- One medium size red cabbage
- 2 Medium size carrots
- 2 Heaped teaspoons of quality sea salt
- 2 Heaped teaspoons of caraway seeds
- 2 Cloves of garlic – grated
- 1 Litre size mason jar with tight fitting lid
- Filtered or Natural spring water
- Shred or grate the cabbage and carrots into a large glass bowl.
- Add the salt and massage with your hands rubbing the salt into the mixture until it draws out the juice and the cabbage becomes limp (more salt takes longer to ferment)
- Add the grated garlic and caraway seeds and mix the ingredients together
- Spoon the mixture into the jar, pressing the cabbage down continually until it is immersed in the brine.
- Top up with a little water allowing the mixture to absorb the water slowly. Push the mixture down so the top is immersed in the brine. Allow approximately a 2 inch gap between the top of the mixture and the lid. This is necessary as the mixture will expand as the cabbage soaks up the water and will bubble over whilst it ferments.
- Cover the jar. Leave at room temperature for 3 days-2 weeks, checking daily for the first few days that all the cabbage remains under the water. By opening the lid, burps the jar too. Keep pushing the cabbage under the brine.
- If left longer, a disc will form on top. Simply peel off and discard. The Sauerkraut is still edible and richer in beneficial bacteria.
- Once opened, keep refrigerated.
- Enjoy as a condiment with anything and everything!
Lactic acid fermentation, which incidentally can be carried out on any food with a complex or simple sugar content, has been an efficient method of preserving food for hundreds of years dating back to our ancestors. Apart from producing the good bacteria (Lactobacillus) necessary for supporting good health, the fermentation process will increase the activity of vitamin C and vitamin A in the case of sauerkraut. It also increases the bio-availability of any micro and macro nutrients, particularly the amino acid, Lysine which has an antiviral effect in the body.
Based on many studies, it is understood that if you suffer with digestive problems it will be almost impossible to permanently eliminate them unless you improve the balance between the beneficial bacteria and the build up of bad bacteria that exist naturally in your gut (an imbalance is called Dysbiosis) There are ways of targeting and eliminating bad bacteria that cause flatulence, pain, bloatedness and erratic or irregular bowel movements (please get in touch or leave a comment below if you would like to know more) as well as increasing the good guys.
Eating fermented or cultured foods which are naturally rich in probiotics is one way to increase our friend army of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Having a little sauerkraut as a condiment on the side and eaten on a daily basis with any meal will go a long way in improving your gastrointestinal health and therefore supporting good health in general.
It’s so easy to make! Give it a go and let me know how you get on!