Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Raw Sauerkraut

I've always liked sauerkraut--Reubens are like my all time favorite sandwich. But until I went paleo, I had no idea that it could be so good for me. Well, the right kind is good for you. Not the canned stuff on the shelf next to the green beans, I'm talking about the stuff that's raw, unpasteurized, fermented and full of good for you probiotics. (You know like the live active cultures in yogurt).

I was buying a really tasty brand at the local grocery store, "Bubbies" which I really, really like. It's made with just cabbage, salt and water and tastes so good. I could eat it at every meal, but just like so many things, I figured if I could make myself, I'd save some moola.

So, I tried a recipe I saw over at Balanced Bites. It didn't require any special tools like a fermenting pot, etc. Just cabbage, salt and a couple wide mouth jars. I figured I'd give it a try.  

I made my first batch with carrots and cabbage and the garlic. I forgot to get jalepeno so I skipped that part. I diligently checked my jars to make sure the cabbage stayed under the water level--that was probably the most painstaking part, otherwise they just sat there.

I was unsure if they'd work and I figured if they didn't I was only into them the cost of a head of cabbage and a few carrots. No big loss. Two weeks passed and I test tasted some. It didn't taste like the Bubbie's brand of sauerkraut, but didn't taste bad either. I  put one jar in the frig and left the other one out for a few more days, I just wasn't sure if it was fermented enough.

I've been eating out of that first jar now for about a week. I haven't gotten sick, so I'm sure it's okay. The only complaint I have is that I don't particularly enjoy the taste still. I like it with some eggs in the morning but I've tried it w/ other foods and it just didn't taste good. I am pretty sure it's the garlic flavor that I'm not liking, but I'm hoping that when I get to the 2nd jar it'll taste better/more fermented. 

So, was my homemade raw sauerkraut a success? I'm not sure. I'm eating it and I think I'm getting health benefits from it, but whether they'd be more if I'd let it ferment longer, I don't know. My plan is to finish this batch and then try another, and skip the garlic and see how that works.

Have you tried your hand at making raw sauerkraut? How'd it go

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