A lot of people don’t know that cabbage provides a rich source of phytonutrient antioxidants.
Also, the anti-inflammatory benefits are out of this world. Scientific studies demonstrate this food has a very positive effect when it comes to fighting cancer. However, the real magic happens when you pickle/ferment this incredible food.
Read below to discover how to boost your health by adding this to your diet!
Health Benefits of Sauerkraut
Boosts the Immunity. This food is loaded with vitamin C! High vitamin C levels help the production of collagen and white blood cells, as well as cell regeneration.
Reduces Inflammation. This powerful vegetable contains numerous anti-inflammatories/antioxidants. This means ailments that produce inflammation or swelling like arthritis can be relieved with this food.
Improves Digestion. It has copious amounts of fiber! And as we all know, when it comes to normal digestion, weight loss, and optimal health of the digestive system, nothing is better for us than fiber. It improves the function of the bowels, and prevents constipation, bloating, and cramps.
Boosts Energy Levels. Sauerkraut boosts energy, metabolism, and circulation, due to the high levels of iron it contains. It fights against fatigue and headaches and prevents anemia.
Strengthens the Bones. Sauerkraut contains high levels of vitamin K – the vitamin which helps the production of the protein responsible for regulation of bones’ mineralization. This, in turn, strengthens the bones and prevents osteoporosis.
Prevents Cancer. Many studies have shown that sauerkraut contains antioxidants which are powerful enough to kill free radicals – the main factor for cancer cells’ development.
Enhances Heart Health. We mentioned fiber for digestion health earlier, which fiber also provides heart-protecting properties. Fiber protects from cardiovascular diseases by preventing the negative effect of cholesterol in the arteries.
Improves Skin Health and Vision. This vegetable contains lots of vitamin A which is the best nutrient for the skin and vision. This vitamin reduces the appearance of wrinkles and redness and lowers the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe
- Get things clean – Wash all equipment, work surfaces, and your hands in warm soapy water.
- Slice the cabbage – Remove the outer leaves and cores from cabbage. (Compost them if you can!) Slice the cabbage into quarters for easier slicing. Then, thinly slice cabbage into very thin ribbons. If you have one, a food processor speeds up this process.
- Add the salt – Place the thinly sliced cabbage in a large bowl (make sure it is clean too!). Sprinkle the salt over it. Knead and squish the cabbage/salt with your hands for about ten minutes. At first, it won’t seem like it is doing anything at all, but be patient. After a few minutes, the cabbage will start releasing liquid and by the end, there should be enough liquid brine to cover the cabbage in the crock or jar. Add the caraway seeds at this point if you are using them.
- Move it to the fermentation vessel – Stuff the cabbage very tightly into the jars or fermentation crock. Pour any liquid from the bowl into the jar. If needed, add just enough water to make sure the water/brine covers the cabbage entirely. If the cabbage is fresh, no liquid may be needed, but don’t worry if you have to add a little water.
- Weigh and cover – Add the fermentation weights and fermentation seal (or use the fermentation crock as directed). If you are just using a basic mason jar, you can also do this by adding a smaller jar that just fits inside the lid of the mason jar and covering both jars with a cloth and a rubber band.
- Let it ferment – Now you get to practice patience! Fermentation will begin within a day and take 2-5 weeks depending on temperature and desired tartness. After 2 weeks, check for desired tartness. The sauerkraut is technically slightly fermented after only a few days, but the best flavor seems to be at the 2-3 week mark. Taste is the best measure here, so check it often and stop the ferment when you get the desired taste. Note: It is normal to see bubbles, white scum, or foam on top during the fermentation. You shouldn’t see any actual mold, though. If you do, scrape it off the top, and make sure all the rest of the cabbage is fully submerged. All cabbage below the brine level should still be fine.
- Cool it down – Once fermented, it can be eaten right away, or it will store in the refrigerator for up to six months.
Recipe by Wellness Mama