We make our sauerkraut by hand from locally-grown white and red cabbage (where possible home-grown at Crimsworth), sea salt and ginger. We are developing a recipe that is “low salt” – this contains about half the quantity of salt as usual in sauerkraut, thereby making it even better for you! Our aim is to supply a product that is full of health-giving properties which uses mainly local organic ingredients, thus ensuring a very low carbon footprint.
We use organic ingredients, however we can't use the word 'organic' on our labelling because we are not certified organic food processors. Certification is very expensive and as a small business we cannot afford it.
What is sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is basically fermented raw cabbage. It’s not a pickle - there is no vinegar or cooking involved. It’s made by sprinkling shredded cabbage with salt - the salt draws out juice from the cabbage, which then gently ferments, creating beneficial lactobacilli. It’s an ancient technique for preserving vegetables with their vitamins. Our “low-salt” version works by our juicing some of the cabbage and covering the shredded cabbage with the juice in an airtight jar. The cabbage itself contains the bacteria it needs to begin the fermenting process if air is eliminated, which means that we can use far less salt (less than 1%). We do not pasteurize our sauerkraut, which would kill the naturally occurring enzymes, meaning it’s better kept in the fridge, although it does have a long shelf life.
The fibre and lactic acid bacteria present in sauerkraut improve digestion and promote the growth of healthy bowel flora, protecting against many diseases of the digestive tract. Sauerkraut is low in calories, enzyme-rich, high in fibre and vitamin C. It was used by the Romans prevent intestinal infections, and Captain Cook took it on his voyages to prevent scurvy. More recently, researchers have found that compounds called isothiocyanates formed during fermentation may help to protect against cancer. Modern research is showing that the digestive system is central to the body’s immune system and can be badly affected by poor diet or antibiotics. Rebalancing the digestive system can be pivotal in improving general health, and sauerkraut is one of the best things you can eat for this.
Please help us keep our carbon footprint low by returning the jar (to the shop you bought it from) for us to re-use – thanks.
Ingredients and usage
We buy organic white and green cabbage, organic ginger and sea salt.
Our sauerkraut is raw, unpasteurised, and free from nuts, dairy, gluten and sugar.
Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Serving suggestions: traditionally with pork, but also great with salads, on sandwiches, in stir-fries –
If you are particularly sensitive to acidic foods, do not consume in large quantities.
Keep refrigerated. Once open, use within 2 weeks.
Buying our sauerkraut
- Valley Organics, Market Street, Hebden Bridge
- The Bear, 29 Rochdale Road, Todmorden
- Marsh Top Farm stall, Farmers' Market, Hebden Bridge (1st and 3rd Sundays of the month)
Price £3.95 for 375g jar. 10p from every jar is donated to local sustainability initiatives.
Links for more information
- BBC Radio 4 Food Programme "The Fermentation Revival" (16th April 2012)
- New Scientist article about fermented foods curing bird flu (26th November 2005)
- Guardian article reviewing scientific work on lactobacillus (31 August 2000)
- Raw Hebden