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Crunch-tastic Sauerkraut Recipe

—  found in  Food  —

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! 
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  1. 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).
  2. Roll up your sleeves and massage kraut with your hands for a few minutes until cabbage begins to soften and release water.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. Enjoy a small portion daily for best results.

Notes

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.

15 Comments
Kari   •   August 20, 2014

Dear Joy, I think you're lovely. I very much enjoy your recipes, attitude toward well being and words of encouragement. One of the things I enjoy most about your site is a focus on health and healthy life choices whereas so many 'health' sites/blogs are really about weight loss, a goal that is simply not a healthy one for many of us. I was very much excited about this post, I love adding a beautiful variety of foods. And you've definitely inspired me with info about raw cacao and hemp hearts and making sure we're getting water from our foods as well as drinking it. But reading that this helps keep you ' lean and slim' breaks my heart a little. Myself and many other beautiful people I know maintain a healthy active life style but are not built to be slim, which is ok it's part of the beautiful variety of humanity, much like the beautiful variety of foods we enjoy. One of the problems with having a slim physique as a goal is that because it's not possible for many, it will actually stumble some in their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle because they're discouraged that for then it doesn't 'work'. But if course it does work, you'll be the best most beautiful version of yourself.

Reply
Kate McDonald-Walker   •   August 23, 2014

Kari   •   August 20, 2014

All that being said (typos and all ;>), I'm super excited to try this recipe. It's just so do-able! Thank you!

Reply

Shelley   •   August 24, 2014

Just made Crunch Tastic Kraut had no idea how simple it is to make and the benefits. Thank you for opening my eyes. I can't wait to try it.

Reply

Larry Maheu   •   September 7, 2014

I suppose some probiotics are better than others. Thanks for the home-made recipe, though, I wonder if store bought would be alright. I'm concerned about preservative chemicals. Can you reply to this comment? Larry

Reply
Kate McDonald Walker   •   September 7, 2014

Melissa   •   September 17, 2014

I just tasted my first batch of this Sauerkraut and it is delicious! Thanks for the great, simple, gut-happy recipe!

Reply

edite   •   February 20, 2016

Have hypothyroidism, vitamin D deficiency,osteopenia, and severe indigestion issues., bloating, acid reflux, lately cramps. Had CA 125 checked and was slightly elevated (80) then had gastroscopy and colonoscopy which revealed, sliding oesophagus hernia,and chronic mild inflammation of the bowl. Been on Nexium 40 mg daily now for 3 years. Really battling and started doing some research on natural remedies and stumbled onto your blog (thank heaven). Would like your guidance if possible. I reside in South Africa but would love to hear from you though. Please help!

Reply
Kate McDonald Walker   •   February 22, 2016

Brian   •   September 19, 2016

I made my first ever batch of sauerkraut. I used an old crock, 2 gallon capacity. It has now been fermenting for 3 weeks. If I back up, I had to add brine as the cabbage did not produce enough juice. My question is: at three weeks, the cabbage smells and tastes great but, it still has about 50% of the crunchiness. If I give another 2-3 weeks, will some of this crunch change to a more soft texture? Please note that I also make fermented pickles, now the second year and they are great. Thank you. Brian

Reply
Heather Allen   •   September 19, 2016

Miriam Cain   •   September 3, 2017

Do you recommend using any particular glass jar? I've heard that you have to look out for chemicals in the glass/lid?

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   September 5, 2017

mgb   •   October 29, 2017

How large a batch is this recipe? I only want to make one jar for starters.

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   October 30, 2017

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