The following is a cross post from Folksy Brews.
Making sauerkraut requires a process of pickling called lacto-fermentation. Lacto-fermentation is a form of food preservation that employs various lactic acid bacteria to convert sugars in the food into lactic acid. The bacteria required for this food transformation are already present on raw cabbage so no special cultures need to be added.
Foods preserved via lacto-fermentation can last several months in airtight containers in a cool room or refrigerator. The shelf-life can be extended dramatically by canning the sauerkraut but the heat involved in the canning process destroys much of the vitamin C and live cultures present in the raw sauerkraut. Some studies have even suggested that raw sauerkraut is healthier than the raw cabbage it is made from, with increased levels of anti-cancer agents such as isothiocyanates.
Find out a little bit more about the health benefits of sauerkraut and how to make it yourself in the video below:
Photo credit: Chiot’s Run