Finding joyous health with nutrition is not a quick fix. It’s not a magic pill or a single superfood. It’s about making healthier choices everyday. There are, however, a few key things that can radically change your health. One of these things is drinking enough clean water. The other is fermented foods.
Today is the day to learn how to radicalize your plate with a food that can heal digestive issues, boost your immune system, balance energy, banish cravings and keep you lean and slim – sauerkraut. This is not your great aunt’s stinky slaw, this is a delicious, tangy and crunchy recipe that will get your nose unwrinkled and your taste buds singing!
Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, are a rich source of beneficial bacteria. You are a walking, talking home for trillions of bacterial cells! In your gut alone, you have roughly 4 pounds of bacteria. This microbiome of bacteria promote digestive, immune and mental health. Unfortunately, our overuse of antibiotics and other medications, along with our use of antibacterial cleaning products and cosmetics has depleted our microbiome. Here’s where fermented foods come to the rescue.
Ever taken a probiotic supplement? Same idea, except fermented vegetables have a number of added benefits:
- Contain pre-digested and easy to absorb nutrients
- Alkalinizing for the body
- Help to build healthy stomach acid levels
- Often contain more strains of living, friendly bacteria than supplements (most of what’s inside your probiotic capsule is dead)
- Cheaper and tastier!
Mains + Sides
Crunch-tastic Kraut Recipe
- 1 large head organic purple cabbage (please choose organic, we need the good bacteria on the cabbage to help us ferment)
- 4 organic carrots
- 1 organic tart apple
- 1-2 Tbsp high-quality sea salt (such as Himalayan or Celtic)
- Set aside a few cabbage leaves. Shred or chop the rest of the cabbage (you can use the attachments on a food processor to speed things up), and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle on 1-2 Tbsp of sea salt (use more salt for a crunchier kraut).
- Roll up your sleeves and massage kraut with your hands for a few minutes until cabbage begins to soften and release water.
- Coarsely grate or julienne the carrots and apple and add to cabbage. Mix together, then begin to stuff mixture into clean, glass jars. Push down with your hands or the back of a wooden spoon or mallet, getting rid of any air bubbles and helping to push more water out of the cabbage. Keep pushing and packing until the released water is covering the kraut (you may need to let it sit for a little while to let the cabbage release enough water). Pack jars as tightly as possible within 2-inches of the rim. Once enough water has released to cover the veggies, use your reserved cabbage leave to push the veggies down into the water. (This is important, keeping the veggies submerged lets good bacteria ferment and keeps bad bacteria out.)
Top with a lid, but don’t tighten completely as you need to let air from the fermentation process escape.
- Set in warm place, out of direct light for 2-7 days depending on how warm your house is (the warmer your home, the less time it will take). Begin tasting after 2 days, once it’s tangy to your liking, discard cabbage leaf, close lid tightly and transfer to the fridge.
Will keep for several months!
- Enjoy a small portion daily for best results.
Tips: In the first few days, you will see air bubbles rising, this is a good sign! If this causes extra liquid to spill over, set jars in a shallow plate.
If you don’t have enough water pulled out of the cabbage to submerge everything, then you will need to add some brine (salted water). Use 1/2 Tbsp of salt per cup of water.
If you see foam forming on top as it ferments, this is normal, just spoon it off.