If you’re curious about making your own fermented vegetables, making sauerkraut is a great place to start. It’s easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of equipment. You do however need some brawn and a couple of anger issues.
Sauerkraut isn’t just a German thing. Sure, it has a German name (sauerkraut translates as sour cabbage) but it isn’t a German invention. All over Europe, people make and eat sauerkraut and have been doing so for ages. The fermenting of vegetables is very much a global phenomenon. Before the invention refrigeration, fermenting was one of the few ways in which you could preserve vegetables through the winter months.
So how exactly does fermentation work? Lactic acid bacteria naturally occur on vegetables like cabbage. These bacteria start feeding on the sugars in the cabbage. As they do that, they lower the pH. At the end of the fermentation process, the cabbage has become too acidic for harmful bacteria to grow. Especially clostridium botulinum, the toxins of which can cause botulism.
In other words, certain bacteria are encouraged to grow. Which then prevents harmful bacteria from doing the same.
Sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables have a very long history. But they’ve only recently become popular as a health food. While sauerkraut contains a lot vitamins, it’s actually the fermentation bacteria, that are especially good for you. Those bacteria function as probiotics and are very good for your gut-flora. They inhibit the growth of unwanted bacteria and they help to digest the food you eat. In short, having a varied selection of gut bacteria, is absolutely essential for your health. So give them a helping hand and try some of our homemade sauerkraut.
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