Thursday, May 29, 2014


Sauerkraut....the word might bring up feelings of nostalgia, excitement, or even fear for you. But for me, it brings PASSION.  Sauerkraut is one of the first foods I learned to ferment, and it is still one of my favorite fermented foods, and one of the most healthy foods I have ever made. There are numerous health benefits of sauerkraut, which you can easily read about with a quick internet search. The main benefit being the digestion-promoting lactobacilli that it contains. This is the "good bacteria" that your body needs to digest food properly. Also, more than 70% of our immune system is contained in our digestive tract, another reason to keep your digestion moving and flowing with ease. Which is what this simple dish does. Added to each meal, this food will give you a boost in energy, help digest your meal, and add a richness of flavor you will learn to love.

So, what is sauerkraut? Nothing but cabbage and salt, left on your counter for a few days. Easy, right? Right. Really. If you're new to fermenting, this is the ideal place to start.

Traditional Sauerkraut


Adapted from Nourishing Traditions

Makes 1 quart


1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)
4 Tbsp whey (or another 1 TBSP salt)


In a bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds, sea salt and whey. Pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer for 5 minutes to release juices. Let sit for 5 minutes, then pound 5 more minutes. (Or let it sit for 15 minutes without any pounding.) Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly with a pounder until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover and keep at room temperature for about 3 days then transfer to cold storage. The sauerkraut may be eaten immediately, but it improves with age.
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