Making Sauerkraut Is Really Easy
Delicious Sauerkraut Soup
Sauerkraut Soup Recipe
Pennsylvania Mennonite in origin, this is Pennsylvanians answer to New England Clam Chowder, creamy smooth, tangy, and studded with bits of sausage and sauerkraut. It is one of the most unusual and most delicious recipes I've ever tried.
Ingredients needed For Your Sauerkraut Soup
1. 1 Lb. Smoked Kielbasa Sausage in a large link with the casing left on.
2. 6 Tablespoons Sweet Red Or Purple Onion diced fine.
3. 1/4 Cup All Purpose Plain Flour.
4. One Teaspoon Dried Thyme.
5. One Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper.
6. 3 Cups Whole Milk.
7. 1 Cup Half & Half.
8. 1 Eight Ounce Can Sauerkraut And Juices.
9. One Tablespoon Lemon Juice.
10. Two Tablespoons Fine Chopped Fresh Parsley.
Instructions For Making The Sauerkraut Soup
Chop the sausage coarsely by hand or in a food processor.
Transfer the chopped up sausage and onion to a deep skillet and cook over medium heat until the sausage is just browned, about 8 - 12 minutes.
On a plate combine the flour, thyme, and black pepper.
Add to the sausage and brown altogether until the mixture bubbles up, about 5 - 6 minutes.
Add the milk and half and half all at once, and cook, stirring until the mixture bubbles up again which should take you 5 - 6 minutes.
Add the sauerkraut and its juice and bring to a boil. The mixture will continue to thicken. Add your lemon juice and stir it in. Add your fresh chopped parsley and serve as soon as possible. I like it served over small squares of cornbread as do a lot of people. It is delicious that way.
This particular soup is oh so wonderful on a cool or cold day. Believe me it really is an oh so delicious soup that I hope you get to try real soon.
Why Is Sauerkraut Good For Me?
Cabbage contains natural isothiocyanate compounds like sulforaphane which are known to have strong cancer fighting properties. All natural homemade sauerkraut has more beneficial bacteria than yogurt. The benefit you get from this is that it aids in digestion and it helps the immune system fight off infections.
If you don't care for the taste of the sauerkraut pour yours out into a colander with small holes and wash it with cold running water. Let the cold running water run through the sauerkraut for a few minutes. You'll find that by doing this that the sauerkraut will have a much milder flavor and you will still get all the health benefits.
If you purchase your sauerkraut rather than making it be sure to read the labels and see what you are indeed eating. You don't want sauerkraut with a lot of preservatives and other added ingredients. You want a product that is as natural as possible.
I make sauerkraut each summer and fall and I add green cayenne peppers, shredded carrots, and very thin sliced onions to it. Sometimes I add red cayenne peppers to it. In case you don't know all of these have great health benefits for you. And I just simply love the taste of sauerkraut made this way.
Always use care with home canned goods and be sure that you do it right. If you'll read the information here carefully you'll know exactly how to make sauerkraut. But if you open a can or jar of any home canned item and it doesn't smell right or taste right then don't eat it.
Sauerkraut in case you've never had it is, " Sour Cabbage " that is fermented and has a very long shelf life. Sauerkraut is usually shredded very fine. My Grandmother cut it up on a big wooden cutting board with a large sharp knife. She liked to cut her cabbage up into very thin long pieces and she would use regular cabbage, purple cabbage, and red cabbage. The red cabbage was my favorite sauerkraut and she would serve the big wieners called red hots with the red cabbage sauerkraut. Her and my Mom both would also serve the sauerkraut with both regular hotdog wieners that they would just add to the sauerkraut while they were heating it and they would sometimes fry hotdogs brown and add them to the heated sauerkraut.
If you check out the items below you'll find stoneware crocks and even the old time cabbage slicers like my Grandma had. Those old time cabbage slicers really make the job of making sauerkraut really easy. You can also use those cabbage slicers to make delicious slaw.
I remember standing and slicing cabbage for hours and hours with my Grandmas old cabbage slicer. I remember my Grandmother buying it for her from a traveling salesman and it sure made making sauerkraut a lot easier. If you want to make your own sauerkraut you will need a couple of stoneware crocks and a cabbage slicer.
You will also need a supply of cabbage and canning jars to put your sauerkraut in after it finishes fermenting.
Sauerkraut Balls Recipe
Sauerkraut Balls Recipe
These Sauerkraut Balls are so wonderful. You may say you don't like Sauerkraut but if you try these Sauerkraut Balls I bet you will like them. They are one of the tastiest most delicious things you will ever taste in your life.
