Lacto Fermentation: Sauerkraut
The fear of pathogens is a thing of science fiction in the world today. We seem to run across news articles on a regular basis about super viruses and other evil machinations that put the fear of crazy in all of us. The sad thing is, this fear has taken us away from many of the foods that previous generations enjoyed.
Thankfully, the rise of the slow food movement has helped to bring back many of these foods we have been in danger of losing forever. Lacto fermentation is a traditional way of food preservation that gives us something more than simply soured vegetables. The probiotic bacteria that results from the process strengthens our immune system as well as increases the natural bacteria within our system that helps us to survive.
This is an original health food.
A little over 1 gallon water
200 grams salt
3 lbs cabbage
Heat the water and salt to a good simmer (160 to 180 degrees) then chill
shredd cabbage or cut into thin strips
Cover the cabbage completely with the brine (using a plate or something else heavy enough to weigh it down).Let the cabbage rest for roughly 2 weeks (or more for more sour) in an area of your house that will maintain roughly 70 degrees consistently (like a basement). When the cabbage is as sour as you wish it to be remove it from the brine. Boil the brine to kill off the lacto bacteria.
When I do this I tend to package the sauerkraut in gallon freezer bags (1lb. per bag) and maybe a quarter cup of the cooled brine. When you are ready to eat you can break off a little or cook up the whole bag as you see fit.
Time for a pint.
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