Wellness Wednesday Immune Recipe: Homemade Sauerkraut

Homemade Sauerkraut by Changemaker Volunteer Natsu Tsuzuki

Sauerkraut is probably the most well-known fermented product and is great for your gut! Sauerkraut can be made in a number of ways with a number of ingredients. Whether you add a secret ingredient to your homemade sauerkraut or keep it basic, kraut has many health benefits. It is rich in probiotics, vitamins, fiber, and minerals, which can contribute to better digestion and a stronger immune system.

1) Cut a head of cabbage into thin strips.

2) In a bowl, add 2-4 tablespoons salt (depends on your preference) and massage the cabbage until they become watery and wilted.

3) Push the cabbage-salt mixture into a jar and make sure it is packed very tight.

4) Add water so that the cabbage is completely submerged.

5) Cover the jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.

6) Culture at room temperature for at least 1-2 weeks or until desired flavor and texture are achieved. If using a tight lid, open daily to release excess pressure.

7) Once the sauerkraut is finished, put a tight lid on the jar and move to cold storage. The sauerkraut's flavor will continue to develop as it ages.

Prior to culturing, you can also mix 1 part other vegetables or ingredients (shredded carrots, apples, elderberries or fennel etc.) with 5 parts cabbage to vary the recipe. I've been adding extra garlic to everything I cook. Garlic is another antiviral. Also, garlic has a special fiber called resistant starch that can feed good bacteria in your gut which is working hard to protect you from bugs and viruses!

Natsu is one of our wonderful volunteers who has been with us from the beginning. Natsu is a holistic nutrition consultant who wishes to share her passion for homemade whole foods with others. You may have had a chance to taste one of her meals during our Wellness Retreat last year. Earning her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics in Japan, she combines her knowledge of nutrition and holistic approaches to improve the wellness of others. She uses local ingredients to produce healthy foods from scratch. Being a mother of 4 children, she sees the importance of preparing balanced, real, and enjoyable foods to raise healthy kids, and build strong bodies. "We are what we eat!"

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