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  • Posted October 7, 2019

How to Make Your Own Healthful Sauerkraut

Pickled foods are still on trend and so are do-it-yourself recipes since homemade fermented foods taste much better than store-bought versions.

Making your own fermented foods is easier than you think and the ideal way to introduce good gut bacteria into your microbiome. The key is prepping the veggies correctly and then just letting them rest on the countertop to ferment and pick up beneficial bacteria from the air.

Turning cabbage into sauerkraut is a great way to get started. Cabbage is part of the cruciferous family and rich in many nutrients including vitamins A and C. Grating it is fastest with a food processor attachment, but you can use any type of hand grater.

Do-It-Yourself Sauerkraut

  • 1/2 pound cabbage (about half a head), any variety
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water (optional)

Grate the cabbage and then transfer to a large bowl. Add the caraway seeds and salt. Squeeze the cabbage with your fingers, 2 to 3 minutes, to release some of the cabbage's liquid.

Transfer to a 2-quart container and use a spoon to press the cabbage under the liquid that it gives off. If the cabbage is not submerged, add 1/4 cup of water and use a heavy ladle or mug to keep the cabbage under the liquid to prevent mold formation.

Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or cheesecloth and put it in a cool spot for three to seven days. Check daily. The brine will begin to get cloudy and slightly bubbly. Continue to press the cabbage beneath the liquid it generates. When the sauerkraut tastes tangy, cover and refrigerate. Store in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Yield: About 4 cups

More information

The International Food Information Council Foundation has more on fermented foods and their potential benefits.

SOURCE: American Thoracic Society, news release, Oct. 4, 2019
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