In the past year, science has shown there’s a link between gut bacteria and food allergies. Cathryn Nagler of the University of Chicago showed that a particular gut bacteria called Clostridia blocked peanut allergies in mice. Here is an article describing her study. Nagler’s team suggested that increasing our gut bacteria with probiotics may help or even prevent food allergies in people. One way to do this, according the Chris Kresser, is to eat cultured foods like sauerkraut. It turns out sauerkraut is not only allergen-free but also delicious.
Most of the sauerkraut you can find in the supermarket is not ‘alive’ with beneficial bacteria, and the brands that are tend to be pretty expensive. It turns out that making your own sauerkraut is not only cheap but also quite easy!
The ingredients for sauerkraut are incredibly simple: cabbage (green or purple), sea salt, and optional flavorings.
First, core the cabbage and finely slice it:
Put the sliced cabbage in a large bowl, sprinkle with the sea salt and spend 5-10 minutes massaging it with your hands. This will draw the moisture out of the cabbage:
Here is a picture of the cabbage after massaging for just 5 minutes. You can see that it is quite moist. At this point you can toss the cabbage with any flavoring you’d like. My recipe below has 3 options.
The next step is to pack the cabbage into your mason jar. For a small head of cabbage, I used a 1-quart wide-mouthed jar. You can pack it with a wooden spoon. As it packs, the water will rise to the top:
The cabbage will need to stay submerged in the liquid while fermenting. To do this, simply stick a smaller mason jar filled with weights like rocks or marbles on top. Look at that beautiful purple water:
Then, to keep bugs out but still allow fermenting gases to escape, cover the jar with a cloth or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Place in a sunlight-free spot between 65 and 75 degrees for 3-10 days or more. Every once and while press down on the inner jar to release gases and to keep the cabbage submerged in water.
Check the flavor and texture after 3 days of fermenting. If it tastes good, place the lid on top and store in the refrigerator. You can also continue fermenting for many more days.
Enjoy your sauerkraut as a side dish (don’t cook it!) and know that you are doing something healthy for your gut.
View the complete printable recipe for Mason Jar Sauerkraut 3 Ways.
Re-published with permission from Conscious Eatery.