I’m not sure exactly how it started. I probably kept reading over and over again how healthy it is to eat fermented foods and sometime last year picked up a jar of Bubbie’s Sauerkraut at the co-op. Any sauerkraut you find in the non-refrigerated section has been pasteurized and therefore has none of the benefits of fermentation. But Bubbie’s in the refrigerated section was raw, unpasteurized, and promised all the probiotic benefits. It was also $6.50 a jar.
I honestly never remember eating sauerkraut before this. I guess most people think it is just something to put as a topping on a hot dog? I put it on everything. It’s amazing on salads or mixed into a simple grain/bean/veggie dish. I loved the tangy crunchiness so much, and kept buying it. This surprises me even now, given the price!
Then awhile back I found out about the book Wild Fermentation. It’s like the ultimate guide for fermenting foods at home. I started telling Nathan about how I wanted to make my own sauerkraut, and he surprised me with a 2 gallon ceramic crock as an anniversary gift in October. He said “It’ll be fun to make, but I’ll never eat it.”
Two months and two successful batches later, he is taking some out of the crock every day before we’re even done fermenting, which is a 4 week process. The most recent batch he made with caraway seeds, I guess that’s a standard kraut flavor. I wasn’t a fan at first, but now I don’t think I could go back. There are about 4 heads of cabbage in that crock, he wanted to save the final product to make reubens for a guys’ weekend, but we’re having trouble rationing it.
So if you’re bored this winter, and you like to make your own healthy food, check out this Wild Fermention book, or just google how to make homemade sauerkraut. It’s so easy, and cheap, and delicious. I’ve also started making my own Kombucha (HUGE cost savings over buying it!) and next want to try yogurt.
And now we’re officially that weird hippie family who has jars of food covered with cheesecloth sitting around the house, fermenting… Yum.