Probiotic foods like sauerkraut are important because they’ll help populate your digestive system with good bacteria, which aids in digestion.
Bottom line: It helps you feel great!
If you’re like me you probably never considered making your own sauerkraut. It’s just something that you get from the store in a can or a jar. But the difference in the taste between sauerkraut that’s been freshly prepared and the kind that has been sitting on a shelf for months is pretty remarkable.
The thing about making your own foods from scratch instead of relying on a can or jar is that you get to choose how it’s made and what foods go into it. I like to buy organic cabbage so that I end up with organic sauerkraut. It’s not so easy to find organic sauerkraut, but it’s pretty easy to find organic cabbage.
Getting a serving of cabbage is also a big help for your health, providing important antioxidants that come from the cruciferous family of vegetables and have been shown to help prevent cancer.
Kimchi is another great fermented food to enjoy with Paleo, but I find that it takes a little more practice to get good at making kimchi and to get reliable results. Sauerkraut on the other hand is so easy to make, and there’s a larger margin for error. Because no spices are involved you don’t have to wonder if you’re adding enough or not enough spice.
With sauerkraut the only real choice you have to make is whether to add in mustard seeds and caraway seeds. They’ll enhance the flavor some, but are not crucial to the success of the end result.
The funny thing with sauerkraut is that you have to start making it long before you intend to eat it. That takes some getting used to, and I recommend making larger batches so that you have some on hand when you want it rather than playing the waiting game. Imagine having to order a pizza two days before you wanted it. It just wouldn’t work out.
You can store the sauerkraut for a few weeks and it will still taste great. You can also dive into it after a few days and it will be ready, but will have a different taste than if you had left it in longer. You can experiment and see when the perfect window is to enjoy it.
Since sauerkraut comes from German cuisine it tastes great with our Wiener Schnitzel recipe, and you can also serve it up with just about any dish so that you’re getting a serving of fermented vegetables.
- 1 small head green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoons mustard seeds (optional)
- Thinly slice the cabbage, discard the outer leaves and core.
- In a large bowl thoroughly mix the cabbage with salt, caraway seeds and mustard seeds.
- Pack the cabbage mixture into the jar.
- Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were mixing it into the jar.
- Place wooden skewers crosswise to keep cabbage down.
- Put a small jar, filled with water, over skewers to weight down the cabbage.
- Fill with water to almost cover the cabbage(cabbage will release plenty of liquid) and tighten the lid.
- While fermenting, keep the cabbage at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.
- Check cabbage every two days and if necessary, skim the surface of scum, check the taste and if you are satisfied, cabbage is done.