Classic Sauerkraut Recipe With Spices

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Recipe
by Pete Evans

 

German cuisine is often thought to be stodgy
because the country lacked a variety of crops to grow until the last 200 years.
As a result, Germans have often adopted the cooking methods of nearby nations,
but added their own twist to it. Most often, their dishes are made using
traditional preparations such as curing and pickling to prolong foods’ shelf
life and make them readily available to the people.
[i]

One German dish that has become popular around
the world is sauerkraut, which literally translates to “sour cabbage.�
Interestingly, this dish originated in China over 2,000 years ago. Historians
believe that workers who built the Great Wall of China began fermenting cabbage
using rice wine so they would have something to eat during the nongrowing
season. Afterward, Genghis Khan conquered China and brought the recipe to
Europe as he was expanding his empire.
[ii]

Sauerkraut today is typically made using salt and a mixture of
spices to add more flavor. However, adding a starter culture to the ingredients
can boost the health benefits immensely due to its many different probiotic
strains. In this sauerkraut recipe from Pete Evans, who co-wrote my latest book
with me, the “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook,� this concept is very much
followed. I heartily recommend you give this German dish a  try, as it can complement a lot of foods,
especially cooked meats.
 

Ingredients:

 

·        
1
teaspoon of whole cloves 

·        
1
1/2 pounds of red cabbage 

·        
1
green apple, cored but skin
on
 

·        
1/2 teaspoons of sea salt 

·        
1
teaspoon of ground allspice
 

·        
1
packet of Kinetic Culture Starter for vegetables

·        
2
cinnamon
sticks
 

·        
1
orange, sliced into
rounds
 

·        
1
radish, thinly sliced
 

 

 Procedure:

 

1.   
You
will need a sterilized preserving jar (1.5 liters or 1 quart; you will have
some filling left over) with an airlock lid for this recipe. You will also need
to 
sterilize the knife, spoon, chopping board and glass or stainless
steel bowl and jug you will be using. To do this, wash the jar and utensils
thoroughly in very hot water or run them through a hot rinse cycle in the
dishwasher.
 

2.   
Place
the cloves in a small piece of muslin, tie into a bundle with kitchen string
and set aside.

3.   
Remove
the outer leaves of the cabbage. Choose one of the outer leaves, wash well and
set aside.

4.   
Shred
the cabbage and apple in a food processor with a shredding attachment, or use
mandolin or knife to chop by hand.

5.   
Transfer
the cabbage and apple to a large glass or stainless steel bowl and sprinkle
over the salt and allspice. Mix well, cover and set aside.

6.   
Dissolve
the starter culture in water according to the packet instructions (the amount
of water will depend on the brand you are using). Add to the cabbage along with
the bag of cloves, cinnamon, orange and radish and gently mix.

7.   
Fill
the prepared jar with the cabbage mixture, pressing down well with a large
spoon or potato masher to remove any air pockets. Leave 2 centimeters (.78
inch) of room free at the top. The cabbage mixture should be completely
submerged in the liquid, so add more water if necessary.
 

8.   
Fold
up the reserved cabbage leaf and place it on top of the mixture, then add a
small glass weight (a shot glass is ideal) to keep everything submerged. Close
the lid, then wrap a tea towel around the side of the jar to block out the
light.

9.   
Store
the jar in a dark place with a temperature of 60 to 73 degrees for 10 to 14
days. (You can place the jar in a 
cooler to maintain a more consistent temperature.)

10. The longer you leave the jar, the higher the level of good
bacteria present and the tangier the 
flavor. 

11. Chill before eating. Once opened, the sauerkraut will last for up
to two months in the fridge submerged in the liquid. If unopened, it will keep
for up to nine months in the fridge.
 

