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  • I've been making raw sauerkraut because I read that the "Prebiotics" in fermented vegetables have health benefits. According to a number of articles, it helps with allergies and a number of other problems and I have been feeling a little better since I started it.

    Besides that, it tastes good!

    My favorite mix so far was raspberry sauerkraut. You've heard of "girlie beers" and girlie drinks. Well, this is girlie sauerkraut. My husband, who has not tried any of my sauerkrauts (all the more for me) (he eats the kind that comes in a can and he can heat with kielbasa), was totally grossed out when I told him I was making raspberry sauerkraut. But it's really good.

    After I ground up all the ingredients by hand, Keith told me he had a food processor. The next time, I used the food processor, but that that makes a huge mess and I’m not sure it saves time. It was easier, though, because my arm got very tired grinding by hand. You still have to cut everything up. The secret might be making small batches every few days. I am still experimenting.
  • Here's the recipe. Keep in mind that I never measure when I cook. (See link at bottom).

    Ingredients:
    Cabbage (small head or half a large head)
    1 beet
    2 medium carrots
    a few drops of lemon or lime juice
    salt to taste
    a small handful of raspberries (I'm going to try other berries. I found a recipe online for blueberry sauerkraut, so I'll try that. But in that recipe, they put the berries in whole.

    Directions;
    1) Wash, peel and grind the cabbage, beet and carrots. I ground mine fairly fine, using one of the smaller size holes. The final product was about the consistency of applesauce and even had a flavor similar to unsweetened applesauce. (Some of it is more crunchy than applesauce!)
    2) Beat the vegetables with a clean wooden mallet. Since I didn't have one of those, I put them in a zip lock bag and beat them with a rolling pin, the first time. The second time, I used a clean jar.
    3) Salt to taste and put into a crock. A Crockpot crock will work well, as will wide-mouth glass jars. Cover with cheesecloth. I didn't have any cheese cloth, so I covered it loosely with plastic, allowing air spaces around the edges.
    4) The directions say “Weight it with a piece of clean wood covered with a rock” (I used jars and bottle filled with water.) You only have to do this one night.
    5) Allow to sit in a warm spot overnight. If it hasn't produced enough liquid to cover itself, add water to cover.
    After it sits for three days, taste. If it's not getting tangy and sour, let it sit another few days. (I let mine continue to sit on the kitchen counter until it gets very tangy.) When it begins to taste like sauerkraut, add a few drops of lemon or lime and mash up a handful of raspberries or other berries and mix in well. Once it reaches your preferred degree of tanginess, refrigerate. NOTE, do not heat, as this will destroy the good bacteria. This kind of sauerkraut is meant to be eaten raw.
  • I left mine on the counter in the kitchen for the entire time it lasted until I had finished it. (Now there is another batch there.) You might prefer to eat it cold rather than at room temperature, though.

    The first batch I made was very small, just one jar, because I wasn't sure I'd like it or that it would agree with me. But I did like it and made more. I left out the raspberries in this latest batch, because I am trying to eat less sugar. But I made a bigger batch and may add fruit to some of it.

    You can ferment any kind of vegetables. If you want regular sauerkraut, just use cabbage. Here, they sell fermented vegetables at the health food store, including one called Vegi delite, which you can order online and they will send it to you, if you cannot get it locally. I don’t know if they ship out of the country.

    There are a LOT of recipes and information online. Here is one, more organized than mine, and there are many more: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-easy-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193124

    To order vegi delite, click here: http://www.rejuvenative.com/products/Vegi-Delite.html. Note, I am not selling it, but I do like it and someone may want to not have to make their own.

    As I wrote this story, I dished myself a big dishful of my homemade sauerkraut, and it is really yummy.
  • The website says: "It is possible that you might find mold growing on the surface of the sauerkraut, but don't panic! Mold typically forms only when the cabbage isn't fully submerged or if it's too hot in your kitchen. The sauerkraut is still fine (it's still preserved by the lactic acid) — you can scoop off the mold and proceed with fermentation. This said, it's still important to use your best judgement when fermenting. If something smells or tastes moldy or unappetizing, trust your senses and toss the batch."

    I had a little mold, and I just scraped it off and it tastes fine underneath. I don't know what you can do if it's too hot, though.
  • Image: brand new photo of current batch of sauerkraut which I ate after photographing it. This batch has no raspberries.

    This story is sprouted from Kiki's "Sadness and Wonder" and is dedicated to Kiki! With LOVE!!!

    (The painted glassware is by my friend Heidi).
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