Sauerkraut in a Jar
It is fairly simple and well worth the effort and your tummy will thank you for your effort.
Pound the cabbage. Really bruise it to release more of its liquid. Pack the cabbage firmly into two sterilized quart-sized jars. There should be enough juice in the jars to cover the cabbage, but if there isn't enough, add a little water. Cover with a lid and screw band. Don't tighten them firmly, just until you feel resistance. Place the jars on a tray or a plate to catch any juices that will try (successfully) to escape. Store where the temperature remains fairly steady, between 60 and 70 degrees F.
Check the sauerkraut after 24 hours. The cabbage should still be completely immersed in the liquid. If you need to make more brine, dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons of pickling salt in 1 quart of water. Pour enough in brine to keep the cabbage submerged.
Check the sauerkraut every few days and skim off any scum that appears on the surface. Bubbles should begin to rise to the surface, indicating that fermentation is taking place. Start tasting the sauerkraut after 2 weeks. The flavor should change from salty to pickled. The fermentation can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks depending on the temperature. You may want to rinse it off before eating if it still tastes very salty (it does to me). Only rinse off what you plan on eating right then.
Store finished sauerkraut in the fridge for several months.
Sauerkraut combines the health benefits offered by all cruciferous vegetables (a category which includes cauliflowers and brussel sprouts as well as cabbage) with the probiotic advantages derived from the fermentation process.
Cabbage offers a host of health benefits. It is high in vitamins A and C. Studies have shown the cruciferous vegetables can help lower cholesterol levels. Cabbage also provides a rich source of phytonutrient antioxidants. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies indicate it may help combat some cancers. However, this already helpful vegetable however, this already helpful vegetable becomes a superfood when it is pickled.
Consuming a serving of sauerkraut can give your body as much of a health boost as many of the expensive probiotic drinks and supplements sold in stores. However, most commercially sold sauerkraut have lost most of their beneficial bacterial organisms. To gain the most benefits from sauerkraut, you may want to purchase it freshly made, or learn how to make your own.