Friday, February 5, 2010

It's A Love/Hate Thing

Guess what I made?! Sauerkraut aka Cabbage Kraut! Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. Fermentation is just converting carbohydrates into alcohol or better defined, converting sugars into ethanol.

I did this by shredding a head of cabbage, 1t salt per 10C of shreds, massaged it for a loooong time until I created a lot of juice, added unknown amounts of cracked black peppercorn, bay leaves and dill, then finally put it into a bowl to ferment. I used the outer leaves of the cabbage to create an air tight fit over the kraut. I pressed a small flat bowl over the center to really get the kraut deep into its juices. To keep it all in place, I filled up a quart Mason jar with water and placed it in the bowl, again assuring the kraut was in its juices. I laid a tea towel over the whole batch and set it on the lower portion of our bookshelf. I let it sit for 5 days....

Depending on temperature, it can take 3-14 days. I was just too excited so I to test it out. Good thing I did! This sucker was going dry!!!! Another day or two I'd be eating cabbage leather. We did have a couple warm days this week (75F) so I'm sure that didn't help. Next time I think I will juice some cabbage in my Green Star then add it to the massaged bunch. That will ensure it won't dry out. I also don't think I had the cabbage leaves tight enough around the kraut. This was a given when I noticed the edges curling up :-P.

Sauerkraut has a ton of Vitamin C (when it's not pasteurized or heated) as well as our friend the lactobacilli bacteria (if fermented correctly). There's actually 3 phases of the fermentation. A different bacteria takes over in each phase, lactobacilli being the last. For those concerned about pH level, it is on the acidic side. I wish I knew where abouts but maybe you can comment with the answer :). If you are sensitive to acidic foods, just eat a little at a time.

You're supposed to keep the kraut in an "anaerobic" environment. This is where I begin to compare cabbage kraut with running. What???...Cabbage and running???

I'm a runner and athletes hear a lot about "anaerobic" and "aerobic" exercise. You might find this at the gym on cardio machines. Well, to put it simple, anaerobic means "without air". When you're sprinting to the finish line and you can barely breathe, you're running in the anaerobic zone which is almost to your VO2 Max (Volume of Oxygen). You're essentially out of air. Then again, when it's the finish line, all adrenaline takes over and it's an out of body experience. Before you know it, you're 8" off the ground in a full sprint, one that even 100m World Record Holder Usain Bolt would be proud of.

With me, running is a love/hate thing. You can train all you want, but yet, come race day it's a hit or miss. Kind of like making kraut...sometimes it turns out great, sometimes, not so much. Though, it's a definite miss if you don't train at all lol. I've learned that the hard way. I have a race coming up on Super Bowl Sunday. It's my 3rd Surf City 1/2 Marathon in a row and 4th out of 5. It was my first ever race 5 years ago. Pretty crazy to think that I've been sort of running that long. Thanks Dave! The goal for the race?...unknown. Ideally a sub 1:40...but I'm not sure if I want to exert that kind of energy when the real race is March 21st, the L.A. Marathon :).

Running is just one of those things that I hate when I'm doing it but I love it when I'm done. I hate the thought of running but I love the way it makes me feel when I'm done. Race day numbers seems to always be better than expected, when you train properly. I guess that's the point of it. Work hard for 2-3 months and it pays off. That's a good philosophy with anything in life.

Enjoy life! Eat well. Work hard. Exercise. Love life!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Edgar, love you scientific mind. I'm a nerd as well! lol. Remember someone said -- one of the Dinas if I'm not mistaken -- that they had the cabbagekraut analysed at Hippocrates and found out that it had more of the harmful bacteria than of the beneficial ones? They stopped making kraut then... Anayway, I used to love cabbagekraut Living Light!