September 25, 2013

Homemade Sauerkraut: Non-Dairy Pro-Biotics

I've thought about making my own Sauerkraut for a while now. But was never super motivated because it's so cheap to buy already made. Not that I've ever bought it. But I like it on my Costco hot dogs. You know, the ones I only buy once a year because it takes me that long to forget how I terrible the experience was. I'm pretty sure re-live my hot dog experience every time I burp for about seven hours after eating one. But that's not the sauerkraut's fault. So I don't hold it against him.

 A month ago, while at the Pike Place Market, Jocelyn found a ginormous cabbage and she had to have it. Seeing that it was only $3, I agreed. And then had to tote it around. But seriously, when a kid begs for a vegetable, I think I should encourage that and that old homemade sauerkraut seed started to grow.

We came home with it and a few days later I looked up YouTube videos on making sauerkraut. What surprised me was that the nutritional value of cabbage is not only enhanced by fermentation but that your body can access the vitamins easier. And your gut health increases with the pro-biotics and enzymes. And here I had no idea I could get those anywhere besides yogurt. 

 I liked this video for its simplicity and not needing a $150 fermentation crock. We just shredded the cabbage with a mandolin slicer into a food grade bucket and every couple inches or so we sprinkled some Himalayan Sea Salt on it. Then we added a few cups of water and put a plate on it. The water came about an inch above the plate. We weighted the plate down with a jar of water.

Mold will grow on it, but the cabbage is safe without air under the plate. No bad microbes can get to it there. The cool thing about this mold is that it's all connected. Not like a spore here an there. I just dipped a clean fork in and lifted it off. It all came off in one or two chunks. I ended up taking off mold maybe once a week. The sauerkraut has been in the bucket on my counter for a month. Let me warn's a little stinky. But when I tasted it this morning, I got excited. It was good and sour. If you want a milder flavor then you can let it sit for 2 or 3 weeks instead of 4.

This morning I put it into pretty jars. Mostly for the pictures...but also because now that it's going in the fridge, I wanted smaller containers.

Jocelyn had a bite to eat for breakfast this morning. "Yum, Mom!" She thought it was apple sauce. What the heck?! Ha ha. I ate some for lunch on a piece of bread. That was pretty good. Tonight we're having some for dinner. I've got my pork roast in the crock pot and am thinking about doing some sauerkraut mashed potatoes to go with it. I guess I better get on that. It's just after 6 pm now.
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