One of the not so secret benefits of sauerkraut is the boost it gives to immune systems. Packed with vitamins and minerals, sauerkraut has been used as a lay immune booster for centuries. Sauerkraut contains phytochemicals which are created during the fermentation process. These naturally occurring, beneficial by products of sauerkraut help boost the immune system which leads to a decrease in a number of health problems. The common cold, skin problems, weight gain and tainted blood are all fixed by a healthy functioning immune system. This is a traditional Russian recipe. I love to make Venigret salad with sauerkraut.
Peel carrots then grate it.
In a large container, thoroughly mix 1 1/2 tablespoons salt with 3 pounds shredded cabbage. Let the salted cabbage stand for several minutes to wilt slightly; this allows packing without excessive breaking or bruising of the shreds. Then press with your hands until juices come out.
Mix with peppercorns and carrots. Pack the salted cabbage firmly and evenly into a large clean pot, bucket or jar add bay leaf. Using a wooden spoon or tamper or the hands, press down firmly until the juice comes to the surface. Repeat the shredding, salting, and packing of the cabbage until the crock is filled to within 3 to 4 inches of the top.
Cover the cabbage with a clean, thin, white cloth (such as muslin) and tuck the edges down against the inside of the container. Cover with a plate or round paraffined /waxed board that just fits inside the container so that the cabbage is not exposed to the air. Put a weight on top of the cover so the brine comes to the cover but not over it. A glass jar filled with water makes a good weight. Cabbage wanders about three days (at room temperature). Formation of gas bubbles indicates fermentation is taking place.
The after fermentation transfer sauerkraut into glass jars and keep refrigerated. Fully fermented sauerkraut may be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for a few months.
We love to add sweet onion and sunflower oil to it. Then enjoy it with any meal or in the Venigret salad.