Ukrainian Style Sauerkraut in a Crock (VIDEO)
Updated: Mar 29
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Crispy, refreshing and crazy delicious sauerkraut, that I can eat as it is! My kids will fight for it! I am not joking. One iconic ingredient that my mom always adds is shredded carrots. This results gorgeous color of the kraut and makes it irresistible.
Full of friendly bacteria, especially lactobacilli, this magic old fashion-food will be your best aid for all sorts of health issues. Can be made and kept in your fridge for up to 9 months!
According to Dr. Berg there are 8 reasons why you should eat kraut.
It's October! And what is my mom making this month?
Every year my entire family gets together for a sauerkraut-making event. Every year my mom makes a huge batch that will feed the whole family and not only for a garnish on a sandwich, but to eat as it is, even as a salad, a side dish, to cook with it, etc.
Her favorite thing to do is eat it with potatoes. It's amazing but even at her age of 80 years old; she can't skip on making kraut. This year is an extremely difficult year for my family in Ukraine. I'm praying they will be able to eat their batch of kraut. These days, every day for them can be their last day. The future history books will be filled with stories of 2022 year in Ukraine. Unfortunately, these are extremely sad stories. The future military specialists will discuss a new strategy based on Ukraine military experience. And many other things will happen, the world will never be the same, and Ukraine won't ever be the same!
In the past, I published another recipe with purple cabbage, in a much smaller amount and you can see the recipe here:
In a pass I published another recipe with a purple cabbage, in a much smaller scale, using a red cabbage, you can see the recipe.
Sauerkraut (Fermented Cabbage)
But today is SAUERKRAUT in a crock.
If this is your first-time fermenting…THEN READ ON!
I will be giving you a detailed, step-by-step recipe on how to make Sauerkraut.
WHAT ABOUT SCIENTIS VIEWS ON SAUERKRAUT?
Sauerkraut is made using lactic acid fermentation that has mouthwatering taste but also many health benefits. Old days fermentation was the only way to preserve food for winter. Eating some sorts of cultured food daily was a normal, but today we are living in another world, the world with new technologies and needs for keep your food this way is lost.
Scientists and doctors today are mystified by the increase of new viruses. They are mystified by recent increases of intestinal parasites and pathogenic yeasts. Could it be that the ancient practice of lacto-fermentation in our diet is missing?
We have been living in a time with a health crisis known as the COVID pandemic. As time goes on our grandchildren will discover a lot of interesting facts and have many discussions regarding this unique time in our lives. Hopefully, they will have a better understanding of how fermented foods can make you strong and healthy to fight off viruses/diseases or at least not be as affected since their bodies will be armed with good gut bacteria.
Cabbage is such a food that can benefit our gut, for it helps decrease levels of ACE2, which is key to the COVID virus replicating and getting into the body.
WHAT IS ACE2?
ACE2 is a protein that sits on the surface of many types of cells in the human body including the heart, gut, lungs, and inside the nose. This protein sticks to the cells located on the surface of the lungs and begins to create openings in the organ. This is used by COVID-19 to enter the body and with its spiky exterior, does have the ability to unlock the ACE2 receptor. This is how the virus begins - by invading the lungs and making copies of itself.
Not a while ago here was published the GREAT news that consuming probiotic fermented cabbage brings down the number of ACE2, making it much more difficult for the virus to enter the body.
It's amazing how protective it can be, but only RAW FERMENTED CABBAGE has this effect. Sauerkraut that is canned and heated lacks the probiotic power.
In the past, I had numerous health problems, as did my husband mostly from SIBO, IBS and SEASONAL ALLERGIES. I can say we are free, thanks to GOOD MICROBES.
My body needed these microbes and thanks to God, I was healed by these little invisible helpers.
WHY EATING CULTURED FOODS AND WHY IN A CROCK?
Cheap health benefits – Probiotic-rich fermented veggies are very good for digestive health. Salt, veggies, and a few spices are all you need to make kraut.
No mold – Good quality crocks prevent undesirable mold or yeast formation.
Easy to clean – The wide mouth allows you to wipe down the crock before and after use.
