I heard about the benefits of sauerkraut and other fermented foods from a German doctor who was interviewed on German T.V. In a 2002 article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers found white cabbage fermented to sauerkraut is rich in isothiocyanates and other compounds that fight cancer. Isothiocyanates makes precancerous cells to self-destruct, preventing cancer growth in the colon, breast, lung and liver.
Another study by the American Center for Cancer Research documented that sauerkraut prevents and heals breast cancer. The bacteria, Lactobacillus plantarum, in the sauerkraut maintains the balance of beneficial bacteria and boosts immunity by enhancing the antibodies that fight infections.
We made this sauerkraut after a visit to Vangie's organic farm. She had eggs from cage-free chickens and a herd of sheep and goats to supply milk and all their meat. I loved her lush vegetable garden with huge broccoli, peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes, squshes and asparagus. But it was my first time to see monster cabbage and Brussels sprouts! They grow so BIG because uses sheep manure as organic fertilizer. She gave us a 12 pound cabbage!!
Sauerkraut requires only two ingredients--- shredded cabbage and salt! Problem is, exactly how much salt to add. The right amount makes the cabbage crunchy - too much and it's over salty, too little makes it slimy as it encourages other bacteria (not Lactobacillus plantarum) to grow. The recipe I found says use 3 Tbsp for 5 lbs of shredded white cabbage.
I used my OXO Digital Food Scale to weigh out the cabbage. And since it is an anaerobic fermentation process, I also used my kimchi maker to ensure no oxygen gets in. I mixed 1-1/4 Tbsp salt for 3 lbs of shredded cabbage and let it sit at room temperature overnight. Then in the fridge it stayed for 5 days to slow down the fermentation process and let the flavors develop. My son really wanted kimchi not sauerkraut so I added some shredded carrots and jalapeños to it. This gave so much depth and contrast to the cabbage.
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