Ingredients Needed For Your Sauerkraut Balls
1. Three Large Potatoes peeled and diced fine.
2. One Small Sweet Onion diced very fine.
3. One 14 1/2 Oz. Can Of Sauerkraut washed and drained very well.
4. One Large Egg.
5. One Teaspoon Course Ground Sea Salt.
6. One Teaspoon Black Pepper..
7. One Teaspoon Caraway Seed.
8. One Half Cup All Purpose Plain Flour.
9. One Third Cup Fine Bread Crumbs.
10. Additional Egg.
11. Additional Flour.
12. Additional Bread Crumbs.
Place your peeled and diced potatoes in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until real tender.
When the potatoes are done drain very well and then set aside until they have cooled so they can be worked with. Then mash well with a potato masher.
Now stir your well drained sauerkraut, egg, onion, salt, pepper, caraway seed, flour and bread crumbs into the potatoes to make a thick mixture.
Pour some flour into one bowl and then pour some bread crumbs into another bowl. Beat two eggs well in another bowl.
Heat fryer oil to a temperature of 350 degrees.
Take a heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture and roll in the flour mixture. Dip it into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs. Drop carefully into the hot oil. You'll want to fry them for 3 - 4 minutes until they are golden brown. You will want your balls to be about the size of meatballs. Drain well on paper towels and serve them with honey mustard while they are still hot.
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Cabbage Has A Host Of Health Benefits
You'll be interested to know that it contains all kinds of healthy minerals and vitamins like vitamins A and C. Studies have been done that prove that by eating vegetables like cabbage that you can lower your bad cholesterol levels. Cabbage is also a rich source of antioxidants that are very beneficial to your body. And some studies have shown that by eating cabbage on a regular basis you can help to prevent cancer. I make slaw on a regular basis at my house and I have sauerkraut at least once a week.
Have you ever tried hotdogs with sauerkraut added to them. They are delicious that way. Or you can make a cheap but healthy meal by cooking a can of sauerkraut with a package of hotdog wieners cut up in small pieces and cooked in the sauerkraut.
Did you know that in China that drinking sauerkraut juice has long been prescribed for a number of health ailments. It was the armies of Genghis Khan that first brought fermented cabbage to Europe. And the Roman armies traveled with barrels of sauerkraut to help keep their soldiers healthy when on the march. It's strange to me that all of those ancient people knew the health benefits of certain foods that we are only now discovering.
Sauerkraut Was Used To Keep The British Navy Healthy
In the early 1700's scurvy killed large numbers of British sailors especially those on long voyages. But then in the late 1700's Captain James Cook circumvented the globe with out a single man coming down with scurvy. When he had started out on his around the world voyage he had 40 barrels of sauerkraut stored in his ships hold and he made sure that everyone on his ship ate it often. This prevented any of his men from coming down with scurvy which is vitamin C deficiency. From that voyage on barrels of sauerkraut were carried on all British Navy ships.
Sauerkraut provides a high level of healthy bacteria which helps to keep your colon healthy. The high levels of healthy bacteria aids in digestion and helps to keep your digestion system healthy and working well.
Always Read Labels On Any Food You Purchase
Store bought sauerkraut is processed in such a way that it will not give you all the health benefits that homemade sauerkraut will give you. For that reason I would suggest making your own sauerkraut or purchase it homemade. This way you will get all the health benefits from eating your sauerkraut. This is an important reason to always read the labels on all food products. You want food products that are as natural as possible.
Let Make Sauerkraut.
When I was a kid I watched the cabbage in my Grandmas garden carefully because I really enjoyed working the cabbage slicer just like in the photo above. It really makes making sauerkraut a whole lot easier and your cabbage will all be cut into thin long pieces that is perfect for sauerkraut.
The first thing you'll want to do is harvest your cabbage when the heads are full and hard. You'll need to pull the hard discolored outer leaves off and discard them or add them to your compost bin. If you have one of the sliding cabbage slicers like above you'll want to cut your cabbage in half and remove the hard inner cores. You can add those inner cores to your compost bin. You then want to use your cabbage slicer to cut your cabbage heads up into very thin pieces like those in the photo above. Once you get all the cabbage sliced up be sure to wash the cabbage thoroughly in under cold running water and drain well in a colander. Washing your cabbage is very important.
Take 5 pounds of cabbage and three tablespoons of coarse ground sea salt and mix it well in a large bowl. Now when you get it mixed very well your going to want to pack it tightly in your stone ware crock. Your crock should be a 5 gallon stone ware crock and it should be extremely clean. You'll want to pour your 5 gallon stone crock full of boiling water and pour it out to be sure your stone ware crock is very clean. I can not stress enough how very important this is so you kill any bacteria that may be in your crock.
Start to pack the salted cabbage into the crock and as you pack the salted cabbage into the crock you'll notice a brine starting to form. Repeat packing salted cabbage into the crock 5 pounds at a time until you have your 5 gallon stone ware crock packed full to the rim. If you pack it correctly the top of your cabbage will be two to three inches below the top of the brine. You'll now want to set a plate down into the crock on top of the cabbage and your going to want to weigh this plate down with a large zipper lock plastic bag of water and then your going to want to check and make sure that the cabbage is under the brine. If it's not add course ground sea salt until the cabbage is covered and weigh it down again.
