It is believed that sauerkraut came to us from China. In the 13th century, it was brought to the territory of Russia by the Mongols. Then the recipe for this dish spread to other countries, gaining more and more popularity. It is appreciated not only for its interesting taste, but also for the content of a large amount of various vitamins and other microelements. In this article, we will learn about the beneficial properties of this product and also see how crispy sauerkraut is prepared.
Useful properties of sauerkraut
In terms of vitamins, sauerkraut surpasses many vegetables and fruits. For example, it contains a large amount of vitamin C, vitamins of group B, A, K, U. In addition, the salad prepared in this way is rich in the following microelements:
This product is quite low-calorie, only 25 kcal per 100 grams of dish. Therefore, even those who follow a diet can eat it. It contains practically no fat, and the amount of carbohydrates is only 5 grams. This is simply an indispensable product for those who want to lose weight.
Attention! Sauerkraut can be not only an independent dish, but also an additional component of many treats.
A wide variety of dishes can be prepared from sauerkraut. For example, dumplings and pies, and also make salads based on it. It is also served with fried and baked potatoes. At the same time, chopped onions and sunflower oil are added to the cabbage. It turns out to be a great snack.
But no matter how useful this dish is, you should not abuse it. In large quantities, it is contraindicated for people who have diseases of the liver, kidneys, thyroid gland. And also with increased acidity of the stomach, ulcers or hypertension.
Choosing cabbage for pickling
It is very important to choose the right cabbage for the dish to work out well. If you grow cabbage at home, then most likely you know the names of the varieties. Cabbage Zavodskaya, Yuzhanka, Biryuchekutskaya, Zimovka, Volgogradskaya, Slava and Belorusskaya are best suited for pickling.
Important! It is recommended to ferment only medium-late and late varieties.
Of course, on the shelves of stores and supermarkets, you most likely will not be able to find information about the variety of cabbage. In this case, it is better to be guided by the appearance of the vegetable. This is what the ideal sauerkraut should be:
- The head of cabbage should be fairly dense. You can check this by squeezing the vegetable with your hands. Soft and damaged heads of cabbage are not suitable for the dish.
- There should be no rotten leaves or cracks on the head of cabbage.
- The smell should be pleasant and fresh.
- The head stalk must be at least 2 cm in length. Pay close attention to the cut. If it is not white, but brown, then the stump has been on the counter for a long time.
- In the market, the vegetable often freezes up, which causes the upper leaves to deteriorate. They can simply be cut and sold further. If there are no green upper leaves on the cabbage, then most likely they have already been cut.
- For fermentation, it is better to take the largest heads of cabbage, about 3 or 5 kilograms. This way, you throw away less waste (stumps and top leaves) and get more finished product.
Attention! Some late varieties have a slightly flattened shape on top.
But this sign does not always make it clear which vegetable is better to take for fermentation. It is better to choose a head of cabbage according to the requirements listed above.
Basic rules for pickling cabbage
To cook the most delicious sauerkraut, you should follow these rules:
- When cooking, do not use aluminum or iron dishes. Containers made of glass, clay, wood, or plastic work best. It is also allowed to use enameled dishes, but only if there are no chips or damage on it. It is most convenient to store the dish in a jar.
- An important role is played by the room itself, in which the salad is fermented. For the fermentation process, a special lactic acid bacteria is required. To prevent bacteria of another kind from getting into the dish, it is necessary to thoroughly ventilate the room before starting work.
- Iodized salt is not suitable for fermentation. It will soften the cabbage and spoil the taste.
- It is not advisable to wash the heads of cabbage themselves. It is better to simply remove the top layer of leaves from the cabbage.
- To properly ferment cabbage, you need to use only medium or coarse salt.
- To protect the dish from the ingress of other bacteria, it is customary to lubricate the container from the inside with vinegar, sunflower oil, alcohol or honey.
- When mixing cabbage with salt, you do not need to grind the salad very hard. The main thing is that the salt is evenly distributed. More strength will need to be applied while tamping the cabbage into a container.
- The amount of vitamins in the salad directly depends on the cutting method. The larger you chop the vegetable, the healthier the snack will be.
- You cannot store ready-made salad in the cold. Under these conditions, the cabbage will become soft and not crunchy.
- Every day, the workpiece will need to be pierced to the very bottom with a wooden stick. This is done in order to release gases that gradually accumulate. If you do not skip this simple, but very important step, you can get a cabbage with a bitter taste.
- In addition, you need to remove the formed foam from above every day.
- The fermentation process ends after 3 or 5 days. After that, you cannot store cabbage in a warm room, otherwise it will cease to be crispy.
- To keep pickled vegetables well, the temperature should be kept between -1 ° C and + 2 ° C.
Crispy Sauerkraut Recipe
Delicious sauerkraut is a recipe that remains unchanged from year to year. Only some housewives add other ingredients to it that are not present in the classic version. Basically, this salad is prepared only from the cabbage itself, salt, sugar and carrots.
Attention! You can add bay leaves, cranberries, honey, various herbs, brown bread crust and apples to sauerkraut.
You can store cabbage prepared according to the recipe below in the refrigerator in a jar. It has a very mild taste and ferments quickly. To do this, we need to prepare:
- washed and dried three-liter jar;
- a head of cabbage (about 4 kilograms);
- 5 or 7 pcs. carrots depending on the size;
- sugar and salt;
- a device for cutting vegetables (knife, shredder or vegetable cutter).
The first step is to slice the cabbage. The head of cabbage is cut into equal four parts. From one of them, you need to remove a few leaves and leave them. Then these leaves will ferment along with the harvest. Shred carrots and cabbage in any convenient way.
Advice! The stump can be cut off immediately before cutting.
Now that all the ingredients are prepared, you first need to mix the carrots with cabbage, and then grind all the vegetables with salt and granulated sugar. For 4 kilograms of vegetables, you will need 4 tablespoons of salt and sugar (without a slide). Juice should come out after mixing. At this stage, you can taste the salad, it should be slightly salty.
Then you need to lay out all the components in layers. First of all, a little salad is placed on the bottom of a three-liter jar, then it is covered with a left sheet and tamped well. Thus, we fill the jar up to the level of the hangers. It doesn't have to be complete.
Important! As a result, so much juice should stand out that it will completely cover the cabbage.
During the fermentation process, even more juice will be released, and it can completely fill the jar. But just in case, it is better to put a plate under it so that the juice does not "run away". In this form, the workpiece is left for 3 days in a warm place. The bank must be open all this time. Remember to pierce the salad every day to get the gas out. Also collect the foam every day.
After 3 days, you need to check whether the fermentation process has ended or not. If the salad is still actively fermenting, then it is left for another 1 or 2 days. After that, you can cover the dish with a plastic lid and put it in the refrigerator. Further, they wait another 5 to 10 days and you can eat the salad.
Just like that, you can make delicious crispy instant sauerkraut. This method really does not take you much time, and also does not require large financial costs. It can be stored in jars right in the refrigerator. If, of course, it will be stored there for a long time. Usually such a dish is eaten first. In order for the preparation to be really tasty and crispy, you need to adhere to the rules described above. Try making this delicious cabbage at home. We are sure you will not regret it!