How to Make Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut-how-to

Although sauerkrauts are widely available in supermarkets in jars and in cans, they are relatively easy to make.  Why buy when you can learn how to make your own sauerkraut right in your home?

Traditional sauerkraut only has two ingredients – shredded cabbage and salt.  After tossing the cabbage with salt, it is then packed in an airtight jar for a few weeks in temperatures of 23 degrees or cooler.

In time, the natural sugar of the cabbage will be converted to acetic and lactic acid, which in turn would preserve the cabbage and give it a naturally zesty flavor.

However, modern recipes tweak the original sauerkraut, adding different ingredients for creativity and variation such as bay leaves, juniper or garlic.

Some use whole leaf cabbages instead of shredded ones.  Some add other vegetables or use wine to preserve the cabbage and give it extra flavor.

Preparing sauerkraut at home is a little controversial.  Traditional recipes recommend using about 1.5 percent of salt in relation to the volume of the cabbage to be used.  Others suggest keeping the ratio of the salt and cabbage the same.

However, The USDA recommends using a greater amount of salt, making the sauerkraut too salty, unless you wash it first before eating.

Eating sauerkraut boosts the immune system, fights certain cancers, prevent scurvy among other health benefits.

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