Add some flavor, a little bit of sour crunch, and diversity in your daily food consumption, along with many health benefits!
Today, we bring an awfully easy recipe for you that has all these mentioned things. So, our cost-effective and most straightforward recipe pick is “Sauerkraut.” Yeah! Sauerkraut! You may have heard about it earlier. If not, let me brief it a bit for you.
Sauerkraut is a German dish with a history of many centuries. It is much common in America and east European countries. It is made by fermentation of cabbage that increases the vegetable’s shelf life. This fermentation process also intensifies its flavor and health benefits.
And the best thing about sauerkraut is that making it at home is so effortless. It’s easier than you may think. It is a simple dish as it doesn’t need rare spices and ingredients, that are often unavailable at home. It only requires cabbage, salt, and a jar to make a delicious serving for your dining table.
Well, you can buy sauerkraut from the market if you don’t want the hassle of making it. Although the market’s bought sauerkraut tastes fine if that is the only thing you care about. Yet, homemade sauerkraut is gazillion times better in taste and texture. Store-bought pasteurized products might lack beneficial bacteria and enzymes. While homemade sauerkraut provides a nice flavor as well as many health benefits.
Benefits Of Sauerkraut
How can we start without mentioning its benefits? Let’s have a look at them.
Sauerkraut has a slew of health benefits. It has good bacteria known as “lactobacillus,” which is also present in yogurt, sour pickles, and kefir.
This probiotic helps our bodies regulate blood sugar, cardiovascular health, and metabolic health. It also helps your body to absorb essential nutrients. They enhance immunity and support our gut health. It does great help in our digestion.
The fermented cabbage provides phytonutrients that support cellular health. Research of Science Direct shows that these phytochemicals are anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and chemo-preventive, which may be helpful against certain types of cancer.
How To Make Sauerkraut At Home?
It’s no rocket science. Take shredded cabbage and a small amount of salt. 1-3 tsp of salt is enough for one quart of water. Put these two ingredients into a jar or in a crock. Cabbage itself creates its brining solution by releasing liquid. Spare some days, at least up to two weeks, to allow cabbage to ferment.
Make sure you submerge cabbage inside the liquid solution. If you see mold at the top, don’t panic. Remove that upper side; the rest of the below solution is completely fine.
If your solution shows small bubbles or white foam, don’t worry! It indicates a good fermenting process.
After 3 to 4 days, the cabbage is eatable with a sour taste. But keeping it for more time makes it more flavorful, and it gets a better texture. Let it ferment for at least two weeks or more. Keep in mind that a warm environment makes the fermentation process faster. Room temperature of 60-70 F(17-22 C) is the best. Too cool and too warm would not generate the perfect results that you expect. After forming sauerkraut, you may shift it to the fridge. Its taste will become more profound as time passes.
The sauerkraut may be good to use for six months or more. As long as it smells and tastes good, you can eat it. Trust your instinct if you feel anything wrong. Discard the sauerkraut if it smells bad or tastes awful.
Tips To Keep In Mind:
1. Shred the cabbage in much smaller slices:
Cutting the cabbage into small pieces is a necessity. For ease of work, you can use a cabbage shredder for slicing the cabbage in much smaller chunks. Check out our list of best cabbage shredders for sauerkraut.
2. Add variety and flavor:
You can add variety to your recipe by adding other vegetables, herbs, or spices. It would be more flavorful and delicious.
3. Check after 24 hours:
Check your jar after 24hrs to if it has released enough liquid. If not, then add a little water and salt to it. Make sure cabbage is wholly submerged. Otherwise, it may grow mold.
4. Maintain cleanliness:
Clean your hands before kneading. And make sure everything that came across the cabbage is clean and sterilized. A clean and hygienic environment allows good bacteria to proliferate. This will ensure a more compatible environment for the perfect fermentation.
5. Maintain an anaerobic environment:
Your sauerkraut should allow carbon dioxide to move out but not oxygen to get in. A fermentation crock or airlock is helpful in this case if you have one.
Easy Recipe for Making sauerkraut at home:
One medium-sized head
1 1/2 tsp
- Shred the cabbage with a sharp knife or a cabbage shredder. Then sprinkle the salt.
- It needs a human kneader at this point. Squeeze and massage the cabbage with clean hands. Knead for about 10 mins until it has enough liquid. The cabbage will turn in much-reduced volume. You can use a potato crusher instead of hand kneading for ease.
- Stuff the material in the jar/crock. Press the cabbage so it gets submerged in the liquid. Add some water if it needs to cover the cabbage completely. Some cabbage might float, but you can lower it by pressing with a spatula or anything.
- Cover the jar. Maintain an anaerobic environment there. You can cover it with a cloth that allows the air to pass through it and saves it from flies or anything.
- Keep it at room temperature. 60 to 70 F is preferable.
- After preparing the sauerkraut, you can move it to another jar and place it in cold storage. The flavor will continue to develop as time passes.
Sauerkraut has been in use for many hundreds of years due to its probiotic properties. It is rich in several vitamins and minerals. Even the texture seen in pictures looks promising. You should definitely give it a try at least once.