Sauerkraut must be part of your diet. Simple as that !
It has so many benefits. It also has the real B12 Vitamin .
I must say that I avoided it for years, for the smell, for the idea of eating something fermented and also for its salt content.
Now I am totally addicted to it.
Fermented foods are healing foods and also superfoods. They contain life in themselves.
Archaeologists have discovered that fermented plant foods were first consumed by prehistoric hunter-gatherers.
The wise ancient Romans used it as a staple in their diets. They ate it at all meals. They even fermented fish in the same manner and called it Garum for the liquid part and Allec for the solid part.
Later on the art of using fermented vegetables as a staple was introduced to other parts of the world by Genghis Khan.
The old Tartar people took it to Eastern Europe. Then it arrived in Germany where they called it Sauerkraut. After that the French adopted it too and called it Choucroute. The Chinese adopted it also calling it Suan cai and the Koreans called it Kimchi.
In antiquity a lot of sailors took it on their voyages to prevent scurvy, since it contains vitamin C and it is very nutritious.
For a long time before the invention of refrigeration, krauts were used as method of food preservation.
After the invention of refrigerators the consumption of kraut fell . But I am on a mission to revive it !
So let’s get technical now.
The kraut fermentation by lactobacilli is a natural process.
Lactobacilli is everywhere including in the air. It occurs naturally in vegetables.
The actual kraut process of fermentation has three phases, collectively sometimes referred to as “population dynamics”.
In the first phase, anaerobic bacteria such as Klebsiella and Enterobacter start the fermentation, and begin producing an acidic environment that favours the second phase of bacteria.
The second phase begins when the acid levels become too high for many bacteria, and Leuconostoc mesenteroides and other Leuconostoc spp. take over.
In the third phase, various Lactobacillus species, including L. brevis and L. plantarum, ferment any remaining sugars, further lowering the pH.
Properly cured sauerkraut is sufficiently acidic to prevent a favorable environment for the growth of Clostridium botulinum, the toxins of which cause the disease botulism.
So this whole process must be respected. It takes a minimum of 5 weeks .
The ideal time for fermentation is 8 weeks.
Some people try to speed up this process cutting corners, adding apple cider vinegar , whey or a bit of the old batch to the list of ingredients. This process is called backslopping. It is a dangerous procedure because the end result has some bad bacteria due to Ph issues.
Kraut must be fermented in a proper crock. There is no way that you can achieve proper results using just jars. Go online and buy one from Germany , ideally one that can be sealed with a water system on the lid.
So let’s go to action time.
Here is a recipe that is very low in sodium and super rich in ingredients and nutrients.
Normal kraut from shops has almost 7 times more sodium than this recipe.
Professional 20 litre crock or adapt the recipe for your own needs.
Ingredients (use only organic ingredients):
5 garlic bulbs
3 broccoli heads
3 big ginger root
1 fresh turmeric
1 cup of rosemary leaves
1 cup of dried oregano leaves
1 cup of fresh chilli
1 cup of dried juniper berries
2 table spoons of salt (sea salt or Himalayan salt)
1)Shred all ingredients very finely in the food processor
2)Add them to the crock
4)Massage the vegetables and press them until there is enough liquid covering all vegetables
5)Place weight inside crock
6)Seal the crock lid with water
7)Let it sit for 8 weeks.
8)Check from time to time if there is enough liquid covering the vegetables. If not, add water to it.
9)Before harvesting the sauerkraut remove the white film on top of it
10)Place final product with liquid in glass jars and keep it in the fridge
For more information on nutrition and exercise please get my book The Rawfit Diet and The Rawfit Diet Cookbook.
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