DIY Raw Sauerkraut

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I started eating raw sauerkraut regularly after reading Alisa Vitti’s article on Dr. Oz, “4 Week Cyclical Hormonal Health Plan.”   Then overnight, I noticed that everyone was talking about how good raw sauerkraut is for you.

I love what Nourished Kitchen says about it:  “The process of lactic acid fermentation used to transform salt and cabbage into sauerkraut increases vitamins, particularly vitamin C and B vitamins, and food enzymes.  Moreover, homemade sauerkraut is also extraordinarily rich in beneficial bacteria – friendly microorganisms which help to colonize the gut, train the immune system and manufacture vitamins in the digestive tract.”

Once, I went to two stores only to find that they were both out of stock of the $5.99 jar (for 25oz).  And I couldn’t bring myself to pay $20+ for the other brands.

So I decided to make my own.  I found an article on Huffington Post and was surprised by how easy it was to make.  All you need is cabbage, salt and couple weeks for the fermentation process.

Ingredients

1 head of fresh cabbage (the fresher the cabbage, the more juicier it is)
1 T (3 T of sea salt per 5 lbs of cabbage) (salt draws out water from the cabbage)
2 glass jars that fit inside one another (I used an old kimchee jar and a smaller spaghetti jar)

Update:
I made a batch that didn’t draw enough water from the cabbage, so I added water without adding salt.   I also used only 1 T of salt, and I think my cabbage was about 4 lbs.  About a week later, I noticed mold growing on top.  So I did some research to see what happened, and it looks like I needed more salt.  I noticed a lot people were mentioning “3 tablespoons of salt per 5 lbs of cabbage.”  Most notably, Dr. Weil recommended this ratio as well.  My next batch, I used about 2.5 T of sea salt for 4 lbs of cabbage, and it drew water considerably easier than before.

Directions

1.  Wash cabbage and save the outer leaves.  Cut cabbage in half and remove the core.

2.  Cut cabbage into thin slices and begin to layer them in a large bowl with sea salt.

3.  Massage the cabbage with your hands.  It will soften and then release its juice (it takes me about 15 minutes).

4.  Then transfer the cabbage and all liquid into the larger jar and pack it down with a large spoon until the cabbage is completely submerged in its own juices.

5.  Seal the top with cabbage  leaves.  Make sure air does not touch the cabbage.  Add weight on top of the cabbage by placing the smaller jar inside the large jar.  Put the lid on and sit it on your countertop out of direct sunlight.  It will take about 2 weeks to ferment.

Check periodically to make sure that it is covered in water.  After couple days, it may start to bubble around the sides.  That’s normal.  After about 2 weeks, it’s probably ready to put in the fridge.  Just spoon out as much of the white bubbles as you can.  Then transfer the kraut into an air tight glass container and refrigerate.  It’s supposed to keep good for 6 months, but it goes quickly at our household.

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