Sauerkraut

My Christmas present to my friend who doesn't like sauerkraut was to make sauerkraut with her, to her. I think sauerkraut has a taste that's really difficult to appreciate. But for me, it's gotten better with time after just consistently presenting it to my tastebuds. And it's really worth it. I have it even more every time I feel ill, and combining with lots of sleep, garlic and ginger- it does the trick.

Fermented foods have been part of human nutrition as long as we've been processing food. Sauerkraut together with other fermented foods, such as kimchi, yoghurt & beer, are the result of our ancestors' need to preserve food longer and safer and enjoy its organoleptic properties. And ingesting fermented foods can actually make the number of microbes in the diet up to 10 000 times more. Exposing the intestinal microbiota to this sort of diversity are essential "for the normal development of immune system and neural function". (Marco et al. 2017)


So, how to prepare sauerkraut? It's quite simple actually, it just takes a while if you decide to chop the cabbage. So do it when you're not in a hurry, making it with a dear friend, or alone in silence or perhaps listening to a podcast.

Recipe...

This recipe is taken from the book Happy Food "Om hur mat och lycka hänger ihop", but there are many variations. In this one, the only food ingredients you'll need is 1 kg cabbage and 1-2 tbsp non-iodized salt.

  1. Start by washing well a big glass jar.
  2. Remove the the outer leaves of the cabbage and toss them to the bio.
  3. Take out one big leave and save it for later.
  4. Cut the cabbage fine with a knife of shred it in a mixer.
  5. Mix the cabbage in a big bowl (or a skillet, or whatever big enough), and add salt.
  6. Knead the cabbage in the bowl until it starts "sweating". If it doesn't sweat, don't sweat it, add some more salt.
  7. Press it really compact in the glass jar, so the cabbage will be covered with the liquid.
  8. Fold the cabbage leave on top of the mixture to keep it tightly under the liquid.
  9. Add the lid.
  10. Let the sauerkraut ferment in room temperature (out of light preferably) for up to 10 days. 
  11. Open the lid once per day to let the air out.
  12. To finish the fermentation process, just put the jar in the fridge, and eat it within a month.


Make sure to have it at least once in a while in your fridge, and just combine it other things you eat. And be surprised by how well it can fit with some foods.

Sources
Marco et al. 2017. Health benefits of fermented foods: microbiota and
beyond. Current Opinion in Biotechnology.

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