[Foodie Friday Recipe] Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut for Gut Health

Support your gut health by making your own probiotic-rich naturally fermented sauerkraut at home! It’s easier than you think…

Supporting your gut health is so important for your overall health, and while there are a number of things you can do to improve your gut health, one of the best things you can do for your microbiome is to consume fermented foods.

While humans have been consuming fermented foods for thousands of years, the modern American diet is sorely lacking in these nourishing superfoods. Most Americans’ only experience with fermented foods is yogurt – most of which is full of sugar and unhealthy additives, unless you make your own.

Fortunately, fermented foods are remarkably easy and safe to make at home – and once you develop a taste for them, you’ll likely find them downright addictive!

There are numerous fermented foods to try, almost all of which are extremely healthy for your gut. However, one of the easiest and most traditional ferments is good old-fashioned sauerkraut. Containing only cabbage and salt, naturally fermented sauerkraut is a truly simple health food that you can make at home, without any special ingredients or expensive equipment. If you make it a lot, you may eventually want to invest in a fermentation crock, but you can have equally good results with a mason jar and a basic airlock lid – or even with the simple method described below.

Here’s how to make your own naturally fermented sauerkraut:

Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe:

Ingredients and equipment:

  • 1 head of cabbage (green, red, or savoy – whatever you prefer; organic is best)
  • 1 to 1½ Tbsp. salt
  • Optional: spices (such as caraway seeds, red or black pepper, etc.)
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large Mason or pickling jar (about 2 quarts)
  • Smaller jar (should be able to fit into the mouth of the large jar)
  • Cloth
  • Rubber bands or twine

Instructions:

  1. Shred fresh, raw cabbage into thin slices.
  2. Mix your chopped cabbage with salt in a mixing bowl, then let it sit for a while.
  3. Massage the salt into the cabbage to release water and form a brine. (Optional: Add seasoning or spices of your choice.  Caraway seed is traditional and quite tasty.)
  4. Once plenty of water has been drained from the cabbage (about 5 to 10 minutes), transfer the cabbage and the brine into a large jar.
  5. Fill the smaller jar with water, and place it on top of the cabbage to weigh it down. To increase the weight, add rocks or marbles.
  6. Cover the jar securely with a towel and a rubber band.
  7. For the next 24 hours, periodically press the cabbage down to release more liquid. (Add more water and salt if the liquid isn’t fully covering the cabbage.)
  8. Let this sit, at room temperature, for up to one week. The longer you wait, the more intense the flavor will be.
  9. After it’s fermented, store your sauerkraut in the fridge.
Find more tips, plus some ideas for enjoying your sauerkraut at MindBodyGreen.com

 

 

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