Facts About Sauerkraut and How to Make It

By Dr. Royal Lee

Summary: Once an important “probiotic” condiment, raw sauerkraut—a lacto-fermented food—vanished with the high-heat methods of modern food processing. Unfortunately, cooked cabbage of any kind is of little nutritional value, Dr. Lee says, and it is intolerable to people with senstive gastrointestinal tracts. Lee not only explains the value of this nutritious, raw food but provides a fantastically simple method for preparing it. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 38C, 1955. Original source unknown.

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Facts About Sauerkraut and How to Make It[spacer height=”20px”]

Sauerkraut once was dispensed in stores from the barrel as a raw food. Now that it is only available as a cooked, canned product, its value as a food is mainly lost. Cooked cabbage in any form is a food to avoid because persons with colitis or intestinal trouble cannot tolerate it.

Sauerkraut is made by packing shredded cabbage into stone jars and then adding two percent of the cabbage weight in salt. It must be tamped down with a wood potato masher until the juice rises above the cabbage, after which an inverted plate is put on top, with enough weight on it to keep the cabbage shreds immersed. Cabbage that is too low in juice to get this result must be given added water—plus the two percent salt. The salt content is not important as to the effect on the fermentation, but it is important for proper flavor. Most sauerkraut is, in fact, salted too much.

Fermentation of the cabbage takes place best at 60 to 65 degrees F. If necessary, immerse the stone jar in a tub of cold water that is replaced daily. This temperature control is essential to the best quality and to prevent undesirable types of mold and yeasts from growing. A cloth must be used under the plate to cover the cabbage, and this should be removed and washed at intervals to eliminate mold that would otherwise penetrate the cabbage. Two weeks time is usually required to complete the fermentation.

Sauerkraut juice, by the way, is a tasty drink, properly made. Half sauerkraut juice with half tomato juice is very good, too.

By Royal Lee, DDS. Original source unknown. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, Reprint 38C, 1955. 

Reprint No. 38C
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Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research
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Note: Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research is a nonprofit, public-service institution, chartered to investigate and disseminate nutritional information. The attached publication is not literature or labeling for any product, nor shall it be employed as such by anyone. In accordance with the right of freedom of the press guaranteed to the Foundation by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the attached publication is issued and distributed for informational purposes.


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