 

Cabbage Is the Foundation of Sauerkraut

 

Cabbage is
a versatile vegetable, as it can be used in salads,
soups and countless other dishes. Furthermore,
it is a healthy food in its own right. Among cruciferous vegetables, cabbage
contains some of the most powerful antioxidants, such as
lutein, zeaxanthin, thiocyanates and sulforaphane. Research has shown that
these compounds may help lower your risk of several types of cancer and manage
healthy cholesterol levels.

In
addition, cabbage is rich in vitamin K, a nutrient that can help with proper
bone metabolism, as well as limit neuronal damage in your brain, thereby
lowering your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It is also rich in dietary fiber
that may help promote a healthy digestive tract by promoting regular bowel
elimination.

Probiotics Can Support Your Overall Well-Being in Many
Ways

 

Fermented vegetables
are loaded with probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can provide a
wealth of benefits to your system. Aside from fresh produce, milk is another
food that’s commonly fermented, with yogurt being one of the most popular
derivatives.

I strongly
recommend that you consume probiotic-rich foods regularly because they help reseed
your gut flora. Research has shown that these beneficial bacteria may help with
the following:

Immune system
enhancement

Reduced risk of
bacterial infections and other stomach-related diseases caused by microbes

Improvement of
symptoms of lactose intolerance

Reduced instances of
developing constipation or diarrhea

Improvement of
premenstrual syndrome

Improved mental
health, mood control and behavior

Weight management (found in other fermented vegetables)

 

One other
notable benefit I’d like to highlight about fermenting is that it can improve the
nutritional value of your food. Research shows that sauerkraut is a good high-fiber,
low-calorie source of vitamin C with 1 cup providing 35 percent of the USDA’s daily
recommendations for vitamin C. It also is a good source of folate, vitamin K, calcium,
phosphorous, potassium and magnesium.[iii]

Spices Add More Nutrients and Flavor to the Recipe

 

Once you’ve
fermented your vegetables, don’t just stop there. You can improve the taste
further by adding a variety of spices, allowing you to explore your creativity
and taste. In this recipe, several spices are used, namely:

·        
Cloves: These are basically dried flower buds from the
Syzygium aromaticum tree, and are known for their sweet and earthy taste. In
terms of health benefits, they contain eugenol, a compound that has
anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that may help fight infection.

·        
Allspice: This spice comes from dried berries
of the Pimenta dioica plant, and plays a huge role in Jamaican jerk chicken.[iv]
Its flavor combines cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, and is known for aiding
digestion, boosting immunity and improving blood circulation.[v]

·        
Cinnamon:  This spice adds a sweet, woody scent to your
sauerkraut. In addition, it’s rich in manganese, a mineral that plays a role in
various biological processes. It is known to help improve bone strength,
regulate blood sugar levels, support strong connective tissues and promote
healthy brain function.

Make Sure to Use High-Quality Ingredients for This Recipe

 

When
fermenting your cabbage, make it a point to use a high-quality probiotic that
contains various strains to ensure that your gut flora is able to flourish and
diversify. Lastly, don’t forget to use organic produce to help minimize your
risk of ingesting toxins and other chemicals that are common among conventionally
produced ingredients.

 

About Pete Evans

 

Pete Evans is an
internationally renowned chef who has joined forces with Dr. Mercola to create
a healthy cookbook that’s loaded with delicious, unique Keto recipes, ideal for
people who want to switch to a ketogenic diet. The “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic
Cookbook� is the perfect tool to help get you started on your ketogenic
journey. CLICK HERE to order your
copy now.

Pete has had numerous
noteworthy contributions to the culinary world. He has not only cooked for the
general public, but he’s also cooked a royal banquet for the Prince and
Princess of Denmark, a private dinner for Martha Stewart, and even represented
his hometown at the gala GʼDay USA dinner for 600 in New York City. Pete’s
career has moved from the kitchen into the lounge room with many TV appearances
including Lifestyle Channel’s “Home show,� “Postcards from Home,� “FISH,� “My
Kitchen Rules� and “Moveable Feast.�

 

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