My Attempt at Fermentation, Sauerkraut

We’ve all heard about how probiotics are good for us. We’ve seen the sugary concoctions in the form of yogurt at the grocery, but by now, we know that sugar and the T2 Diabetic are not compatible. We read that things like kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut  are probiotics, but often pre-processed items come with their own un-desirables like added sugar, preservatives, or pasteurization.

In reading about probiotics at MDA, I came across Mark’s article: “The Wonderful, Pungent World of Sauerkraut”. On March 28, I gathered everything needed and started my endeavor into the world of fermentation.

IMG_20130405_104055 kraut set up

I used the crock from my crock pot and lid, along with a salad plate to weight it down and a glass pie plate to help the lid fit better.

To begin, I purchased a large head of cabbage. I quartered it, cored it, and shredded it. I placed it in the crock and added the salt (about 3 Tablespoons) *Since I had canned in the past, I used canning and pickling salt because that is what I had on hand. It is important when fermenting kraut to not use regular table salt. You need sea salt (as called for in Mark’s recipe), Kosher salt, or pickling salt, salt that is free from additives like anti-caking agents. I gloved up and “kneaded” the shredded cabbage as I would knead dough in the days of old.

562318_623162177698628_1792168229_n kraut day 1 mar28

Day 1, March 28, 2013. Cabbage is shredded and salted. I squished it around and pounded it a bit. It wasn’t very moist.

Day 2, the cabbage still wasn’t very moist. It looked enough like day 1 to not even waste the pixels on a picture. In referring back to Mark’s recipe, I figured I just had “old cabbage” and added a bit more water and salt. (refer to MDA Sauerkraut linked above)

Day 3, I opened the lid and was hit by the smell of 40 farting White Walkers. Braving the smell, I tasted it. It was a little tangy, nothing to brag about, and since it was scum and mold free, I put the top back on and decided to see what happened next.

Day 4, it seemed that the smell had decreased by a couple dozen White Walkers slain by Samwell Tarley and his obsidian blade. The decrease in smell was an increase in the tang factor. It was starting to taste like sauerkraut. With still no mold or scum, I put the top back on and just waited.

IMG_20130405_104133 kraut set up

Crock, kraut, plate for weight, pie plate because my lid fits better that way.

003 day 5 april 1

Day 5, the smell is nothing like it was a couple days ago. The color is changed a bit from day 1. It’s more tangy than days past, but still needed more time.

day 6 7 8 9

Not a lot changed visually from days 6, 7, 8, and 9, but the flavor became stronger, tangier.

Day 8 of tasting, squishing, changing out my salad plate and wiping down sides, I thought it was pretty good. I offered some for my husband to taste and here on day 9, I’m glad he didn’t try it yesterday!

IMG_20130405_104140 kraut set up

This is day 9. You can see that the salad plate is holding down the bulk of the kraut. Even though I have had no mold or scum, I still skim the top daily. I also change the salad plate out daily along with the pie plate. We keep our home around 65 degrees so maybe that’s why there has been no mold or scum? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll make more kraut in August when our home is closer to 80 degrees…

This morning, day 9, I am very pleased with the kraut. I don’t know if it can taste any better tomorrow than today, so I’m going to serve up some with dinner tonight, put the top back on the crock and taste the rest of it again tomorrow.

In my attempt at fermentation I have learned that I don’t have to stop at sauerkraut, next stop kimchi! (ok, maybe not, but seriously anything is possible). I don’t have to get my probiotics from a pill or sugar laden yogurt, I can get them from fermenting more cabbage, maybe adding carrots or some other vegetables next time. The last thing I learned was to step out of my comfort zone, try new things and see for myself that yes, home made sauerkraut is a gazillion times better than store bought stuff!!




One thought on “My Attempt at Fermentation, Sauerkraut

  1. Pingback: Cabbage and cookies | mydiabetesandme

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