Sauerkraut and other fermented foods are rich in beneficial probiotics and associated with a range of health benefits.
The word “probiotic” comes from Greek, and it means “for life”.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body. 1
We can find probiotics in yoghurt, other fermented foods, dietary supplements, and even beauty products.
The most common types of probiotics are Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria.
The famous probiotics called acidophilus is part of the Lactobacillus genus. It is termed Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Humans have been consuming probiotics for many thousands of years, and fermented foods have been, and still are, an important part of the diet.
Microbial cultures have been used to produce beer, wine, yoghurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, olives, cheese, Kombucha and many other fermented foods. Therefore, there is a symbiotic relationship between humans and probiotic microorganisms with a long history of significant nutritional and therapeutic benefits for humans.
Fermented plant foods have always been an essential part of the human diet. They are common foods around the world, from sauerkraut in Eastern Europe to kimchi in Southeast Asia.
Traditionally prepared, both these foods contain large amounts of probiotic bacteria.
You can grow probiotic-rich foods easily at home.
All you need is Salt and Cabbage to create sauerkraut.
Making homemade sauerkraut is worlds apart from those that you can buy from the grocery store.
Sauerkraut is made by a process called Lacto-Fermentation.
This process happens when the beneficial bacteria present on the surface of the cabbage soaked in brine (salty water) convert sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid.
How to make sauerkraut at home?
- Sterilise a jar with boiling water.
- Cut the cabbage and weigh it.
- For the salt- calculate 2% of the cabbage weight and add this amount in salt.
- Add the salt to the cabbage and mix.
- Transfer the cabbage to the sterilised jar and, if needed, cover it with filtered water.
- Add a sprinkle of salt on top because of the added water.
- Cover with baking paper (or a cabbage leaf) and a stone to press down the cabbage to stay underneath the liquid.
- Close the jar and place it on a plate. Some of the liquid will leak out of the jar.
- Wait approximately 5 days.
- Taste, and if you like the flavour (tastes sour), it is ready to use! Enjoy daily and store it in the fridge.