Tangy and delicious, homemade Sauerkraut is a living probiotic food that has remarkable healing properties. The natural lacto-fermentation process preserves the food and nutrients, breaks the food down to a more digestible form, increases the nutrient profile, and offers an array of probiotics that are formed in the fermentation process. The main by product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine...
Probiotics are ‘friendly bacteria’ or literally translated as life giving bacteria. The balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut is becoming more widely recognized for it’s integral role in your well-being. An estimated 80% of your immune system is housed in your gut. As a robust immune system is your top defense against all disease it’s not surprising that there’s a growing body of work from experts in the field detailing the critical connection between the healthy functioning of your digestive system and a general health.
Fermented foods are yet another example of traditional wisdom. An ancient practice, Cultures around the world have traditionally included lacto-fermented foods in their diets. However at some point in the convenience seeking modern day era the importance of fermented foods seemed to be lost and as a result is missing from many modern day diets.
With the health benefits of probiotic foods becoming more widely known, there’s a resurgence of availability of fermented foods. When buying Sauerkraut it is imperative that it is raw as beneficial bacteria are destroyed during heat processing losing its goodness! Making sauerkraut is a relatively straightforward process that doesn’t require much hands-on-time, it’s also a lot cheaper than most high quality for sale brands so why not give it a go.
The lovely Miro from Ferment for Life has shared a basic Sauerkraut recipe with us. Miro supplies the beautiful traditionally used fermentation pots to New Zealand. While it’s possible to make sauerkraut without a traditional pot, the unique design of this stoneware creates an air-tight interior while allowing the CO2 gas that’s released during fermentation to escape. This creates the ideal environment for a successful batch of delicious sauerkraut.
So with the help of Miro’s simple Sauerkraut recipe and one of his beautiful fermenting pots (optional but recommended!) why not try your hand at a bit of alchemy & turn an already lovely (preferably organic*) cabbage into a magical pot of living Sauerkraut.
Traditional Sauerkraut Recipe by Ferment for Life
Your sauerkraut will be ready to enjoy eating after 5-6weeks; you can either take it out of the fermenting pot as you use it (keeping in mind that the flavor will continue to develop), or you can take it all out and store in jars in the fridge.
You can find the Ferment for Life fermenting pots online here or locally at GreenWorld Health and Lifestyle 177 High St, Motueka.
To learn more about the connection between the digestive system and general health this interview with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is a good place to start. Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride is the Author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome the widely popular GAPS diet that has helped people across the globe health their gut and create changes in an array of health problems.
Nourishing Traditions; Sally Fallon, Mary Enig.
The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia; Rebecca Wood;