I hope that got your attention! Yes, I believe eating a little of my homemade sauerkraut every day helps keep my tummy flat. I will explain why and show you how I make my own sauerkraut.
Food fermentation has a long history
Humans have been fermenting food since an estimated 10,000 BC. The reasons for this were to preserve food and enhance the nutritional benefits.
Just about every culture has traditionally used fermented foods in their diet, such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, natto, cod liver oil, high meat and, of course, sauerkraut.
Americans do not typically eat fermented food. In fact, most of us tend to treat our stomach like a garbage can and just eat anything without regard to the effect it will have on our bodies.
I want to have a long and healthy life (and fit into my size 4 jeans) so I decided to make fermented food part of my diet. And of that list, sauerkraut appeals to me the most.
The nutritional benefits of sauerkraut
Something magical happens when you mix cabbage, salt and water together in an anaerobic environment. It produces lovely probiotics, enzymes and vitamin K2, to name a few. All these things are good for gut health and your overall health because if your digestion is messed up, you won’t be healthy.
When your digestion works properly, you won’t have gas, bloating, heartburn, etc.
And you get all this good stuff for just pennies a day compared to buying nutritional supplements.
Making sauerkraut vs buying it
You don’t have to make your own sauerkraut but you’ll save a lot of money doing it and you can customize it to your taste.
If you’d rather buy sauerkraut, make sure to get it from the refrigerated section. Any sauerkraut that is shelf stable has been pasteurized which kills all the probiotics.
I could make vats of sauerkraut for what one jar from the store would cost. And here’s how I make it.
How to make sauerkraut
You will need a 64 oz mason jar with optional plastic lid, glass weights* (optional but highly recommended), large knife, cutting board, large mixing bowl, water, sea salt and cabbage (slightly over 4 lb).
*You need some kind of weight, not necessarily these, but these are perfect!
This basic recipe makes about a half gallon of sauerkraut.
Cut cabbage into thin strips. Save one leaf (cut into a circle) to fit inside the jar as floater control.
Discard the core.
Put cabbage into mixing bowl with about 1T of salt. Knead and massage cabbage with your hands for a total of 10 minutes.
After five minutes you can add extra spices or veggie slices if desired.
Transfer cabbage into mason jar and use your fist to press out all the air. Pour in the liquid from the cabbage.
Add the floater control circle and put at least one glass weight on top. You may need to add extra brine to completely cover the cabbage and weight.
The recipe for brine is 1T sea salt to 4 cups of water (I use filtered water). Save extra brine in the refrigerator.
Leave 1 to 1½ inches of space from the top of the jar. The liquid is going to rise during fermentation.
Lay the lid on top but don’t screw it on. This is just to keep bugs out.
Put the mason jar on a plate. Cover the jar with a clean cloth and set aside out of direct sunlight for 7 to 14 days. (Longer in cooler temperatures.)
Check sauerkraut every day to make sure there’s still enough liquid. Sometimes after the liquid rises it will begin to evaporate and you need to add more brine.
When the sauerkraut is ready, remove the glass weight and cabbage circle. Now you can screw on the lid and place the jar in the refrigerator. This will keep up to a year.
Watch my video on how to make sauerkraut
So there you have it! I eat about ¼ cup each day. Being a low carb food, it fits well into my keto diet.
I hope you’ll enjoy your sauerkraut and good tummy health!