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Dr. Williams’ Favorite Homemade Sauerkraut

Since the FDA requires commercial sauerkraut to be pasteurized—which destroys all the beneficial bacteria!—homemade sauerkraut is the only way to go when it comes to improving digestive health. The following sauerkraut recipe is from Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions, and is my personal favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of shredded cabbage, loosely packed
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons liquid whey (if not available, add an additional 1 teaspoon salt)*
  • 1 cup filtered water**

Makes one quart.

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix cabbage with juniper berries, cumin, and mustard seeds. Mash or pound with a wooden pounder for several minutes to release juices.
  2. Place in a quart-sized wide-mouth Mason jar and pack down with the pounder. Mix water with salt and whey and pour into jar.
  3. Add more water if needed to bring liquid to top of cabbage. There should be about one inch of space between the top of the cabbage and the top of the jar. Place a lid on the jar and close very tightly.
  4. Keep at room temperature for about three days, then transfer to a root cellar or the top shelf of your refrigerator. The sauerkraut can be eaten immediately but it improves with age.

Makes approximately one quart.

 

*If you use whey, it must be in the liquid form, not powdered.

**Don't use tap water if it is chlorinated. The chlorine can destroy the lactic microbial organisms and prevent the fermentation.

Note: It's normal for white spots or a white film to form on the surface of the liquid covering the sauerkraut. This is a form of yeast called kahm. Although totally harmless, it can have an unpleasant taste so I would recommend simply removing it gently with a spoon.