Love Your Belly Kraut
Do you know that “there are 10 times more bacteria in the body than cells” and “one serving of lacto-fermented vegetables equals an entire bottle of probiotics?” [Dr. Mercola] I’ve heard the health benefits of lacto-fermentation so many times that I’m practically reciting them in my sleep. So, last night, since the girls were up late studying anyway, I pulled a bunch of mason jars and put up a batch of sauerkraut. Here’s how I did it.
First I washed everything really thoroughly… mason jars, vases to use as weights, my hands…
Then I cored the cabbage, chopped it into thin ribbons and put it in a non-reactive bowl.
Next came 1-1/2 tablespoons of salt per head of cabbage, sprinkled and massaged in until the cabbage had reduced significantly, was soft and produced a good amount of water in the bottom of the bowl.
Next, 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds worked into the mixture (which takes kraut from darn good to extra delicious).
Transfer to mason jars and tamper down so cabbage is firmly packed (I used the tamper from my Vitamix). Don’t fill to the top as its more likely to bubble over during fermentation.
Pour the leftover water from massaging the cabbage evenly divided among the jars of cabbage and place weights to hold cabbage down below level of brine. (I used vases weighed down and sent my girls off to find weights. They came back with a collection of sea glass and coins. Done.)
Cover with cheesecloth and set aside to ferment.
If the brine does not rise above the cabbage in 12-24 hours, mix more brine (1 cup water and 1 teaspoon sea salt) and add enough to each jar until the cabbage is completely submerged.
Taste your kraut daily and when it is fermented to your liking, cover and refrigerate jars to slow down the fermentation process. Small batches like this can ferment in as quickly as 4-5 days. Serve alongside almost any meal…or eat straight from the jar like I do!
Finally, and most importantly, report back and share your fermentation adventures here.
Until then, eat clean live well!