Weighted pressure – Some crocks come with weights, my crock doesn't but I can easily place a big jar with water on top to create a weight, and this helps cabbage realize more juice. Which is working as a barrier between oxygen and cabbage.
Stability – Thick stoneware walls create a stable fermentation temperature.
Better fermentation – A crock also allows greater range and distribution of beneficial bacteria to develop.
No smell – you can make kimchi, sauerkraut, and other fermented veggies in your kitchen without worrying about smells during the fermentation process.
Big batch in your own kitchen – within 6-14 days, you will have delicious and healthy fermented foods available.
WHERE TO BUY A CROCK?
There two types of crocks: Open crocks
Water sealed crocks
I happen the own the open crock, which is very old, heavy and has probably made a lot of good meals in the past. One of my dear friends found this crock at the thrift store.
Good quality crocks can be expensive depending on the brand and the size. No need to waste money on crocks, you can first check your local thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, auctions, or flea markets to find good quality crocks.
I firmly believe in the saying: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
But here is the link to purchase an open crock, that is LEAD-FREE and not too expensive, and will save you time by enabling you to make bigger batches. And here is a water sealed crock that I recommend as well.
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE IT
Cutting board and mandolin
Extra-large mixing bowl
Crock, weights and lid
You’ll need jars and lids to store the final product
Last but not least, what about those members of the family who turn their noses away from delicious and healthy for your gut food - sauerkraut! Usually, these folks have a digestive problem and worry about trying different foods. So, how do you make them consume healthy good gut foods?
Please check these two recipes where you can trick them by using only sauerkraut juice, they won't even know. I promise.
"Birthday Party in a Bowl" - Sauerkraut Salad
Tomato-Butter Bean Salad with Feta
And this salad is also providing with good bacteria through fermented onions
Cucumber Avocado Salad with Fermented Red Onions
This sauerkraut will keep in your fridge for up to 9 months or longer if it is kept in a jar under the brine. Exposure to the air causes contamination. If you do happen to see some white mold on an older jar, carefully remove the mold along with a thin layer of sauerkraut. The rest of the jar will be fine.
Please, watch my video first and let's begin...
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Fermenting Time: 6 to 14 days
Total Time: 6 to 14 days
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Serves: enough for 3 months in my house
5 heads of cabbage
7 Tablespoons Celtic salt (heaping spoons)
2 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
2 Tablespoons whole coriander seeds
5-6 dried chilies (optional, my mom doesn't always use)
2 Tablespoons whole all-spice (optional, and I didn't use in the video)
A few bay leaves (I didn't use in the video, but my mom always does)
Get all your ingredients ready. Everything should be CLEAN! In the video I was rushing and did all the shredding at once, then mixed it with salt and spices. But it's very challenging to mix well all together so do it in two sets. Ideally, I recommend that you use an extra-large mixing bowl.
Peel the carrots and get ready all the spices that you decide to use.
Then, core your cabbage, and using a mandolin shred half of all the cabbage and grate a few carrots.
Add half spices and thoroughly mix all together.
Repeat this procedure again.
6. In a crock, add all your veggie mixture and pound them with
a wooden packer stick, if you have one. But really anything can work for this step, even a French style rolling pin. Pound until you see the release of the veggie juices covering all the surface of the cabbage.
7. Place a glass or ceramic plate on top of the cabbage or large leaves, and then add the weights. I used a large glass jar filled with water. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave alone in a corner of your kitchen.
8. The next day, check on it. You may not notice a lot of juice, but by the second day there should be a lot.
9. On the third day check it again, (my mom always does this step, but it's totally optional). Lift the weight and remove the plate, then using a thin stick such as a skewer, poke the cabbage in a few places. You will notice the bubbles in each hole where you are poking. My mom says this reduces the bitterness and extra buildup of gases in the cabbage. This procedure also speeds up the process of fermentation.
10. Cover with the weight and towel like you did on the first day, and place back for another 3 days.
11. After 6 days, give it a try, and if it suits your taste, portion out the sauerkraut into CLEAN mason jars and keep in the fridge. There will be a slow continuation of fermentation to the kraut.
I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, Patreon or Pinterest.