Thursday, October 23, 2014

Purple Sauerkraut

The days are getting shorter and colder. It is time to do something for the immune system. Many people are unaware that the small intestine is a vital part of the human immune system. Researchers call it the innate immunity. To stay healthy we have to maintain intestinal homeostasis, or a balance between the beneficial macro-organisms and the pathogens that inhabit the intestines.

Purple Sauerkraut

Our lifestyle often interferes with this balance. However, many nutritionists believe that this balance can be restored with changes in nutrition. Consumption of fermented foods and supplementation with probiotics can help us restore and maintain intestinal homeostasis. This in turn strengthens our immune response.

Homemade, unpasteurized sauerkraut is full of life. It contains beneficial microorganisms that will help you strengthen your immune system. Sauerkraut is also considered to be a superfood. The process of fermentation increases its nutritional value and makes the nutrients more bio-available.

Sauerkraut is full of enzymes and unlike raw, unprocessed cabbage, it does not contain goitrogens that could interfere with the thyroid function. 

  • 1 medium large purple cabbage
  • 1 small white cabbage (or 1/2 of a large one)
  • 2-3 Tbsp pink Himalaya salt
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife
  • large mixing bowl
  • 1 jar with clamp lid (at least 1/2 gallon)
  • wooden stomper 

Ready for the fermentation!

  • Remove the outer leaves from both cabbage heads and save them for later use.
  • Cut both cabbage heads into halves and remove the hard stems (the hard central core of the cabbage) and save it for later use.
  • Cut the cabbage halves into quarters. 
  • Chop the cabbage into thin slices. You can use the food processor or a mandoline if you want to, I used sharp knife.
  • Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Add salt and massage the cabbage with clean hands until the shreds start to soften and produce brine. This make take up to 10 minutes. 
  • Transfer the massaged cabbage into a jar. Work in layers making sure that cabbage is tightly packed and that there is no air between the layers. Use a wooden cabbage stomper or a similar tool to press the cabbage dawn. This will allow the juices (brine) to rise and cover the cabbage. 
  • Work your way up leaving about 1 inch space between the brine covered cabbage and the lid.
  • Fold one one of the cabbage leaves and place it in a jar making sure that it entirely covers the cabbage. Fold another leaf and place it on top. Place the cabbage stem upright on top of the cabbage leaves and press it dawn as you close the lid. 
  • Place the closed jar in a moderately warm place and allow it to stand undisturbed for up to 4 days. 
  • After 4 days, carefully open the jar. Remove the stem and the covering cabbage leaves. Taste your sauerkraut. It should have a nice, homogenous purple color and a slightly tangy, but not overpowering taste. If you prefer it to be a bit more acidic, continue the fermentation process for another two or three days. 
  • Once you are satisfied with the degree of fermentation and acidity, place the jar in the refrigerator. This will stop the fermentation process. You can store your sauerkraut for a few months, but I truly doubt that you will be able to do this. It is simply too delicious to keep it in the fridge. Enjoy often!

Fully fermented purple sauerkraut

Tip: This a basic recipe. You can add spices to enhance the taste. Once you massaged your cabbage add one table spoon of allspice berries or juniper berries. Mix well and proceed as described in the recipe. Also keep in mind that the jar might leak a bit during the fermentation. I place mine in a small bowl. In this way the liquid collects in the bowl and does not stain my kitchen furniture.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

*Information in this article is for educational purposes only and it not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Dominique Allmon©2014


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