Sauerkraut is a wonderful healthy probiotic and prebiotic food. It is a good starting place on your journey of fermenting vegetables, as it needs no starter. The juices from the cabbage together with salt will ferment by its self. This is one of the easiest fermented vegetables, is delicious and very beneficial to general health and well being. Below are the instructions to get you started on fermenting vegetables!
Health Benefits of Cabbage
• High in sulphur and Vitamin C
• High in fibre (prebiotic)
• Full of vitamin K which helps mental function and concentration
• Helps detoxifies the body
• Helps prevent cancer
• Helps lower blood pressure and blood sugars
Flip top jar
Good quality salt
Grater or food processor
Flip top jar
The size of the jar will depend on the amount of sauerkraut you indent to make. If you are new to this I would advise only making a small amount. It will store in the fridge for a couple of months but the longer it is stored the vinegary it will become.
I use organically approved Atlantic Sea salt (purchased from any Supermarket) or the pink salt. It is a good idea to check the labels on salt as some use anti caking agents. Some have been heat treated which will strip them of natural trace minerals.
Ideally an organic cabbage would be best. However, where I live I can’t seem to get them so I buy as fresh a cabbage as possible. It can be a white, red or Savoy cabbage. For the recipe below I have used a white cabbage which is a good starting point.
These quantities make quite a small jar of sauerkraut and can be increased as desired.
1 lb white cabbage with the core removed
½ tablespoon of salt
A few black pepper seed or caraway seeds (optional)
Shred the cabbage with a food processor or grater and place into a large bowl.
Sprinkle with salt. The salt is necessary as it will extract the juices from the cabbage and it inhibits bad bacteria from proliferating before the good bacteria can crowd it out.
The next part is the important part! You need to break the cabbage down by pummelling it with a pestle, or kneading it with your hands. (If you have any frustrations, take out on the cabbage; very therapeutic!) It will take about 5 to 10 minutes and the cabbage will become limp and juicy.
It is ready be put in the jar when you obtain juice by squeezing in your hands. The volume of the cabbage will now be greatly reduced.
Mix in the black pepper or caraway seeds if using them.
Pack the cabbage into the jar pressing it down with a spoon and the juice should now cover the cabbage. The cabbage will expand during fermentation so leave 1 inch at the top of the jar. I usually put a piece of the outer cabbage over the top of the sauerkraut to help keep the cabbage submerged.
Clip the lid on the jar and leave in a warm place out of direct sunlight for approximately 3 days. The duration will depend on the warmth of the room. You should see small bubbles appear in the sauerkraut after one day if it’s in a warm room. Check it each day and push the cabbage under the juice if it has risen up and check on the taste. Once it is slightly sweet and a little salty put it in the fridge to store it. The longer it is fermented the vinegary it will become. Enjoy!
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