Growing up in a South African home with British influence, sauerkraut was not a food that I was ever offered. I was familiar with what it looked like because our Jewish neighbours grandparents were from Lithuania where sauerkraut was a regular part of the diet. So, although I had never tasted it, it was like I already kind of knew it. Many years later when I discovered how good it was for digestion and the colon and I purchased a tin of sauerkraut. I was really disappointed to find out that the tinned kraut was actually fake since it had been pasteurised to kill all bacteria and this of course killed the good lactobacillus bacteria which was the key purpose of eating the sauerkraut.
Fermented foods have been eaten for millennium and hailed for their benefits to digestion and for populating the colon with good bacteria. In 2006 after a trip to Korea where we experienced the tasty Kimchi (spicy fermented chinese cabbage), I got hooked on the idea.
After we came back I did some research and made some kimchi.
This year after scouring the web for fermentation crock pots sold in South Africa and coming up blank, I could not resist the opportunity of importing some. Being SO heavy I knew that they would be pricy to sell but figured there were some dedicated souls out there that would love to experience making fermentated vegetables like they have done in Eastern Europe, Russia and Asia for hundreds of years. Healthmakers imported some original Polish fermentation crock pots and I made my first sauerkraut. While researching, I discovered that you can add all sorts of vegetables to the cabbage so I made an interesting and tasty sauerkraut with cabbage, carrots, garlic and onions.
The Recipe I used to make the Sauerkraut
I placed all the vegetables into a large bowl and sprinkle salt over them at the rate of approximately 20ml per Kg of vegetables Then I packed them slowly into the crock pot putting force onto every layer with my fist (to eliminate any air). When it was all packed in I inserted the 2 weights one by one, side by side. These lay on top of the cabbage mix forming a circle. I placed water into the gutter on the top of the pot and placed the lid on to seal out oxygen.
Within 24 hours we wondered where the strange ploop sound was coming from and after searching around the kitchen finally discovered that it was gas being released through the water gutter of the crock pot. After 48 hours I took a look and felt that the cabbage had not produced sufficient liquid to cover the cabbage so I added a cup of filtered water. (Next time I will use acid water from the Biontech Water Ionizer which will aid the process). The recipe mentioned that the kraut could be eatern from 7 days, getting stronger each day. I left mine for 3 weeks and then bottled and refrigerated it. The smell every time you opened it was quite strong but the final product was delicious.
I must say that I always thought that fermenting vegetables was a bit of an enigma but found that using the crock pot was incredibly simple and produced a very delicious and inexpensive product that is excellent for so much more than increasing the good bacteria in your colon.
Getting back to the crock pot. What a difference it was to use the crock pot. You might ask what difference is there in using a crock pot rather than any other type of container. The key to successfully making fermented foods is to have healthy bacteria and keep the food anaerobic (away from oxygen) and the crockpot has a specially designed moat that you fill with water that stops oxygen entering the pot. The weights are really handy because they keep the fermenting food under water and away from air. So, in my opinion, making sauerkraut in a proper fermentation pot makes it easy and successful which is really what you want. Including fermented foods into your diet is so good for the digestion, being the reason that the Koreans include kimchi and the Germans include sauerkraut with most meals.
Here is my first sauerkraut attempt made in my Polish Fermentation Crock Pot.
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>h2>Sauerkraut in a Fermentation Crockpot is Easy to Make