Your Own Sauerkraut
By Deb Botzek-Linn, University
of Minnesota Extension Service
about pork chops baked with sauerkraut, or a bratwurst topped with
The word sauerkraut means “sour cabbage” in German--it’s naturally
cabbage. Natural fermentation is one of
the oldest means of food preservation, and it reduces the risk of
illness and food spoilage.
can easily be made and preserved at home with its basic ingredients of
and salt. Be sure to use a tested recipe
when making sauerkraut, as the proportion of salt to cabbage is the key
good kraut, begin by selecting disease-free, firm, sweet, mature heads
cabbage from mid- and late-season crops, Plan to begin cleaning and
the cabbage within 24 to 48 hours of harvest. A kraut cutter is the
way to shred the cabbage, but a modern-day food processor moves the
along and saves on the fingers.
or pickling salt draws out the cabbage juice so it can be fermented.
little salt not only softens the cabbage, but also yields a product
flavor. Too much salt delays the natural fermentation process. For
every five pounds of shredded cabbage,
mix in three tablespoons of canning salt.
choice of container to pack the cabbage in is important.
Old-fashioned earthenware crocks are
traditional, and are still a good choice as long as they are not
chipped. Food-grade plastic pails that
are sturdy and rigid make excellent containers.
words here are “food-grade.” You do not
want to make sauerkraut in metal containers of any type, or in plastic
containers that were never intended for food use.
the cabbage and salt mixture is packed tightly into a suitable
container, it’s essential
that you cover the cabbage and liquid to exclude air, since the
process requires anaerobic conditions. A
salt water (brine-filled), food-grade plastic bag is one of the easiest
best ways to both cover and weight down the cabbage.
the container at 68 to 74 degrees F while fermenting. At these
temperatures, the sauerkraut should
be ready in three to four weeks. Fully
fermented kraut may be canned or frozen.
is a low-calorie food--only 42 calories per cup. It’s a good source of
C, but is high in sodium as a result of the salt used in
fermentation. You can reduce the sodium content, as well as
the tartness, by rinsing sauerkraut in cold water before using.
Botzek-Linn is a food science educator with the University of Minnesota
Extension Service Regional Center, St. Cloud)
Web, regional directors, statewide list 09144b-linn
Deb Botzek-Linn, (320) 203-6056, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Sperbeck (612) 625-1794, email@example.com
|Did You Know?
to the most dietary guidelines, nutrient needs should be met primarily
through consuming foods. Foods
provide an array of nutrients and other compounds that may have
beneficial effects on health. In certain cases, fortified foods and
dietary supplements may be useful sources of one or more nutrients that
otherwise might be consumed in less than recommended amounts. However,
dietary supplements, while recommended in some cases, cannot replace a
dilute solution of household bleach is a
great sanitizer for counters, tools and hands. Use one-tablespoon
bleach in a gallon of water.
wash your hands after touching
garbage, poisons, cleaning supplies or anything that soils your hands.
This rule also applies to any contact with pets, their dishes or
not wear rings or other jewelry when
you prepare food. Food particles stick in the crevices and corners. If
you have pimples, boils, infected cuts or burns on your hands, use
disposable plastic gloves to prevent the spread of infection.
you start preparing food, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and
hot water. Wash the areas between the fingers and under the
fingernails. If you use your hands to mix food, clean under your nails
with a brush.
|Food may be "finger-lickin'" good, but
finger licking isn't good for food. Do not even "spoon taste" unless
you use a clean spoon, and use it only once.