Add this delicious treat with any foods, I love to begin meals by eating Sauerkraut, preparing my body for easy digestion and absorption of the delicious whole foods to come...
My Favourite Sauerkraut Recipe!!
- 1 medium head cabbage I love to use Red for the colour but green or other cabbages work too
- 3 carrots or beetroot (optional)
- 3 tablespoons dried seaweed for extra flavour (optional)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional, for flavour and aid in digestion)
- Cutting board
- BIG Mixing bowl, preferably non metallic
- Large Jars 2x approx. 500ml
- Canning funnel (optional, but easier for less mess!)
- Smaller jar that fits inside the larger mason jar or small ramekin
- Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the small jar down
- Cloth for covering the jar, such as cheesecloth
- Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth
- Clean everything. When fermenting anything, it's best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar and jelly jar are washed and rinsed of all soap residue.
- You'll be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, so make sure to clean them thoroughly.
- Slice the cabbage and grate carrots and beetroot. Remove the wilted, rough outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and cut out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin strips. Peel skin off carrots if non organic then grate.
- Combine the cabbage and salt. Transfer the cabbage to a big bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. (you may need to do this in 2 batches until the cabbage wilts down to fit it all in the bowl) Begin massaging the salt into the cabbage, squeezing, rubbing, turning mixing with your hands. This is the work out part, get your body weight into it. At first it might not seem like enough salt, but gradually the cabbage will become watery and limp — similar to coleslaw. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. If using carrots, beetroot, dried seaweed or caraway seeds, mix them in now.
- Pack the cabbage into the jar. Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack tightly into the jars. If you have a canning funnel, this will make the job easier and LESS MESSY!. Every so often, pack down the cabbage in the jar nice and tight. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar to cover the cabbage.
- Optional: Place one of the cleaned larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the cabbage mixture. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
- Weigh the cabbage down. Once all the cabbage is packed into the jars, put the smaller jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid.
- Cover the jar. Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or twine. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevents dust or insects from getting into the jar.
- Press the cabbage every few hours. Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
- Add extra liquid, if needed. If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
- Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days. As it's fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 15°C to 22°C. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid.
- As this is a smaller batch you can start tasting it after 3 days, when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weights, put on the lid, and refrigerate. You can allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer. There's no set rules for how long this will take and varies a lot with temperature and humidity, the sauerkraut is "done" when the taste is good for you.
During fermentation, you will see bubbles coming through the cabbage, maybe foam on the top, or white scum. These are all GOOD signs of a happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. BUT If you see any mould, this is likely due to the cabbage not being submerged, skim it off and any surrounding cabbage immediately and make sure your there is liquid covering the cabbage; don't eat mouldy parts but the rest of the sauerkraut will be fine and preserved.
Sauerkraut is a fermented product and will keep for at least two months or longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be.
Bon Appetite x
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