Tuesday was the big day! I opened up my fancy shmancy sauerkraut pot to see if I actually had edible sauerkraut after waiting (somewhat patiently) for 4 weeks. The recommended time to allow veggies to ferment is at least 3 weeks, with 4-5 being better.) Check out my post about making the sauerkraut here.
This week I made my first batch of sauerkraut using my new fancy shmancy pot designed for fermenting veggies. I’m super excited but also a little whiny because I have to wait 4 weeks to see if it even worked out! It’s sitting on my counter now and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Fermented (raw, organic, and unpasteurized) veggies including things like sauerkraut and kim-chi are amazing for your health. These foods are extremely popular and have been staples in people’s diets all over the world. I can’t help but wonder why it’s not a staple in ours? Well, I’m changing that! On an almost daily basis, I’ve been chowing down on 1/4-1/2 cup fermented veggies. I love it!
Since I don’t have my own homemade sauerkraut (yet!), I’ve been buying it (expensively) at Whole Foods. My favorite company is Gold Mine Natural Foods (but not all Whole Foods carry this brand) so I also buy Rejuvenative’s sauerkraut and kim-chi. Hopefully in no time at all, I’ll have saved enough money from making my own sauerkraut to pay for the pot.
The benefits are numerous. It’s reputed for helping fight disease! YAY! It’s awesome for your digestion. WHOO-HOO! It helps load you up with friendly bacteria, and it’s filled with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes! SCORE FOR FERMENTATION!
But, don’t take it from me. Fermented veggies have been used for natural healing for years (and I mean LOTS of years). More specifically, the Chinese have been fermenting cabbage for thousands of years! In fact, according to the book, Making Sauerkraut, the earliest recording of fermented cabbage occurred in 200 BC. Isn’t that cool?
I want to mention here that it’s important to eat only Raw, Organic, Unpasteurized sauerkraut. If it’s been pasteurized, then the nutritious and beneficial friendly bacteria are wiped out (sadly).
In the past, I’ve made kraut with only a glass mason jar, but the trouble is that it didn’t always come out right. That’s why I decided to get the Harsch Gairtopf Fermenting Crock Pot. I’m all into making things as easy on me as possible! Apparently, this thing is fool-proof (sign me up!). It received great reviews on Amazon (all the sizes). I bought the 7.5L size a couple of weeks ago and made my first batch of organic sauerkraut the other day. Now, I wish I had bought another one so that I can start a batch of something else… maybe some Kim-Chi. But, I’ll wait and see how I do with the first batch. I’m eager to make something with fun flavors, spices, and herbs. Oh! I’m so excited.
To begin, I went to the farmer’s market on Saturday and bought 10 pounds of organic, locally grown cabbage from my favorite farmer, Doug (if you’re in the Phoenix area… have you signed up for the CSA yet? I think it starts this week!). I read that it is very important to use organic cabbage for fermenting (I always buy organic everything anyway). The sauerkraut ferments better with organic cabbage.
I came home and cleaned my crock, let it air dry, and then went to work on preparing the sauerkraut for fermenting.
I peeled off the outer leaves of the cabbage and set them aside (I used a few of them at the end for covering the top of the shredded cabbage). Then, I started shredding away. Each cabbage was about 2 pounds which was perfect, because it’s recommended that you use about 1 tablespoon sea salt (I always use Himalayan crystal salt) for each 2 pounds of cabbage. Going forward, I’ll decide whether to use the same amount of salt (or less) but for my first batch, I went along with the directions.
I used my food processor, fitted with the shredding plate/blade, and shredded 1 (2 pound) head of cabbage. I put it in a big bowl and added a tablespoon of my salt. I used a potato masher and starting pushing on the cabbage in order to break it down some and release water (my arms had a little workout from this). Once it got a little juicy, I transferred it to the crock. I then did the same thing for the remaining 4 heads of cabbage. This whole process took me about an hour. Once it was all put in my Harsch fermenting crock, I placed the outer leaves I previously saved, on top of the shredded cabbage.
Then, I placed the “weights” that came with the Harsch crock on top of the cabbage. I put on the lid and poured a little water in the moat (this gives it a water seal). Now… it’s sitting on my counter. The only concern I have is that I hope the temperature of my home is okay. It’s hot and dry in Arizona, so I’m keeping my eye on it, which is kind of useless since I’m instructed not to open it until I’m ready to harvest it. I don’t want to crank the air conditioning up in order to make sauerkraut since that would use a lot of energy. So, I have a little fan on it to help keep it cool. Ideally, I’d have a thermometer next to it to read the temperature, but I can’t find it :(
I have to wait a minimum of 3 weeks to harvest my sauerkraut. I think I’ll wait at least 4 weeks since it gives it extra fermentation time. At the time of harvesting my precious, (hopefully) delicious sauerkraut, I’ll transfer it to glass mason jars, use my FoodSaver (with mason jar attachment) to suck out all of the air for even better storage, and keep it in my refrigerator.
Hi everyone!!! I hope you’re having a terrific day! Here is my food for the day. As usual, everything is organic. If I get hungry beyond what I’ve written, then, I’ll probably add an apple and/or protein shake.
~ One of the easiest breakfasts… ever!
Miso Soup with Chickpea miso by South River Miso
~ I love this stuff. It makes a delicious and warming breakfast.
1 quart Plant Blood
~ Refreshing and green… cucumber, zucchini, celery, lemon, ginger (It’s so bright and gorgeous! I feel full of life with every sip!)
~ Found the most amazing fresh, huge, soft, chewy prunes at Whole Foods (they’re not usually this great when I buy them from there, but this batch… OHH LA LA!)
Raw, unpasteurized Sauerkraut
~ I’m on a sauerkraut kick lately. It’s so nourishing on the body and I love the zest of it. I’ve been doing some extra reading on the food and I’m committed to trying to get a little of this in my diet on a daily basis if possible. I ordered on of those fancy german crocks and will be making it myself soon. Right now I’m eating the kraut from Rejuvenative (and it’s good), but I prefer the kraut from Gold Mine.
1 large avocado, diced
~ Yum… full of vitamins and healthy fats. Love avocado!
Giant kale salad with flax crackers
~ with red bell pepper, carrots, raisins, and hemp seeds
Holiday Chia Pudding
~ I’m hooked on this stuff
On another note, I can’t wait for American Idol tonight!!! And, on yet another note… I’m having another awesome giveaway this week, so be sure and check back!!!