Sauerkraut can be eaten alone, as a side dish, or is most often eaten with meat. The enzymes in sauerkraut help us to digest meat, so that makes sense. This recipe takes advantage of fall foods would be great with pork chops, with sausages, or by itself as a snack. I make the basic recipe with fall spices and put it into my green smoothie.
Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, can provide a great boost to our digestive system as they are loaded with beneficial microbes that help us to process our foods. A new saying that is quite true is, “We are the microbes that live within and on us.” They help break down the foods we eat and provide us with vitamins and other compounds that nourish our colon. And, having the wrong microbes or an imbalance in microbes in our gut can lead to digestive dysfunction and upset.
Cabbage is loaded with vitamin K (85% DV in 1 cup chopped), vitamin C (54%), and folate (10%). Remember, vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so to get the most out of your sauerkraut, eat it with fat, oil, or meat with fat.
1 head of cabbage, red or green
2 Tbls of sea salt
2 apples, red or green, depending on the taste you are going for
If you want a fall flavored sauerkraut, try cinnamon(1 tea), cloves (¼ tea), and ginger(1 Tbl)
If you want a more unusual taste, try caraway seeds or other spices that interest you
- Shred the cabbage using a food processor or a hand shredder or chop it finely with a knife.
- Place it in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt.
- Massage the cabbage with your hands for a few minutes until it releases its juices.
- Let the cabbage sit for a 15-20 minutes while you shred the apple. You can peel the apple if you like, but it is not necessary. I find a hand shredder works just fine for this.
- Once the cabbage is ready, add the apple, spices, and onion (if you are using it).
- Mix it all together well.
- Pack the cabbage mixture into a jar or crock. Make sure you add all the juice.
- Put a bowl or lid in the jar or crock, on top of the cabbage, and then place something on top of that to lightly weigh it down.
- Either loosely screw on a lid or cover the jar/crock with a towel.
- Place it in a cool place, out of the sunlight for 1-4 weeks.
- Check the ferment and taste it every 3-4 days. You may want to clean off the plate and skim off any foam or mold that develops on top. If it becomes foul-smelling or if anything brown, moldy, or slimy is below what can be easily scraped off, then discard the whole jar.
- The sauerkraut should have a little crunch and taste salty and tangy.
There are many places to go online to learn more about fermenting foods.
I found ideas for this recipe at: