Lately, there have been medical publications suggesting that antibiotic use during infancy may be linked to the development later in life of autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's. One theory to explain this relationship assumes that A) the community of bacteria in your digestive system serves to protect you against certain diseases, and that B) taking antibiotics permanently changes the structure of this community. As a protective measure, there has been a big cultural push for everyone who takes antibiotics (against bacteria!) to follow that treatment with probiotics (for bacteria!); suggested probiotic sources include capsules, cultured yogurt, and fermented products like sauerkraut. The issue with the store-bought versions of these products is that if they are contained in a jar or can, they were sealed in using heat - which effectively slaughtered the bacteria that fermented the product. End result being that it tastes darned good, but contains no "biota" to populate your digestive system.
Easy green cabbage sauerkraut
What you'll need:
- Large fido jar (HomeSense is a good source for these)
- Head of green cabbage (I've tried this with purple cabbage and it doesn't soften well, likely why the purple sauerkraut in the grocery store was boiled with sugar!)
- 1.5 T sea salt per head of cabbage
- Food processor
- Large bowl or crockpot insert
- Chop your cabbage into wedges that will fit into the food processor
- Pulse the cabbage in the food processor using the S blade until the cabbage is in small pieces; you can also use the shredding attachment but I find that way messier with the same end result. If you don't have a food processor, you could hand slice the cabbage into thin ribbons.
- Put chopped cabbage and sea salt in a large container, I use my crockpot insert. Quickly use a glass jar or potato masher to smash the salt into the cabbage.
- Put the cabbage/salt mixture into the fido jar; close the jar. Because of the way fido jars work, you don't have to worry about the whole water over the cabbage/using a weight to submerge the cabbage ordeal.
- Label the container with the date two weeks from today and stash the jar in a cupboard. That is the day your sauerkraut might be ready to eat! On that date, you can check it out. If it smells good and tastes good, store in the fridge and eat! I put a big scoop of this in salads, and have as a side to all pork and egg based dishes. This will last approximately forever in the fridge.