Homemade Sauerkraut – Ancient Preserving

Sauerkraut is white fermented raw cabbage. The taste is sour and it is a thousands of years old way to preserve food during winter-time. It’s full of healthy goodness and one of the best foods to eat for a strong immune system.

I personally love Sauerkraut. In Italy we call them crauti. Raw white cabbage fermented thanks to a brine, full of healthy lactic acid bacteria, pure food for gut bacteria.

The Roman writer Cato already mentioned the way of preserving cabbage with salt. This kind of preserving food maybe was brought from China to Europe. The German word is confusing because many think it is originally from there.

This easy to make side dish is also packed with health benefits. A high percentage of vitamins and minerals (it was used against scurvy for seamen for example as it has a good amount of vitamin c and vitamin k), it is a perfect immune booster, it helps your many gut bacteria to be balanced, it is high in antioxidant properties and helps with leaky gut and even cancer.

There are many ways to prepare or preserve the raw white cabbage. Simply in brine for example. The typical German Sauerkraut has bay leaves, caraway, juniper berries and white wine. I sometimes had cabbage with shredded carrots pickled and more as a salad than a side dish. I made mine in brine just with bay leaves, orange and apple slices. I saw a recipe with grated ginger, also a super bomb of health. I have to try with pomegranate the next time.

In Germany they eat Sauerkraut cooked with pork and potatoes. Also sausage I think is a good partner. I like an egg with it as well.

Some fun? When I was in Mexico many years ago I stayed with a family. They were wonderful people and pampered me a lot. One of the always very delicious meals was with red cabbage. As I know red cabbage as a sweeter way, just cooked and not fermented, I was happily putting my fork full of red cabbage in my mouth expecting a certain taste. But it tasted like Sauerkraut. It was so difficult to except that taste to what my eyes suggested my brain. I learnt than how much we ‘eat with our eyes’.

If you make them these days it will be ready to eat for the new year. A good start to help your holiday gut back to a healthy balance!

Feed your Gut!

Print Recipe
Print Recipe
  1. Before you start, wash the apple and orange and beginning from the middle cut 2 thin slices of the orange and 2 from the apple.
  2. Wash the white cabbage, take away the two outer leaves, cut the stem out.
  3. Cut the cabbage in 4 pieces. Now cut all the four into thin slices in order to get long, thin cabbage pieces.
  4. Transfer the cabbage into a big enough bowl, add the salt (10 g per kg, if the cabbage is 1.3 kg the salt should be 13 g). Now start to knead the cabbage. After a few minutes all starts to get wet, the cabbage starts to catch out its liquids. Knead at least 6-10 minutes.
  5. Leave the cabbage for a while, meanwhile you prepare two middle seized jars with a lit. They should be cleaned perfectly.
  6. Now put the cabbage in both jars, add 1 slice of orange and 1 slice of apple and 2 bay leaves. I put them along the side. Now press the cabbage as much as you can in the jars, the liquid coming out should cover everything. Cut a thicker apple or orange slice and lay on the top. If the liquid is enough to still cover all, perfect, if not put a weight on the top (a clean stone for example).
  7. Put the lit on and leave the jars for a few days at room temperature. Every day take of the lit to leave gas out (bacteria at work!). After 4-5 days put the jars, firmly closed in a cool, dark place for the next 2 weeks. After that time the Sauerkraut is already lightly sour. The more you wait, the better it gets.
Recipe Notes

To make your own Sauerkraut is good for your (gut) health, but also a s a gift a great idea!

Try the Sauerkraut with different spices, fruits. Experiment with your favourite tastes!

Try also red cabbage or any other. You can also mix different cabbages or other vegetables. The procedure is always the same. 

You can cook/warm up the Sauerkraut and serve with meat and potatoes or serve as salad.

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