The Power of Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut

27 Jan The Power of Sauerkraut

There are many things out there which “easier said than done” may apply to. Sauerkraut is by far not one of them (though I didn’t think so myself before giving it a try for the first time).
I was inspired by Next Breakfast to give it a go, and I have to tell you, sauerkraut will from now on be a regular visitor in our little flat! It’s easy to make, super duper healthy, and can be eaten in many ways shapes and forms.

so before I start with the How To, I want to give you a short Why Should I Even Bother 🙂

Why Should I even Bother

Sauerkraut as Ulcer Treatment
I have to admit, the first time I heard that sauerkraut is used to treat stomach ulcers, I added cabbage to my shopping list immediately! I’ve had peptic ulcer from a pretty young age. I’m pretty sure I got it due to the silent reflux I had as a baby, but that’s for a whole other story (which doesn’t have anything to do with nutrition, but I’ll happily share if you’d like). An ulcer attack is a pretty painful, and potentially life risking ordeal, so obviously anything that could help me get rid of it for good is number one on my priority list. As it turns out, cabbage has huge amounts of vitamin U. Research shows that vitamin U, administered as raw cabbage juice, is effective in promoting the rapid healing of peptic ulcers, as well as helping improve digestion amongst other things.

[pullquote-left]As it turns out, cabbage has huge amounts of vitamin U. Research shows that vitamin U, administered as raw cabbage juice, is effective in promoting the rapid healing of peptic ulcers, as well as helping improve digestion amongst other things.[/pullquote-left]

Sauerkraut as Probiotic
For reasons such as taking antibiotics, drinking water with chlorine and so on, our healthy gut bacteria is lacking. Eating food that has been naturally fermented such as sauerkraut helps the body rebuild a healthy number of healthy gut bacteria.

Sauerkraut as Cancer Prevention
Cabbage has antioxidants, anti-inflemmatory properties, and glucosinolates, all of which help prevent cancer. I’m sure I’m not alone out there when I say; cancer is everywhere, and it’s bloody scary! So many members of my family either have cancer or have had cancer and passed away from one cancer or another. I’m ready to stand strong against this horror of a disease and say: I will not be joining THAT party, and I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid it!!

Sauerkraut-cabbage

Organic cabbage, bought at the local Coop

Sauerkraut as Vitamin C Intake
No other vitamin ever got more spotlight than vitamin C. But why is it that vitamin C is so popular? Quoting the University of Maryland Medical Center “You need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It helps the body make collagen, an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is needed for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, along with vitamin E, beta-carotene, and many other plant-based nutrients. Antioxidants block some of the damage caused by free radicals, substances that damage DNA. The build-up of free radicals over time may contribute to the aging process and the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.”

Or, to make a long story short, it’s super good for you, and sauerkraut has lots of it!

[pullquote-right]I’m ready to stand strong against this horror of a disease and say: I will not be joining THAT party, and I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid it!![/pullquote-right]

This you want to have ready before you start. You want everything to be super clean:

  • Organic cabbages
  • Salt (I used himalayan)
  • garlic (optional)
  • carrot (optional. I didn’t use any this time as we just ran out, but my next batch included a couple of purple ones)
  • cumin seeds (optional)
  • Food processor or sharp knife and cutting board
  • Towel
  • Weight: I used a cup full of water as weight. some use clean stones, jars and so forth. Be creative 😉
  • bowl
  • Clean jar
    Note: I put my jars in the dishwasher on the highest temperature before using them. I did not sterilize them in any other way. I don’t know if I was lucky, or if it’s enough to just do it that way, but I really can’t be bothered with sterilizing…
Sauerkraut

Chopped, squeezed, and ready to be jarred

So here’s how I made it:
I bought three fairly small organic cabbages. I had two big jars, and ended up using two and a half cabbages in total.

I washed the cabbages really well and took off a few of the first leaves. I then cut them into fours, removing the cores, and chopped them in my trusty food processor also known as Phillip. You can easily do this with a nice and sharp chef knife. The size will only effect the fermentation time.
I then placed a halved garlic tooth in each jar. In a clean bowl, I placed the chopped cabbage, a teaspoon of salt, and maybe two teaspoons of cumin seeds. I proceeded to give the cabbage a nice massage, squeezing the salt in there, until it was nice and shiny (only a couple of minutes was plenty massaging).

Sauerkraut

Just look at all that juice!

I then placed the cabbage on top of the garlic inside the jar, and pressed down with my fist. After only a few presses, I already started seeing cabbage juice forming. I must say, it was pretty exciting! When the juice covers the cabbage while putting pressure on it, it’s ready to be “left alone”.

Sauerkraut4

My sauerkraut, with it’s funky little hat 🙂

All I did now was put a clean cup full of water on top of my cabbage, pressed down, and covered with a clean towel. Every time I came into the kitchen I pressed the cup down, and went on with my business. This went on for about a week or so. A couple of times during that week, I took a chopstick, and poked the cabbage all the way down, to get some air bubbles out.

I should add one thing: I didn’t know this could happen, but one of the cabbages I used was bitter. It surprised me, as I made the sauerkraut the day I bought the cabbages, but I now know to taste each one before using it! One whole jar of sauerkraut ended up in the compost unfortunately. But… 1.5 weeks later, my sauerkraut was ready!

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7 Comments
  • Masha
    Posted at 19:26h, 26 January Reply

    Well done! I love cumin seeds in sauerkraut too. My mum had an ulcer and she used to always carry a raw cabbage leaf in her hand bag to chew on when an attack was approaching – sauerkraut should be even more powerful.
    Masha recently posted…Smoked Salmon and Cabbage FrittataMy Profile

    • Danna
      Posted at 07:19h, 29 January Reply

      I love cabbage, raw, cooked or fermented. But we did notice that sauerkraut made us less bloated too. Plus it’s delicious! Thanks for convincing me to give it a try!!

  • Raquel Levy
    Posted at 22:26h, 26 January Reply

    Such a great idea I have to try this.

    • Danna
      Posted at 07:40h, 27 January Reply

      Let me know how it turns out 🙂

  • Hannah Shaw
    Posted at 10:45h, 09 June Reply

    I should have crossed this blogpost earlier. It really caught my attention, never did that, but I’m planning to. I had a second thought though because it may turn out bitter if not properly done. Another thing that makes me want to prepare this, are the health benefits that we may acquire out of this powerful sauerkraut. I had an ulcer and it took a year before it was totally treated. I should have eaten this more often.
    Hannah Shaw recently posted…5 Things that Increase Your Risk for Heart DiseaseMy Profile

    • Danna
      Posted at 11:19h, 10 June Reply

      Sauerkraut is so so delicious and good for you. It’s totally worth giving it a shot!
      Sometimes when I feel my ulcer starting to bitch and moan I drink some sauerkraut juice for immediate relief. Let me know how it works out for you!!

  • Hannah Shaw
    Posted at 08:05h, 12 June Reply

    I found it! The remedy for my ulcer. I have tried it last day when my tummy rumbling again because I forgot to eat my lunch (I know, I was the one to blame though). Thankfully, that I have made sauerkraut beforehand, it’s really effective. Really worth it!

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