Pound the cabbage.
Pound the cabbage.
Add the whey
Then you add the salt.
Tell me what you get.
To the tune of Frere Jacques
Yep, we’re the freaks that make up songs about stuff like sauerkraut. Actually the first time we sang it my now 3 year old sang “sauer-crap” which I thought was hysterical! She didn’t get it at the time, but I couldn’t help myself…I had to record it! We’ve been making it for years and the kids have been helping since they were old enough to “pound the cabbage.” And what little kid doesn’t love to pound stuff right? Put that energy to work!Not only is if fun to make, but lacto-fermentated cabbage is one of the healthiest (and yummiest) ways to eat the stuff. It’s also a natural preservative for all veggies!
Like the fermentation of dairy products, preservation of vegetables and fruits by the process of lacto-fermentation has numerous advantages beyond those of simple preservation. The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their 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. Other alchemical by-products include hydrogen peroxide and small amounts of benzoic acid. (source)
Ready to give it a try? I really don’t want to mess with perfection here, so I’m stealing this recipe right from Nourishing Traditions. If you haven’t bought a copy yet please do so. It will be the best $15 you’ve ever spent!
- 1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
- 1 T caraway seeds (optional)
- up to 1 T sea salt
- 4 T whey (for a casein/dairy free recipe, omit and use twice the sea salt)
In a large bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds, salt and whey. Pound for about 10 minutes with a wooden mallet, a meat hammer or the plunger that came with your Vita-Mix. You will see the juices release. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage (fridge, cellar, or cold basement). The sauerkraut may be eaten immediately, but it improves with age.
Eat Well, Be Well,
For more information read this wonderful article on the history and health benefits of sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut: The Miracle Cabbage