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Home Made Sauerkraut
03-26-2013, 06:35 PM (This post was last modified: 03-26-2013 06:37 PM by mr archives.)
Post: #1
Home Made Sauerkraut
Probiotics in sauerkraut contribute to the synthesis of vitamin K. The type of vitamin K produced by sauerkraut is called vitamin K2 and differs from the vitamin K1 found in leafy greens. Many Americans are deficient in vitamin K2, which would be involved in Alzheimer's disease, different cancers, varicose veins and skin aging.

My husband and I inherited a genuine German cabbage slicer/Mandolin for shredding Sauerkraut so we have started a tradition of making our own Sauerkraut every year. We’ve always liked Sauerkraut, but after making our own we LOVE Sauerkraut. Not only is it a fun time together to remember the old German folks who gave us the slicer but we get a wonderful big batch to share with friends and eat ourselves. We used our old reliable “Joy of Cooking” Cookbook to start us out right. It’s a very simple mixture of cabbage and salt. Making Sauerkraut is a fermentation process and microorganisms are everywhere. The techniques for fermenting them are simple and flexible.

We generally use a big clean plastic box to grate the cabbage into,
and then add kosher salt; 1lb. salt for 40lbs. cabbage or 2 teaspoons per lb.
Mix it all up very well in the big box then we pack it tight into 5 gal. food grade plastic buckets.

I put a big double layer of plastic wrap over the cabbage and then a dinner plate with a gallon plastic bag filled with water to weight it down evenly and the plastic bucket lid is put on at this point.

In the next couple of days we check it to see if moisture has been drawn out of the cabbage by the salt. The amount of moisture the cabbage has been grown with will determine how much the cabbage actually has in it. If the cabbage isn’t covered by salty liquid at this time we add brine; 2 TBlspns salt per quart of water, just to cover all the cabbage.

We seal it all up again and put it on the back porch for the winter. If the temp drops below freezing we cover it up in quilts and maybe a big cardboard box. Then in the late winter we open it up and start munching. Sooo delicious!
I also pack it in quart jars in its own brine and deep water bath 20 minutes to seal.

There are lactic acid bacteria floating around in the air ready to go to work on the cabbage. Sauerkraut is a live-culture “probiotic” food. Fresh sauerkraut contains lactobacilli, beneficial bacteria that improve the functioning of the digestive tract. Probiotic foods such as sauerkraut and yogurt are often recommended for people taking antibiotics, which kill both the beneficial and harmful bacteria in the body (dysbiosis). Live-culture foods can help restore the beneficial bacteria. Sauerkraut also is a good source of fiber and essential nutrients, including iron, vitamin K and vitamin C. In fact, in the 18th century, sailors ate sauerkraut on long voyages to prevent scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. One of these years when we have a particularly good batch I’m going to save a “mother” of brine and inoculate the next batch. I think it would work like sour dough.

We always eat it on hotdogs, of course, with fried onions. My new favorite is just a heaping pile on top of a baked potato with sour cream. I also found an old recipe that I love; Pork and Beef Meatballs with Sauerkraut in them! Just add handfulls of Sauerkraut with the ground meats, garlic, chopped onions and any spices that you like. I added fennel seed, celery seed, parsley, salt and hot pepper flakes with a big dollop of catsup. Rolled up little meatballs and fried them in olive oil. They turned out delicious and so good for you, especially the raw sauerkraut that you can’t help nibbling on!
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