Kraut is Great for Your Gut
One of our Colon Hydrotherapists recently completed a training in Europe where one of the naturopaths in the training shared about the benefits of kraut, and how she’s a huge proponent of suggesting many of her clients make it a staple in their diet. If you’ve previously avoided kraut for its taste or small, keep in mind that not all kraut is pungent and intense, but when it is made correctly, it IS intensely supportive of the gut for its prebiotic and probiotic qualities. Unlike most supplemental probiotics, sauerkraut’s influence is a form that the body can actually utilize. And it’s cost-effective. You can purchase or make your own, and try this easy recipe we recently found. Or search the internet or your favorite cookbook to find a flavor profile that you like for a bit more kick. Or simply purchase some kraut (check the ingredients for anything beyond simple, real foods) that is “live” vs. canned which likely has been pasteurized, thus killing the good bacteria.
From elavegan.com & includes some helpful context.
- 1 medium head of (1.3 kg) white cabbage outer leaves removed
- 1 tbsp (15-20 g) sea salt (read instructions)
- A few bay leaves (optional)
- 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
- Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, then weigh it on a kitchen scale.
- Use 1-1.5% of salt. If your cabbage weighs 1 kg, use 10-15 grams of salt. Mine weighed 1.3 kg and I used 20 grams of sea salt.
- Now cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Using a sharp large knife, slice each quarter down its length into very thin ribbons. The thinner you will cut the cabbage, the better will be the result. You can also use a mandolin, however, please watch your fingers!
- Transfer the sliced cabbage to a large and clean mixing bowl and add the salt. Wash your hands and then start massaging/kneading the cabbage. Squeeze it and massage it for 5-10 minutes, don’t be gentle.
- The cabbage will release a lot of liquid which is perfect, the more liquid the better. You can now also add the bay leaves, the caraway seeds, and a few juniper berries (if using).
- Pack the cabbage into a clean (sterilized) large mason jar and pour all the liquid on top. Use your fist or a pestle to push down the cabbage. The liquid should float on top of the cabbage.
- You can weigh down the cabbage with one or two clean stones, which will ensure that the cabbage is submerged in its liquid. Then cover the jar with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band.
- Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days in a cool place, 65 °F (ca. 18 °C) to 79 °F (ca. 26 °C). Keep the jar away from direct sunlight. Press down the cabbage at least twice a day. It’s important that there is enough liquid on top. Taste it after 3 days (it ferments quicker in a warmer climate). If you like the taste, screw on the cap, and refrigerate.
- I always allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 14-21 days in the refrigerator. The longer you let it ferment, the more beneficial bacteria (probiotics) it will form. You can eat sauerkraut raw (most beneficial for the gut) or pan-fry it with some oil! Enjoy!