Beetroot & Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

It's Christmas! It's Christmas!

There are many things I love about this time of year:

  • gathering with friends and family

  • the many varieties and colours of christmas lights

  • flickering candles

  • cozy fireplaces

  • merry music

  • warm drinks

  • delicious food

But being a minimalist, there's one thing I do not like about the holiday season: the commercialization of it. Don't get me wrong, I love to give gifts - but not just for the sake of giving gifts. I like to give things that are thoughtful or that I know will be of use to others... and edible gifts are always winners.

This year for Christmas I gifted several jars of sauerkraut. It's fermented in batch so the large quantity makes for multiple cute little gifts when placed in small jars, sealed with cloth and ribbon or twine.

Another gift is sauerkraut's main health benefit: probiotics.

Dietitian's Definition: probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the intestinal tract.

Here are some of the benefits probiotics offer:

  • protect against harmful bacteria

  • produce antimicrobial compounds

  • enhance nutrition status by improving the absorption of certain nutrients

  • make certain vitamins, such as vitamin K and biotin

  • release enzymes that help with food breakdown, which positively affect metabolism and protect against colorectal cancer

  • strengthen the immune system

What happens if there is not enough good bacteria? The gut flora is more easily taken over by pathogens.

Dietitian's Definition: pathogens are disease-causing microorganisms.

These harmful pathogens can:

  • excrete toxins

  • decrease immune function and therefore increase risk of infection

  • compromise metabolism, and

  • contribute to weight gain

So how to ferment your own nutritious and delicious sauerkraut? Here are the steps:

Step 1: gather equipment and ingredients - you'll need: red cabbage, beetroots, coriander seeds, salt, a large bowl, a large glass jar, a weighted object, a clean cloth and rubber band

Step 2: finely slice the red cabbage and add it to the bowl

Step 3: grate the beetroot and add it to the bowl

Step 4: add the salt to the bowl

Step 5: work the salt into the vegetables by massaging and squeezing for 10-15 minutes

Step 6: transfer the mixture into a glass jar, including the brine that's extracted