Foreign to some, a taste of home and childhood to another, the popular ferment called sauerkraut, not to be confused with the misspelled sourcrout, is a great place to start if you’re new to fermenting. It is also the place where you can experiment with flavors and textures creating the most unique blends and the best crowd pleasers. It’s the gateway ferment that exposes one to a new level of health and well being.
What is sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut (again, not sourcrout) is basically cabbage that is cut up into fine slices and has been mixed with salt and allowed to ferment for a period of time by lactic acid bacteria. The lactic acid bacteria that is naturally found on the cabbage feeds on the sugar in the cabbage making it softer and more sour in taste. This fermentation process increases the nutrient levels of the cabbage and makes it more shelf stable to a certain degree all while giving it the most delicious and addicting flavor. I am salivating just thinking about fermenting sauerkraut.
Why should you make your own sauerkraut?
Well, let me tell you the top three reasons why I make sauerkraut!
Probiotics are Expensive… and less diverse and less effective then store bought. I have 7 children and a husband. To have my entire family on probiotics would cost me a fortune! Not to mention, the store bought probiotics have only 10-20 different types of bacteria in them where naturally fermented Sauerkraut has hundreds if not thousands! Naturally fermented foods are already hardwired to transport delicious bacteria directly into your digestive system.
Taste is the Deal Breaker! Being able to control the level of sourness, the salt preference, the herbs and other vegetables to accompany the cabbage greatly enhances your pleasure in consuming sauerkraut. Believe me!
Cost Effective. A whole cabbage and a few tablespoons of salt costs what? A dollar or two!? Why wouldn’t you spend that dollar toward your health and your palate?!
How Do I Start?
Here are some of the sauerkraut recipes we have written about. You will find they are all relatively simple as most good ferments are. Give your go to this one first if you are a newbie:
Below is a list of other flavored sauerkraut recipes you can try out:
Over the next several weeks I would like to share with you my families favorite Sauerkraut (not sourcrout) recipes with you! They include the Simple, Spicy Sauerkraut, the Pad Thai Sauerkraut and the Ginger Miso Sauerkraut.
Keep an eye out for what’s to come!