How To: SAUERKRAUT
Fermented foods were so not cool when we were growing up. Mum would always have a big jar of homemade sauerkraut in the fridge and it was so common that it wasn't even remotely special to us. We'd add it to soup, to salads, eat it on its own, serve it up to guests.. Some more receptive than others. Having grown up with pickles and all sorts of ferments, we really got into them again when they hit the spotlight a few years back.
Real fermented sauerkraut is the best and most effective way to keep your gut (and therefore, yourself!) healthy and in tip top shape.
This is our go to recipe, it is sooo easy and it really is dirt cheap to make.
You will need:
- A large mixing bowl
- 2-3 tablespoons of pink salt
- 1 head of red (or white) cabbage
- Flavour additions, such as fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, pepper, juniper berries, dill etc
- 2 mason jars (one 900 gram jar and a smaller one that fits snugly inside the larger one)
- Cut the cabbage in half and slice into fine strips. Put this into your bowl and add half the salt. Using your hands, squeeze the cabbage. You will notice the salt beginning to breakdown the cabbage after a few minutes. Perfect!
- The cabbage will shrink in size and start looking a little limp. Once this has happened, add the second half and repeat the process, adding the second half of the salt.
- You can now add any flavourings you'd like. We love grating in ginger and turmeric, but if this is your first batch, maybe try it plain or add flavours to half (as they can be quite potent!)
- When you have squeezed your cabbage and there is a liquid starting to form in the bottom of your dish, you have succeeded!
- Pack this into the large mason jar and press. Once completed, pop the smaller mason jar inside on top of the cabbage. You need something to weight down the sauerkraut and this will help.
- If you squeezed your cabbage enough, there should be a liquid covering the cabbage in the jar completely. If not, go ahead and make some salt water (mix 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon salt) and pour into the cabbage. You have to make sure to submerge the cabbage in brine for the anaerobic environment of the sauerkraut.
- Cover the mason jar (lid off) with a kitchen towel and set in location at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and check on it every few days. Add extra liquid to keep the cabbage submerged if is isn't. A bit of white foam is normal, so is the dull colour, or change of colour in the cabbage. After about a week, you can go ahead and taste your sauerkraut!
- When finished, store covered in the fridge and add to salads, breakfasts, on top of sandwiches, or even on its own! Enjoy!