Now you will want to cover the top of the stone ware crock tightly with plastic wrap and then cover with a heavy clean towel. Now place your crock into a cool dark place. It needs to be in a place over 55 degrees but below 78 degrees. Keep a thermometer close to make sure it doesn't get to hot. Be sure that when you open up the stone ware crock to check the cabbage that the plastic wrap seals back tightly.
About every other day lift the plastic wrap and towel and see what's going on. Use a boiled wooden spoon to remove any film or scum that bubbles up. If the plate gets dirty wash it well with soapy water before you put it back.
You need to allow three weeks for fermentation if the temperature is 72-78 degrees. Allow more time if the temperature is cooler. Don't try to do your fermentation if the temperature is below 55 degrees as it will not ferment properly.
Canning Homemade Sauerkraut
Homemade Sauerkraut Is So Delicious
You will know that fermentation has stopped when bubbles stop rising. Slap the stone ware crock with the flat of your hand to see if any more bubbles come up.
To Can The Sauerkraut.
You will want to put the sauerkraut on in a large stock pot. Cook starting on lower heat and slowly bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat and with a well washed and sterilized ladle spoon your sauerkraut into hot sterilized quart canning jars being sure to pack your sauerkraut tightly into the jars. Put the lids and rings on the jars and then you'll want to process the quart jars of sauerkraut in a boiling water bath cannner for 20 minutes. It's important that your jars, lids, and rings be boiled and sterilized to prevent any bacteria from getting into your sauerkraut. There is a video there also with canning information about sauerkraut.
Some Things You Want To Be Sure That You Do With Your Sauerkraut.
1. It will not work right unless the temperature stays from 55 degrees to 78 degrees. If it's to hot it won't work properly and if it's to cold it won't work properly.
2. Be sure to use coarse ground sea salt and be sure to mix your salt and cabbage up in a large bowl before you pack the cabbage into your stone ware crock.
3. Be sure that you only use two tablespoons of course ground sea salt for each 5 pounds of cabbage and be sure it gets mixed very well.
4. Be sure your cabbage gets tightly packed into the stone ware crock. Push and pack it down tightly so it is packed tightly and that it has no pockets in it. So pack it very tight.
5. It's important that a plate is on top of the cabbage and it is weighted down during fermentation.
6. Let as little air to your cabbage as possible while it is fermenting as possible. Don't open it over once every other day.
7. Be sure that you wash and thoroughly dry your cabbage very well at the start of the process and that you drain it well.
Okay Are You Ready To Make Sauerkraut.
If you follow these directions carefully you will have wonderful delicious sauerkraut that you and your family can enjoy. I really enjoy making homemade sauerkraut and if you'll follow these simple directions and tips your sauerkraut will turn out perfect each time.
Fresh homemade sauerkraut contains a high amount of vitamin C and my Grandmother always said it was good for you. According to recent research and studies she was most likely right. After sailors learned that sauerkraut would prevent scurvy it was always served aboard ships. And it helped to create healthier sailors.
Sauerkraut has been made in China and some parts of Southeast Asia for 2500 years or more and it's made there in much the same way as I told you to make it above. I hope you get to make sauerkraut soon and I hope you enjoy it.
During World War I and World War II American companies changed the name of sauerkraut to , " Liberty Cabbage " with a picture of an American flag on the label to keep people buying sauerkraut. German immigrants to the United States served their sauerkraut with sausages and soon everyone in America was eating their sauerkraut that way. How do you like sauerkraut? What's your favorite meat to serve with it.
In some parts of the United States you will also find people adding the below ingredients to sauerkraut in addition to the cabbage.
1. Juniper Berries.
2. Crushed Red Pepper.
3. Onion Sliced Up Thin.
4. Grated Carrot.
5. Caraway Seeds.
You can add one of those or all of those. Carrots should be grated up very fine. Onions should be sliced very thin.
Some people will ferment their cabbage in their canning jars but I would not suggest doing that. I suggest you use a stone ware crock or crocks to make your sauerkraut in.
With those instructions and tips you should be able to produce delicious sauerkraut. If you make the sauerkraut please let me hear from you. I hope your sauerkraut turns out well for you.
If you have questions please feel free to ask them below. And thanks very much for reading.
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Jellybird on September 04, 2012:
I am not sure exactly of the temperature in my sauerkraut 'cupboard' but it turns out tasting real good. I do make it in a couple of jars but I put them in a dark cupboard, so maybe it is the same as a crock. I enjoy sauerkraut with home-made curds.
Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on May 03, 2012:
Yes it is oh so delicious and you can make it how you want it. Thanks for the comment.
stanleyreese from Alabama on May 03, 2012:
Yummy! Real sauerkraut is much better than the store bought kind.