I'm making sauerkraut today. Store bought version is often pasteurized, which means that all the good bacteria is gone! Homemade sauerkraut is very easy to make and should be ready within 5-10 days, depending on how warm it is in your house and how sour you want it to taste.
So what are the benefits of eating FERMENTED FOODS?
Some of the beneficial effect of lactic acid bacteria, normally found in fermented foods, include:
✓ improving intestinal tract health,
✓ enhancing the immune system,
✓ synthesizing and enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients,
✓ reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance / decreasing the prevalence of allergy in susceptible individuals,
✓ reducing risk of certain cancers.
This is the basic, super easy sauerkraut recipe. All you need is 2 heads of Sweet Heart Cabbage (or white cabbage, or Chinese leaf), 1 tbsp sea salt and 1000 ml preserving jar (I got mine from HobbyCraft for £5) - it's important that the opening of the jar is quite wide, mine is 9 cm in diameter.
Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves and slice the cabbage into thin strips.
Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. Gradually the cabbage will become watery and limp. This will take about 5 minutes.
Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the jar. Push them down the jar, so the cabbage is packed tight.
Once all the cabbage is packed into the jar, slip the smaller jam jar (or a small glass) into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles or just water. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid. Cover with a cloth and leave it in the room temperature. Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jam jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
Ferment the cabbage for 5 - 10 days. Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, close the lid, and refrigerate. You can also allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer.