One of my favourite times of the week is visiting the Evergreen Brickworks Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings with my friend Emily S. It’s so fun, I can’t handle it! We move from vendor to vendor picking up most of our weekly fresh produce and sampling the goodies on display. This past week, I walked past the Pyramid Farm & Ferments table and sampled some dill and garlic sauerkraut.
Woah. It was mind-blowing. Delicious.
The only sauerkraut I had ever had up to this weekend was from a jar of Bicks and the taste doesn’t even come close to Pyramid Farms & Ferments. Sauerkraut is made when shredded cabbage is massaged so that some of the juices come out of the shreds. The shredded cabbage bits and the water that is pulled out via massaging is then stored in a container where it’s left to ferment. The benefit of fermentation is that it makes nutrients more bioavailable. Cabbage is high in Vitamin K, C, and Folate which become even more available to us once fermented.
Fermentation works when naturally occurring lactobacilli bacteria digest the sugar in cabbage which creates lactic acid. The presence of the lactic acid makes the environment (ie: shredded cabbage sitting in a mason jar) too acidic so that it’s impossible for “bad” bacteria to overgrow and therefore the food doesn’t rot. So you end up getting a lot of “good” lactobacilli bacteria without dealing with the pathogens that often result from spoiled food.
What makes Pyramid Farms’ sauerkraut different is that not only is it fermented (like all store-bought versions) but it’s also unpasteurized which means that the lactobacilli bacteria, a strain of probiotic, are able to survive. Having a gut that is populated with a healthy amount of probiotics supports the health of our intestines and GI tract, improve digestion, and boosts the immune system. Eating unpasteurized sauerkraut means that you’ll be getting a truckload of Vitamin C, K, Folate as well as a LOT of probiotics (30 x what you would get in a serving of yogurt!), fiber, and next to zero calories.
You can actually make sauerkraut at home, and yesterday, that’s exactly what Emily S and I did. Check out this site by Fermentation Fanatic Mr. Sandor Katz and become a sauerkraut makin’ yahoo with a strong immune system, vitamin infused body, and enviable digestive system.
THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)
“Fermentation is the exhalation of a substance through the admixture of a ferment which, by virtue of its spirit, penetrates the mass and transforms it into its own nature.”
– Andreas Libavius