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Fermenting is something you can learn! And that’s why I want to share a recipe with you today to make your own sauerkraut. Now you might think: ‘Doesn’t cabbage give you a lot of gas?!’ And you are partially right, but the fermented sauerkraut is much easier to digest and is packed with nutrients that are good for your gut. So let’s dive deeper and find out why sauerkraut is good for your gut.
Sauerkraut for Health
Sauerkraut has traditionally been a very healthy product. At the end of the harvest season, all excess white cabbage was fermented, so that a healthy meal could still be served in the middle of winter.
Because the white cabbage is fermented, it is easier to digest and it contains healthy bacteria. Because of this, the potential of gas production in your gut is smaller than with fresh cabbages. Do you also suffer from bloating? Schedule an IBS symptom assessment and we can discuss how I can help you.
Fermented products have received less and less attention since the second world war, because fermentation is a way of preserving food. So, with the modern ways to increase shelf life, fermentation was forgotten!
In recent years, however, studies have shown that a diet rich in fermented products (such as sauerkraut but also, for example, kefir, yogurt, or kimchi) can increase the diversity of the microbiome and decrease inflammation markers.
Enough reason to bring it back into your diet!
Although sauerkraut is very healthy, you have to be careful if you follow the low FODMAP diet. Sauerkraut has been tested by Monash University. A 20-gram serving is low FODMAP, and more than that contains mannitol. So it is not enough to make yourself a meal. If you do want to enjoy the health benefits of sauerkraut, put 20 grams on a sandwich, in a salad, or just take a bite (if you like that).
Sauerkraut from the supermarket
Not all sauerkraut from the supermarket has the health effects mentioned above. This is because a lot of sauerkraut is vacuum packed or has been heated. This means that it no longer contains live bacteria. However, it may still contain postbiotics, so it really isn’t all bad if you can’t find a better option!
Keep in mind that sauerkraut contains a lot of salt. So eat it regularly, but not in large quantities. A high intake of salt is also harmful to health. If you have to watch your salt intake, it can be useful to rinse the sauerkraut under the tap before eating it, so you wash away a lot of salt!
The packaging of the sauerkraut often states that it must be boiled. It is better not to do this, to avoid killing all the healthy bacteria.
If you don’t have time to make sauerkraut yourself, but still want to get it from a store, check out the greengrocer. Often the greengrocer has made sauerkraut himself. Also known as ‘sauerkraut from the barrel’, this is just as healthy as making your own!
Making your own sauerkraut is super simple, and fun too! That’s why I really recommend that you try it at least once. You can always switch to a good greengrocer in your area if you consider it too much trouble to do it yourself.
Make a large portion in one go, because sauerkraut can be stored for a long time in a cool place. The fermentation itself takes some time, but that doesn’t involve any effort on your part.
Now quickly get started to make delicious sauerkraut! In 6 weeks you will have healthy sauerkraut (which is much tastier than from the store)! Have you tried it yet? Let me know!
Recipe by Positive Gut - positivegut.com
- 1 white cabbage
- 10 - 20 g salt per kg white cabbage
- Weck jar
- cabbage slicer, mandolin or food processor
- Remove the outer leaves from the white cabbage so that the cabbage is clean. Lay a few large cabbage leaves separately. Do not wash the cabbage.
- Cut the cabbage into quarters, remove hard stumps and cores and cut into fine strings.
- Clean the jar you are going to use and sprinkle a thin layer of salt into the jar.
- Create a layer of several centimeters of planed cabbage. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt onto the cabbage and add a new layer of cabbage.
- Stamp the cabbage until the layer is completely compact.
- Now add salt and a layer of cabbage again and stamp (repeat this several times).
- After about four layers of cabbage and salt, juice is being released during the mashing process. Continue adding cabbage and salt and stamping until the jar is full or all the cabbage is used.
- When all cabbage is in the jar and you have stamped it well, there will be a layer of liquid above the cabbage.
- If there's no layer of moisture above the cabbage after being tamped, then pour in a little water with a little salt until the cabbage is covered.
- Now add the large cabbage leaves to cover the cabbage. Put a clean stone on top and close the jar.
- Leave the jar in the living room for a few days to start the fermentation process. After about three days you check if the moisture has doubled and you move the jar to a dark, cool place.
- After two weeks, if necessary, scoop a layer of mold from the water and do this every week until there is no mold forming anymore. (I have never had to do this myself, but keep an eye on it!)
- After about six weeks you can taste if the sauerkraut is ready. As long as the sauerkraut is fully underwater, it can be kept for up to a year. Always properly close the jar after removing a portion from it.