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Simply Sauerkraut

Simply Sauerkraut

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) is one of the earliest cultivated vegetables, first grown over 4,000 years ago. This member of the Brassicaceae (Mustard) Family is a relative to cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, arugula, turnip, radish, and rutabaga. The English word cabbage is derived from the French term caboche, meaning “head,” (as in head of cabbage). Ancient Egyptians considered cabbage a sacred plant and it has been long associated with the Roman god, Jupiter; cabbages were said to have sprouted from his perspiration.

Cabbage was an important staple in Europe prior to New World introductions such as corn, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, squashes and peppers. Cabbage is a good source of fiber, protein beta carotene, folic acid, vitamins B1, B6, C, K, U, bioflavonoids, calcium, iron, potassium, and sulfur.

Cabbage is an inexpensive vegetable and stores well over the winter. Fermenting cabbage, often with the addition of salt, makes sauerkraut (not to be confused with cole slaw which derives its flavor from vinegar). In ancient times, seafarers ate sauerkraut to prevent scurvy. Sauerkraut contains lactic acid, which naturally supports healthy intestinal flora.

Cabbage is sweet and pungent in flavor, and alkaline. Most commercial sauerkrauts have been pasteurized, which heats the kraut to a temperature that inactivates the friendly bacteria. It can be rinsed before serving to lower the sodium content.

Simply Sauerkraut

Here is a way to make sauerkraut at home that preserves the friendly cultures! Other items that mix well with saurkraut include apples, beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, onion, radish, or 1 tablespoon per batch of chopped basil, caraway seed, chili peppers, dill seed, garlic, ginger or kelp.

1/2 head white cabbage
1/2 head purple cabbage
4 teaspoons Celtic salt
1 teaspoon caraway seed or dill seed (optional)

Grate the cabbage (a food processor makes this easy). Toss with the remaining ingredients. Place in a pickle press (see below). Apply pressure with the press. Leave undisturbed 2 weeks. When you open the press, you may find mold on top of the sauerkraut; scrape it off and discard it. Rinse the sauerkraut well in a colander to rinse off the salt. Store in the refrigerator, where it will keep 3 to 4 weeks. Makes 8 servings.

Gold Mine Natural Food Company sells pickle presses for making sauerkraut.
www.goldminenaturalfoods.com

Related Links:
Fermented Foods: Essential Digestive Aids
What’s a Macrobiotic Diet?

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Brigitte Mars

Brigitte Mars, a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, is a nutritional consultant who has been working with Natural Medicine for over 40 years. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University, Boulder College of Massage, and Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts and has a private practice. Brigitte is the author of 12 books, including Rawsome!. Find more healthy living articles, raw food recipes, videos, workshops, books, and more at brigittemars.com. Also check out her international model yogini daughter, Rainbeau at rainbeaumars.com.

61 comments

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1:01PM PST on Jan 29, 2014

Actually, that's a pretty hit and miss recipe. Too much or not enough salt and it's a wasted exercise. For every 5 pounds cabbage use 3 tablespoons sea salt or pickling salt (Do not used iodized salt as it inhibits fermentation.) Weigh the cabbage and use a calculator if needed. I add the same amount of salt per weight for additional items (I don't worry about the herbs).

12:20PM PST on Jan 29, 2014

Try grated carrots and some cumin seads in it, my grandfather made it like that.
I love sauerkraut and making different food from it :
-bake in the oven with a fatty piece of pork or just with some oil(can add pieces of apple to this)
-sauerkraut soup: boil some meat(or just vegetable stock) add barley(leave to boil for a while,when barley starts to soften) add chopped carrots and potatoes and sauerkraft.Tablespoon of sour cream on top when you serve.
I grew up with my grandparents making these a lot, so these are my favourites.

2:54PM PDT on Sep 27, 2013

Thank you for the instruction and the recipe.

5:24AM PDT on Aug 26, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

6:20AM PST on Jan 9, 2013

Thank you Brigitte, for Sharing this!

11:26AM PST on Jan 4, 2012

Oh, I get it...it's an informercial for Gold Mine Natural Food Company. "Gold Mine Natural Food Company sells pickle presses for making sauerkraut."


7:36PM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

I LV SAUERKRAUT BUT ISNT THERE A QUICKER WAY 2 MAKE IT*I*M NOT INTO THE MOLD STUFF*& IT TAKES 2 LONG*WHEN I WZ A KID MY MOM WOULD CUT UP POLSA*KAELBASA & PUT IN THERE*BUT I DONT EAT MEAT ANYMORE*ITS GOOD BY ITSELF*MAYBE W SUM GARLIC TOAST OR SOMETHING*BROOKE W*HELSINKI*FINLAND

9:23AM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

I am starting to enjoy plain sauerkraut by itself more & more.

2:34PM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Execellent, I love cabbage and sauerkraut!

5:09PM PDT on Mar 15, 2011

I love cabbage. Great info. Thanks for sharing.

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