Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A first taste of sauerkraut

A few weeks back I went to pick up my raw milk order and noticed several containers of fermented sauerkraut in the pick-up room. I did some digging and found out a local woman makes sauerkraut to order.

Now, I'd never eaten sauerkraut before but I had read in Nourishing Traditions how enzyme-rich it is. The book explains that enzyme-rich foods give you energy, and help your body better process other foods you eat. Yoghurt and Kefir are both enzyme-rich, fermented foods I've talked about before.

Apparently Captain James Cook took 60 barrels of sauerkraut on his second round-the-world voyage in the 1770s. The last barrel was still good after 27 months of sailing and lots of climate changes. Eating sauerkraut prevented crew members from getting scurvy, although scurvy commonly killed crew members of long sea voyages before then.
portrait of James Cook
Captain James Cook.

Knowing all of this, I mulled over whether to buy a box of sauerkraut for us. At $14, it seemed like an expensive mixture of cabbage and carrot.

In the end I went halves with a friend who used to live in Germany and loves sauerkraut. I thought it would be worth buying well-made sauerkraut once, so I could see what it's meant to taste like before I attempt making my own.
Locally-made cabbage and carrot sauerkraut.

And I'm really enjoying it. It's such an easy way to get an extra serving of vegetables into my diet. I just scoop a couple of spoonfuls onto my plate with whatever else I've made and feel good knowing I'm eating such a beneficial food.

The plan from here is to use some of the tutorials I've linked below to learn how to ferment my own vegetables. If I'm successful, I've found an easy way to store excess garden produce that will enhance their nutritional value, rather than reduce it like canning does.

Tutorials on fermenting vegetables

Tutorials on making whey 
These posts about making whey will also come in handy, as whey is a vital ingredient when fermenting vegetables.  


  1. Yum, I love sauerkraut! I started making it myself about 3-4 years ago. My first couple attempts didn't work so well, but then I got the hang of it. Definitely give it a go - soooo much cheaper that way, and feels good to know how to do it.

  2. I need to find a local source too. I made some a while ago using raw milk whey when we had heaps of cabbage and its still in the fridge unused because I've been too scared to try it because I don't know what its supposed to taste like. Its ok making cheese and yoghurt - I know what they're supposed to taste like, but making something new, that I've never tried, is scary, how can I tell if I'm giving myself food poisoning? Especially when we hear all this food safety stuff all the time, it feels really wrong to leave something on the kitchen bench for three days, in an unsealed container and then EAT it! Looking forward to reading about it when you make your own....

  3. Apparently you will know if it hasn't worked Liz because it will smell so bad you won't want to go near it. If yours smells normal it should be fine.

  4. great tip! thanks emma, I might be brave enough to try it......

  5. Yay! Go Liz. Let me know how you go.

  6. "The plan from here is to use some of the tutorials I've linked below to learn how to ferment my own vegetables."

    Wow, thank you for sharing these. I'm really interested in fermenting vegetables. By the way, can you give some health benefits of fermented vegetables?


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