I may not know much about cabbage, except for what my mother has told me all of my life, which is cabbage is healthy!  My mother loves making sauerkraut, a recipe passed down from my aunt's Polish mother-in-law, she adds cabbage to soups and stews and cannot have a garden fresh salad without shredded cabbage.  All healthy traits she has passed onto my sister and I!  In a nutshell, cabbage is healthy, right!?

Well, for my blog, I thought I would provide documentation to support my family's stance…so I consulted with Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabbage).  LOL!  In short, cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C.  It also contains significant amounts of glutamine, an amino acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. Cabbage can also be included in dieting programs, as it is a low calorie food.  Along with broccoli and other Brassica vegetables, cabbage is a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.  Boiling reduces anticancer properties.

Like any vegetable, boiling and/or cooking decreases its nutritional content.  Growing up eating and canning plenty of sauerkraut I wanted to duplicate this tradition, however, I wanted to keep as many nutrients intact as possible!  So, I was ecstatic when Jordan Rubin published his book, The Makers Diet.  In this amazing book, he talks about his health struggles and triumphs and also gives amazingly healthy recipes and techniques for achieving/maintaining foods true nutritional value.  I was happy to find his version of Raw Sauerkraut…and of course made my own modifications 😉

Raw Sauerkraut

Ingredients – makes 4 quarts

16 cups shredded cabbage, loosely packed
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
8 tsp sea salt
4 cup filtered water

In a large bowl, mix 8 cups of cabbage and half of the cumin and mustard seeds.  Using a old fashion potato masher or wooden pounder, pound the cabbage for several minutes.  This process will release the juices from the cabbage.  Use wide-mouth, quart-sized jars.  Pack each jar with shredded cabbage.  I find using a wooden spoon to pack the cabbage works best.  Mix 2 cups of water with 4 tsp of sea salt. Fill the jars to 1″ of head space.  Repeat this process until all 4 quart-sized jars are packed with cabbage.

Wipe each rim with a warm wash cloth and hand tighten each lid/ring into place.  Keep at room temperature for about 3 days.  Transfer to cold storage.  I personally use our refrigerator in our garage.  Depending on how many quarts you make will depend on the amount of fridge space you devote to your raw sauerkraut.

The sauerkraut can be eaten immediately but improves with age.

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