Sauerkraut – super easy way to get probiotics for your family

28 Jun

Probiotic’s, cultured, fermented food – its all the rage. So we thought we had better get on the band wagon!

sauerkraut

Talk about old becoming new again. Captain Cook used sauerkraut to ward off the scurvy in his crew in the 18th century. Now us 21st century mothers are whipping up batches of fermented & cultured foods for our families to ward off the winter flu’s & keep stomach bugs & germs at bay.

My little one loves her “fairy cabbage” (as sauerkraut is known in our household) & would eat it by the cupful if I allowed it, but I am worried that there may be some stomach consequences, so I only allow her several tablespoons with her meals.

It is recommended that you add probiotic’s & fermented foods to your diet one tablespoon at a time, so take it easy until you have seen the results on your own digestive system 😉

This Sauerkraut recipe is so easy that you will probably doubt that it works!!

I did.

But it works, we are on to our fifth batch & going strong.

Sauerkraut a’la Mama Going Natural

This recipe makes a trial sized version – one 750ml jar serving. I think its best to start small & once you have your sauerkraut fermentation time down pat, then make large batches.

You will need:

  • 1/4 cabbage
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 green shallots
  • 2 t Himalayan salt
  • 1 t coriander seeds or carraway seeds or dill – depending on your taste preference

Shred all of the vegetables & place in a bowl – I use a food processor to grate the vegetables as this is the way my “little one” likes it best & it also makes the next stage super easy. Add the salt & any spices you care to use to the bowl.

sauerkraut-stage-1

 Then knead, squeeze & pummel your vegetables to bruise them & release all of the juices. This can take 2 to 10 minutes depending on how fine you have shredded your vegetables. Using a food processor to shred your vegetables seems to speed up the process.

sauerkraut-stage-2

Once the vegetables have released all of their liquids like in the picture below. You can begin to pack your sauerkraut into your jar, pack the vegetables in tight & pour over the juices that you have squeezed out.

sauerkraut-3rd-stage

Secure the lid & place the jar in a dark place & leave it to ferment for 3 -5 days, taste each day from the second day & when it reaches the desired flavour place in the refrigerator & start using. I find the longer you leave it out to ferment the stronger the flavour becomes, we normally refrigerate our Sauerkraut on the 3rd or 4th day. The sauerkraut tastes really good after a month in the fridge if you can get it to last that long.

As with all fermentation its a little scary at first, leaving food out at room temperature WTF!!

But once you have done it a few times I promise it gets easier. With all fermentation use your common sense if it smells putrid or starts to grow stuff it might need to be scrapped & start again from scratch. Lots of people attest to just scooping off mould etc that grows on the top of the jars, I am not quite there yet!! But in time who knows…..

Good Luck with your fermentation adventures

Mama-going-natural-signature

4 Responses to “Sauerkraut – super easy way to get probiotics for your family”

  1. Narelle Hetherington June 29, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    We are a fermenting household, sauerkraut, beetroot and turnip, carrot and ginger, pineapple and pears, for all except the sauerkraut we use whey left over from making our house cheese : ) – it’s great, we even have some test cases, left at a cold room temperature to trial how long we can keep them – onto the 3rd month and still tasting edible : )

  2. rabidlittlehippy July 4, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    I added sauerkraut to my kids lunch today – demolished! I shred my cabbage, beat the life out if it in the bowl with the handle end of a rolling pin then add salt and chlorine-free water over the top before keeping for 2-3 weeks in a lightly sealed jar in the pantry to ferment (with a catcher bowl underneath for overflow). I’ve read that any white mould can be scraped off but the black/blue/green stuff is a no go. I had 1 jar go mouldy first time I made it (out of 6-8 jars) and then lost half a jar in the fridge after some months. The second batch looks perfect and is down to half a large jar before we tuck into the pink sauerkraut I made using both red and white cabbages. It’s in a HUGE jar in the fridge so should keep us in kraut til spring or even early summer.
    I’ve read about using whey to kick start culturing but then came across an article which sadly I can’t source that said whey is great stuff but it’s dairy culture whereas veggies are different bacteria. The ladywho wrote it said she buys starter culture to add to her veggies and keeps her whey for other fermentations. I make kefir which either the kids drink or I use to sour flour to make healthful cakes. I am a beginner cheesemaker now too so know our whey output is about to increase. I will try using the whey in breads and even came across a soup recipe tonight which can use whey (http://slowlivingessentials.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/winter-warming-lentil-soup.html if you’re interested).
    I am thinking to give kombucha a try soon too. I have a friend with extra scoby. LOVE cultured foods!

    • mamagoingnatural July 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

      I will be keeping an eye out for how your Kombucha experiment turns out. We love Kefir Water & I am hard pressed to keep up with our Kefir Water consumption at the moment so I think I am a while off trying out the Kombucha but it does look so interesting.

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