy is raw, fermented sauerkraut from a health food store. Bubbies is a good brand that I have used in the past.
- 2 heads of Green or Red Cabbage
- ½ bunch Dill
- ½ bunch Cilantro
- 4 Carrots
- 3 tablespoons of Himalayan or sea salt
- 6 Acidophilus capsules, (I recommend this one)
- Take off the outer 6 leaves and set aside.
- Finely chop the cabbage, carrots and herbs and put in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle with salt and let stand for a few minutes. The salt helps to draw the water out of the cabbage and helps it ferment.
- Open the 6 capsules of acidophilus and pour over the vegetables.
- Next massage the cabbage with your hands for about ten minutes. The cabbage should shrink and there should be some liquid at the bottom.
- Next you want to stuff the cabbage into mason jars and pour in the liquid.
- Use something to push the cabbage down so it is really packed in tight and liquid rises to the surface.
- You want the mason jar to be really packed and to be filled with about 3 inches of space in the top.
- Next you want to take the cabbage leaves you set aside and fold them up and put them in the top of the jar so all of the cabbage stays submerged.
- Then you want to put the top back on. Only screw the top on halfway; otherwise it could explode as it starts to ferment.
- It will take about 5 days until it is done. Taste it, and when it tastes a bit sour it is done.
- Take the large pieces of cabbage leaves out and throw them away.
- Keep it refrigerated.
- It will last for a few months in the refrigerator.
I usually consume about 1/4 cup with each meal. Sometimes I will double or triple the recipe so I only have to make it every few months. Since it is a lot of work to make that much, I usually have my boyfriend help me.
For breakfast I often will have organic chicken apple sausage with sauerkraut and a half of an avocado. It goes well with eggs also. For lunch, I often will have a big salad with shrimp or grilled chicken with sauerkraut on top. At dinner I often have some kind of stir fry with protein and vegetables. After the stir fry is cooked, I will put sauerkraut on top.