Reposted from www.livingtraditionally.com
Raw, fermented foods packed with health-promoting probiotics have been a staple of the human diet for centuries. Sauerkraut is the probiotic king. It is the superior source of LIVE probiotics and enzymes, and due to its pre-digested state brought on by the fermentation process, these nutrients are highly bioavailable to the body.
This incredible discovery means that just 2 ounces of homemade sauerkraut has more probiotics than a whole bottle of 100 count probiotic capsules. One 16 oz jar of sauerkraut is equivalent to about 8 bottles of probiotics!
The numerous benefits of fermented foods are undeniable. They’ve been a staple of the human diet for centuries. Many people know sauerkraut as a traditional topping for a hot dog. But it is so much more than that. Did you know that in the 18th century, sailors ate sauerkraut on long voyages to prevent scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency? Also, Chinese laborers building the Great Wall of China (more than 2000 years ago) ate shredded cabbage fermented in rice wine.
Some of the nutritive benefits of sauerkraut include:
• Manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron
• A great source of dietary fiber
• An excellent source of antioxidants and phytonutrients
• Rich in indole-3-carbinol
Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe
- 5 pounds cabbage
- 3 tablespoons sea salt
- Remove large outer leaves from cabbage and set aside.
- Core and shred cabbage.
- In a bowl, mix cabbage with sea salt.
- Massage with your hands for about ten minutes. Juices will be released.
- Put the cabbage in a suitable fermentation container and pound down until juices come up and cover the cabbage, leave about 2 inches of space at the top.
- Cover the sauerkraut with a plate. Place a glass jug filled with water on the plate to press it down.
- Press down to add pressure to the cabbage and help force water out of it.
- Keep it at room temperature (covered with a towel). Fermentation will begin within a day, depending upon the room temperature. It will ferment best in a cool, dark place at a temperature that is consistently 64 to 70 degrees.
- Fermentation can take up to 3 weeks to a month. After fermenting, you can transfer it to the refrigerator.
There are so many different “lacto-fermented” vegetables and sauces that you can make at home. Use the same basic procedure. Salt is the magic ingredient. You don’t need or even want to use vinegar.
A wonderful resource that I use quite a bit is Cultures For Health. You can find dozens of recipes for lacto-fermentation on this website. They will open your mind to all kinds of different cultured food that are so good for your health. Some of the ones I like are fermented green beans and fermented bell peppers.