If you’re trying to heal your gut or get more probiotics in your diet, fermented foods are the way to go. On top of being easier for your body to digest, studies have shown that many vegetables actually become more nutritious after fermentation. Not only have fermented foods been shown to improve digestion, but they can also boost your immune system and put you in a fabulous mood. Not bad, right?
There are many different types of fermented foods to choose from, but sauerkraut is a wonderful place to start. Delicious on sandwiches, salads or as a side, sauerkraut is made of finely cut fermented cabbage and is rich in vitamins B, C and K. It also contains the probiotics leuconostoc, pediococcus, and lactobacillus.
If you’re going to buy sauerkraut at the store, make sure to choose the refrigerated kind! The pasteurization that the shelf-stable brands go through kills all that helpful bacteria we’re trying to get into our diets. But why not boost your culinary nutrition expertise and impress your friends by making your own sauerkraut? It’s almost as easy as picking a jar up off the shelf.
How to Make Sauerkraut
Ingredients (2 cups)
- 1 medium cabbage
- 1 Tbsp. caraway seeds
- 1 Tbsp. sea salt
- 2-3 Tbsp. chopped or grated ginger (optional)
- 2/3 cup grated carrot (optional)
Remove large outer leaves from cabbage and set aside.
Core and shred cabbage.
In a bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds, sea salt and optional ginger and carrots.
Massage with your hands (or pound with a wooden mallet should you have one and feel so inclined) for about ten minutes. Juices will be released.
Place into a wide mouth mason jar and pound down until juices come up and cover the cabbage, leave about 2 inches of space at the top.
Carefully place whole cabbage leaves over top (inside the jar) to ensure it's airtight. Seal jar firmly.
Keep at room temperature covered in a towel or in a dark spot for about 3 days, then transfer to your fridge.
It may be eaten right away but will improve with time. Yummy!
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