Food from the Farm: Sauerkraut

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Making sauerkraut is a surprisingly straightforward process. The how-tos are discussed at length in The Art of Fermentation, but you can also learn the basics online. Here is one of Sandor Katz's short videos on how to do it.

This video inspired me to go ahead and try it. Late one night I needed a little kitchen project therapy and brought home a big, beautiful green cabbage. I chopped both it and a head of garlic fine, and then layered them with salt in my biggest mixing bowl. Then I squeezed the vegetables until they began releasing water, tasted for salt, stuffed into quart sized canning jars, and waited. How long? Katz encourages home fermenters to taste often, in the case of sauerkraut, every few days until a desirable flavor is reached. In my case, it took six days, though we started eating one jar after four. Happily - it is quite good.

This, in its entirety, is the process described in Katz's video. Seem a little vague? It is. I'm guessing that's where the "art" from the new book's title comes in. This is my first batch of kraut, but I have consulted with those more experienced and learned that for consistent results, it is recommended that you measure the salt and be quite careful about not letting air into the containers. Next time I will also invest in a crock or fill my quart jars less full, to allow more room for the liquid that is generated over the first few days. Still, for a first batch, I am well pleased with the results, and delighted to have jumped into the world of sauerkraut making. Already I find myself wanting to eat a little every day. To live foods!

By: | Jun 26, 2012 08:03 PM | Permalink
I tried my first batch of sauerkraut and was disappointed because I used the 2 tbsp. recommended and it was far too salty for me. But, I didn't give up. After watching Sandor Katz's youtube video where he makes a batch, I followed his lead. I salted to taste while I chopped cabbage and carrots and when I was satisfied with the salt level, I stopped. Then I squeezed to my heart's content to release a good bit of juices. I tasted after 3 days of fermentation and was happy with the flavor. On my next batch, I will ferment longer. I love the art of fermentation and will continue to experiment.
says:    (Jun 27, 2012 12:00 AM)

this sounds fabulous! I guess if I'm going to live w/congestive heart failure I'm going to havew to make all my food from scratch because of the salt. There seems no way to get mfgrs to lower the salt no matter what we do and the salt & sugar are killing us all!

Tita Sokoloff says:    (Jul 1, 2012 12:00 AM)

Not all salts are equal. Pure salt is essential for life -- you cannot live without it. However, there are enormous differences between the standard, refined table and cooking salt most people are accustomed to using, and natural health-promoting salt. These differences can have a major impact on your staying healthy. If you want your body to function properly, you need holistic salt complete with all-natural elements. Today's common table salt has nothing in common with natural salt. Your table salt is actually 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals such as moisture absorbents, and iodine. Dried at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, the excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt. What remains after typical salt is "chemically cleaned" is sodium chloride -- an unnatural chemical form of salt that your body recognizes as something completely foreign. This form of salt is in almost every preserved product that you eat. Therefore, when you add more salt to your already salted food, your body receives more salt than it can dispose of. Try Himalyan Sea Salt (pink salt). This is by far the purest salt available, uncontaminated with any toxins or pollutants, contains about 84 vitally necessary trace minerals found in the human body, and has numerous health benefits. Check out: http://products.mercola.com/himalayan-salt/ for additional information.


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