I first made traditional Polish Sauerkraut several years ago at a cooking workshop. I knew probiotics were important but hadn’t really tried Sauerkraut before. To this day I still use the same jar to make Sauerkraut and my taste for fermented foods has grown a lot since then.
Sauerkraut is essentially fermented cabbage. During the fermentation process, beneficial probiotics or ‘live bacteria’, are produced, and these probiotics are what give sauerkraut most of its health benefits.
Sauerkraut is a good form of dietary fiber and rich in protein. It contains Vitamins A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and various B vitamins like Vitamin B6 and folate. It is also a good source of minerals like iron, manganese, copper, sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Very importantly the fermented cabbage also promotes the growth of beneficial probiotics that aid in improving gut health.
- How to Make Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is actually quite easy to make.
Click here for a quick video Instruction
- 1 Medium Head of Cabbage
- 1-3 Tbsp. sea salt
- Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and put to the side.
- Chop or shred the cabbage. Sprinkle with salt. Mix in any seasoning at this point.
- Knead the cabbage with clean hands, or pound with a potato masher for about 10 minutes, until there is enough liquid to cover the cabbage.
- Stuff the cabbage into a sealable jar, pressing the cabbage underneath the liquid. If necessary, add a bit of water to completely cover the cabbage.
- Use the outer cabbage leaves to put over the top of the shredded cabbage to help hold it below the surface of the liquid.
- Cover the jar with a tight lid.
- Leave for at least 2 weeks until desired flavor and texture are achieved. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure.
- Once the sauerkraut is finished, put a tight lid on the jar and move to the fridge. The sauerkraut’s flavor will continue to develop as it ages.
Important to Note:
Don’t use metal utensils
Use clean glass jars
Lacto-fermentation requires an anaerobic environment (without oxygen)
Always keep your cabbage submerged under the brine
After you put Sauerkraut in the fridge the brine can evaporate, top it up with a salt and water mix (1tsp salt dissolved into 1 cup water)
You can add different ingredients to your basic sauerkraut to give it a different flavour.
When I first learned to make Sauerkraut in a workshop we had the option of adding grated carrot or coriander seeds. Here are a few variations to try:
- Try different coloured cabbage. Red cabbage takes a little longer to ferment.
- Add a grated carrot
- coriander seeds
- 2-4 cloves of chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs like oregano
- 1 tbsp tumeric
- grated beets for a bright red version
- 5-6 hot peppers chopped
- grated apple
Ways to use Sauerkraut
- Use as a condiment. Try topping sausages or a burger.
- As a side dish
- Make Saurkraut soup.
- Use in a Saurkraut Salad (Recipe below)
- Use as a topping for cheese on a cracker or bread.
- Top half an avocado for good fats and good probiotics
- Add 1-2 tablespoons to a green smoothie
- Add to a Sandwich, Wrap, Lunch Bowl, Quesadilla, or Burrito
- Add a spoonful on top of scrambled eggs
- Add to a hot dog or hamburger
Raw Saurkraut Salad- surowka z kiszonej kapusty
- 500g raw sauerkraut, drained and chopped into smaller pieces
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 apple grated
- half an onion finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp raw unrefined sugar (optional)
- 2 tbsp chopped flat parsley (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste.
In a bowl, mix together the sauerkraut, carrot, apple, onion, sugar and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the oil and combine thoroughly. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Enjoy as a side dish.