Today I am excited to be contributing over at Thank Your Body. I have been following Robin for quite some time now so I am happy to be able to write a post for her.
Please go check out the post and read all about Good Digestion: what is it? why is it important? and how to get it?
Then stop back over here to find out how to make your own probiotic food: Raw Sauerkraut.
I have been following a Whole Food, Plant Based lifestyle now for almost 3 years and I am amazed by how much what we eat can really affect our health. I have been making my own sauerkraut for about a year now. Out of all the good bacteria promoting foods you can make I find that fermenting vegetables is the easiest to learn and one that needs the least amount of specialty ingredients or equipment. I think it is definitely the place to start if you haven’t made anything like this before.
The sauerkraut that you can buy in the grocery store is not created equal. That stuff you put in Reuben’s or on sausage does not contain these healthy bacteria. You need to find raw, fermented kraut in the refrigerator section of health food stores, but that can be pricey. In order to keep on a budget I find that making your own is the way to go.
I like to add my kraut to salads, sandwiches, or just eat it with a fork. I try to eat this at least few times per week. Some people recommend eating at least 1/2 cup everyday and some just have a few tablespoons with each meal to promote proper digestion. Whatever you do just try to get some good bacteria forming foods into your diet.
My in-laws are from Poland and they told me that they used to make sauerkraut just like this as kids. Funny thing how our diets used to be so much better than they are now. Good old processed foods took over and made us sick. Its time to get back to some of those old school traditions.
- 1 small head cabbage or ½ large head (any color will work), save the outer leaves and cut out the pit
- 1 tsp salt
- Filtered water to cover
- 4 medium size jars with lids
- To sterilize my jars I fill them with water then put them in the microwave for 1 minute. Dump the water being careful not to burn yourself.
- With a mandolin, knife, or the slicer on your food processor shred the cabbage.
- Starting with one jar, add ¼ cup of the cabbage and sprinkle salt on top. With the back of a large spoon mash the cabbage into the jar. Here your are just packing the cabbage in to fit more.
- Add ¼ cup more of cabbage, sprinkle with salt, and mash with the back of the spoon.
- Repeat this process until you have about 1-2 inch open to the top of the jar.
- Cover the cabbage with the filtered water.
- Folding one of the outer cabbage leaves so it will fit into the jar add that to the top. This just makes sure that the cabbage stays covered with water.
- Close the jar.
- Repeat with the remaining cabbage until it is all used. You may not use all of the salt.
- Put the jars into a baking dish (just is case they leak a little).
- Leave out on the counter or in a pantry until bubbles form. For me this is about 5-7 days.
- Store in the fridge once fermentation is completed.
- Before eating remove the top leaf.