Fermented foods have once again become popular due to the recent return of traditional food. It’s no wonder why fermented foods are so widely consumed nowadays. Our ancestors had a far better diet than us, and fermented foods have been a big part of it. Why? Well, because they’re full of essential nutrients and have a myriad of health benefits.
The most popular type of fermented food is sauerkraut. You’ve surely heard about it, maybe even ate it (especially if you come from Europe). Sauerkraut is actually fermented cabbage and has been consumed for hundreds of years. It’s essentially a combination of one of the healthiest vegetables, cabbage, and one of the best food preparation methods, fermentation. According to experts, people have been fermenting cabbage as early as 4 century B.C, making sauerkraut one of the oldest known foods to humankind.
What is Fermentation?
The process of fermentation is an ancient technique of preservation that alters the chemistry in foods. Apart from sauerkraut, kefir and yogurt are the most popular fermented natural products. Fermented foods are full of probiotics and have been associated with a variety of health benefits.
The process of fermenting cabbage is known as lacto-fermentation. Sauerkraut is full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and digestive-boosting enzymes that can improve the nutrients absorption in the body. We’re not talking about store-bought sauerkraut, though. This sauerkraut is pasteurized and treated with chemicals in order to be preserved. The good news is that you can easily prepare sauerkraut on your own.
Here’s what you need to do:
- 6 pounds cabbages (small-medium)
- 3 tablespoons salt
It’s easy. Wash the cabbage first and remove the outer leaves, then shred the remaining parts. Put the shredded cabbage in a bowl, then sprinkle the salt over it. Massage the mix for 10-15 minutes in order to stimulate the cabbage to release its juices. Now, take a bigger glass jar and put the mixture in. The juice should reach about 2 inches from the top. Put a plate over the jar, then put something on it to keep it down. A rock or a pan will do. Cover it all with a towel and leave the container on room temperature.
The sauerkraut will be ready in about a month. You can keep it in the fridge and eat it often in order to boost your immune system and improve your health on several levels.