No doubt, you’ve probably heard that fermented foods are extremely good for you.
Fermented foods include things such as sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, pickled vegetables, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, etc. These foods naturally develop probiotics during fermentation.
Although you can purchase many so-called “fermented” foods from a supermarket, most of these foods have been pasteurized, killing all of the “friendly” bacteria that will benefit you.
Making fermented foods at home is not difficult. In fact, fermented foods have been made at home for thousands of years!
If you have never tried making your own fermented foods, I have the perfect recipe for you today, a simple and easy sauerkraut. You will not need any fancy equipment. No special crocks or fermenting supplies. Just a wide mouth jar with a lid and a bowl. That’s it!
As you peruse the ingredients list, you’re probably wondering, “what IS a juniper berry and where in the world would I find them?”
Juniper is an evergreen tree and the “berries” are actually dark blue-black scales that come from the cones.
Fun Fact: Native Americans are reported to have used juniper berries as an appetite suppressant in times of hunger. Interesting, huh? You can just keep that in the back of your mind should you ever experience that kind of hunger. Your junipers will be waiting behind the oregano and cumin!
You can purchase juniper berries here if you are having difficulty finding them locally or you can leave them out without it altering the recipe dramatically.
Benefits of Eating Fermented Foods like Sauerkraut
probiotic-rich & full of “friendly bacteria” which is good for the gut
helps you absorb more of the nutrients in the foods you eat
How to Make Sauerkraut in a Jar
What You’ll Need:
A wide mouth quart jar with lid
8-10 cups shredded cabbage, loosely packed (about 1 large cabbage)
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1-2 tsp un-iodized (such as sea salt) or pickling salt
1 cup filtered water mixed with 1 tsp un-iodized salt or pickling salt
In clean, non-metallic bowl, mix the cabbage, juniper berries, caraway seeds, mustard seeds and salt. Stir the cabbage to release the juices. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then mix again. You may let it rest longer (1-2 hours) if needed.
Sterilize the jar and lid by boiling for several minutes in water and draining on a clean dishcloth.
Pack the cabbage mixture into the sterilized quart jar, pushing down with a wooden mallet or clean hands. Add filtered or non-chlorinated salt water (1 tsp salt per cup of water) to the rim of the jar. Make sure all the cabbage is covered by salt water.
Place jar on a plate or tray to catch any overflowing juices. Keep jar between 65 – 72 degrees F for 2-3 weeks.
After the bubbling stops, check the jar and top off with more salt water (1 tsp per 1 cup of water) if needed. Skim any (harmless) white spots or film from the top, close the jar tightly and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for many months.
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