Sauerkraut is a probiotic food.
The lactic acid process which naturally preserves sauerkraut is ripe with probiotic power. Here, we are going to mention just a few of the good bacteria. These are common to lactic and preserved food, and they are Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. Plantarum, L. caret, L. pentoaceticus, L brevis and L. thermophiles.
There is a broad variety of healthy bacteria which are responsible for these beautiful ferments. We will not find the same good bacteria count in every batch. But what we are going to find is a product brimming with some healthy probiotics which are going to help ensure proper gut health.
Because of the use of antibiotics, and even the chlorine in our water, the healthy bacteria in our systems are usually beaten down. Naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut is a wonderful way to rebuild the healthy gut bacteria levels.
Raw fermented cabbage is traditional healthy sauerkraut.
Not all of the sauerkrauts have health benefits. For sauerkraut to have a preventative effect, it has to be raw. Raw and naturally fermented sauerkraut contains lactic acid and the living probiotic microorganisms which are the agents of fermentation.
Some of the health benefits include its ability to increase our digestive health, boost our circulation, protect our heart health, as well as provide us with quick energy. It can stimulate our immunity, strengthen our bones, reduce our overall levels of cholesterol, eliminate inflammation, protect against particular cancer, and even improve our vision and skin health too.
Fermented foods are frequently found in cultures all over the world. But sauerkraut is one that has succeeded to find a global market. It is famous all around Europe, Asia, and America as well.
The nutritional, value of sauerkraut.
This food contains high dietary fiber levels and essential levels of vitamin A, C, and K, as well as various B vitamins. Moreover, it is a good source of iron, as well as manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium, and calcium, in addition to contributing a moderate amount of protein to our diet.
Along the history, sauerkraut was taken on long voyages to ensure that the crew didn’t get scurvy. This is a terrible disease that is caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. It worked, as sauerkraut is an excellent source of natural vitamin C. If you want to get most of your vitamin needs from food, just a modest serving of sauerkraut every day is a step in the right direction.
Sauerkraut also has cancer-fighting properties.
A lot of people know that broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are the right foods for helping prevent cancer. Sauerkraut is another excellent way to enjoy cabbage. But, an interesting Finish study has discovered that beyond the normal benefits of cabbage, sauerkraut has even more cancer-fighting powers. It was also discovered that through the process of fermentation, isothiocyanates were produced that were also found to prevent the growth of cancer.
Glucosinolates consisted of sauerkraut were also found to help activate the natural antioxidant enzymes of the body. The flavonoids in it are very helpful in protecting artery walls from oxidative damage. The study has concluded that sauerkraut is an even better choice than raw cabbage for cancer-fighting properties.
Sauerkraut is a traditional ulcer treatment.
There is some data which says that some European countries have traditionally treated peptic ulcers with sauerkraut. It turns out that cabbage is a fantastic source of vitamin U. It can also help you to heal peptic ulcers. Raw cabbage juice was also shown to be an effective treatment for peptic ulcers, and raw sauerkraut is another way of getting your vitamin U. Maybe just a serving of sauerkraut could help you keep peptic ulcers away.
Strong bones: The various minerals which are found in sauerkraut make it an ideal food for building strong bones, as well as preventing osteoporosis. The high level of vitamin K, (23% of daily recommended intake in a single serving), which is somehow an uncommon mineral, is particularly significant for maintaining the integrity and strength of our bones, as vitamin K produces the proteins which regulate bone mineralization.
Warning: the food is also very high in sodium, which can be a dangerous dietary addition to people that suffer from different cardiovascular and renal diseases. If you have any of the above symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
Recipe: Two-ingredient sauerkraut.
- One large bowl;
- One half-gallon jar or 2-quart jars;
- Knife and cutting board;
- Small jar for jam, root vegetable slice, or fermentation weight;
- Desired lid or clean towel;
- Potato masher or kraut pounder;
- Food Funnel (optional)
- Two medium heads organic green cabbage;
- 3 Tablespoons sea salt;
- Water, if needed.
Directions for preparing it:
First, cut the cabbage in half vertically. Then, remove the core on each of the halves by slicing it around in an upside down V shape. Then, again cut it in half and shred the cabbage finely as for coleslaw. After that, place the cabbage shreds in a large bowl and continue with the remaining cabbage.
When all of the cabbage has been chopped, sprinkle over the salt. Then, mix all the ingredients with clean hands, massaging the salt into the cabbage as you go. At this point, you should taste the cabbage. If it tastes bland, as lacking salt, then you can sprinkle in just a little more of it. It should taste well-seasoned but not overly salty.
Then, you can pound the kraut with a potato masher or kraut pounder if you want to. This starts the process of breaking down the cabbage which releases the liquid necessary for the brine. This is recommended for beginners. As an alternative, you can leave the salted cabbage covered in a bowl for several hours to let the salt extract the moisture from the cabbage.
When the kraut is ready, place it into jars for fermentation. This is the easiest thing to do, and you should do it with clean hands. Simply take fistfuls of the now slightly limp cabbage and move it carefully to the mason jars. After every couple of handfuls, you should compact the cabbage into the jar with your fist. Remember to pour in any brine left in the bottom of the bowl. If the cabbages were reasonably dry or if they do not produce enough of their brine for whatever reason, you can add additional brine as needed. A ratio of a ½ tablespoon of salt to 1 cup of water should be used.
You should fill the jar(s) up to 1.5-2 inches from the top.
Now, you have to weigh the kraut down You can use a thick slice of root vegetable. Turnips or beets work well, or a small jar of jam which fits into the opening of the jar that you decanted the kraut into.
If you are using the root vegetable or fermentation weight, you should just place them in the jar atop the cabbage and then press down until the level of the brine comes well over the kraut and root vegetables/weight. You should cap with an airtight lid of your own choice.
If you are using the jar for jam, carefully place the clean jar into the mouth of the fermenting jar. Press down so that the level of the brine will come well above the kraut. You also need to cover the opening of the fermentation jar and the jar for a jam with some clean towel to keep out bugs or unwanted debris. You can do this with a rubber band. If you are using this method, it is recommended to place the jars on a plate to catch any overflow of vegetable brine.
Now, it is time to permit the kraut to ferment. This can be best done at 60-80 degrees, and it is going to ferment faster the warmer the environment is. During this process, carbon dioxide is produced, so any bubbling you notice is a desirable thing. If you have used an airtight light, you will have to “burp” the jar so that the pent-up gases will not cause an explosion of the jar. This can simply be done by slowly opening the lid, permitting it to “fizz” out for just a second and rapidly sealing it back up. With the jam jar method, the gases are naturally going to release through the opening.
The fermentation should be visible after several days, but that does not mean that it is complete. If the ambient fermentation temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees, a fermentation time of 1 to 2 weeks at room temperature will produce well-flavored kraut.
At this point, you can move the kraut to cold storage, for example, a refrigerator or a root cellar, or basement – a space which is between 40 and 60 degrees is optimal. The kraut is going to continue to ferment and may also change in appearance over time. Just remember to cover the remaining kraut with brine, either by weighing it down or by adding some more salt brine solution in a ratio of .5 tablespoon sat to 1 cup of pure water.
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