Sauerkraut is the ancient art of fermenting and pickling vegetables that dates back thousands of years. It is a naturally occurring process that is prepared without heat or pasteurization.
The idea of culturing vegetables actually first originated as a way to preserve food so it could be stored without the need for refrigeration.
Today this raw ferment is viewed as a superfood for the digestive system and known for its effects at reestablishing a balanced inner ecology. Also packed with nutrients, raw cultured vegetables help to rebuild the immune system as well as detoxify the body.
How to Make Sauerkraut
- First, remove every damaged leaf. Chop it coarsely. Keep in mind that you should not wash the leaves, otherwise you will lose the natural bacteria in its leaves.
- Transfer the cabbage into a glass or ceramic container.
- Add salt. Use 3 tablespoons of salt to 5 pounds of cabbage. Of course, you can always adjust the amount to your taste. Salt is crucial ingredient in the preparation of sauerkraut, as it pulls out the water from the vegetable, hardens pectin fiber and helps the product last longer.
- Squeeze well the cabbage shreds in order to take out as much water as possible.
- Press it down using a heavy object in order to release more water. Keep it this way for some time.
- Check the cabbage after a few hours. If the shreds are not well soaked in water, add more salt. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a bowl of water, and pour it in the container.
- Cover the container to keep bugs and dust away from the container.
- Store the container in a cool place for 4-6 weeks. Check it once in a while to see if there is enough liquid. It should be done after 4 weeks. If you feel like your sauerkraut needs a little more time, leave it like this for a bit longer.
- Put the container in your fridge to stop the fermentation process.
Health Benefits of Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is rich in fiber, which enhances digestion and relieves issues with the digestive tract. It treats constipation, provides healthy bowel movement, and prevents cramps and bloating. Eat sauerkraut regularly to prevent colon cancer, gastric ulcer and other serious diseases.
Iron found in sauerkraut boosts energy, stimulates blood circulation and metabolism. It works great in the treatment of anemia, and also relieves headache and reduces fatigue.
Sauerkraut is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is considered to be an awesome immunity booster. Vitamin C is essential for the regeneration of cells, formation of white blood cells and production of collagen (an important part of every tissue)
Vitamin K in sauerkraut produces a protein that is essential for the bone mineralization and thus strengthens bones.
The phytonutrient antioxidants in sauerkraut act as strong anti-inflammatory agents. When consumed regularly, sauerkraut relieves pain in any part of the body that is affected by certain inflammation.
Every cruciferous veggies provides a strong anticancer and antioxidant potential. Some studies have shown that these antioxidants are able to destroy free radicals, and thus prevent the mutation of healthy cells.
Fiber in sauerkraut is great for the heart and the cardiovascular system. It protects arteries and blood vessels from bad cholesterol, and this provides an excellent prevention against cardiovascular diseases
Better vision and healthy skin
Vitamin A is essential for both vision and skin. It reduces the risk of macular degeneration and cataract. When it comes to its role regarding skin health, vitamin A reduces the occurrence of blemishes and wrinkles.