Sauerkraut – Essential for Gut Health
I didn’t know what sauerkraut was until a couple of years ago. I was never introduced to it as a child, however pickled cucumbers were one of my favorites growing up. Never homemade though, only store bought.
So obviously, when I learnt how to make my own pickled cucumbers, I was very excited, and shared a recipe when I first started blogging, about 1 year ago:
Making my own sauerkraut came a bit later and I discovered that this addition to my daily meals was not only tasty, but also so beneficial for my gut health.
What is sauerkraut and why is it beneficial to our health?:
It’s thinly sliced cabbage that has been fermented.
Sauerkraut has live and active probiotics that have beneficial effects on the digestive tract and in turn, the rest of your body too. That’s because a large portion of your immune system lives within your gut and is run by bacterial organisms (intestinal ‘bugs’), that live within your intestinal flora. Microbial imbalances have been associated with higher risks of various diseases, but obtaining beneficial micro-organisms from probiotic foods has repeatedly demonstrated health benefits in clinical settings.
Other benefits include:
- Helps your circulation
- Promotes heart health
- Boosts energy levels
- Strengthens your bones,
- Reduces your overall cholesterol
- Eliminates inflammation
- Protects against certain cancer
- May improve your vision and skin
I would have never thought that something so simple can have so many benefits 🙂
We will explore some of these benefits in future posts.
This recipe is so easy to make. Try it and let me know how it goes 🙂
Ingredients & equipment:
I head of cabbage (red or white)
1 1/2 tbsps. sea salt
Cutting board & knife
2, 750ml (or approximate size) wide mouthed mason jars or canning jars
2 smaller jars that fit into the larger jars, filled with stones/marbles/coins (to weigh down the cabbage)
Cloth for covering the jars (keeps dust and insects away)
Remove a couple of outer leaves to use for covering the cabbage once in the jars
Remove heart of the cabbage (hard part in the middle) and slice thinly
Place in a large bowl and add the salt
Massage the cabbage for at least 10 min until it releases its juice and feels limp
Tightly pack into the jars until the juices cover the cabbage
Cover with a cabbage leaf and place the smaller jar on top pressing it down (press down every couple of hrs. on the first day to make sure the juice is fully covering the cabbage
Cover with kitchen cloth and secure with elastic band
Leave on the kitchen counter for 6- 14 days to ferment
You might notice it forming a white foam on the top and might even spill. This is normal.
It may even form some mold, just skim it off and make sure the cabbage is completely submerged.
You can taste it after about the 4th day to see if its to your taste, if not, keep tasting every few days until its right for you.
Once it’s at the right taste and texture close the jar and place in the refrigerator. It can last up to 2-3 months.