Sauerkraut -and all fermented foods- are essential to create healthy raw meals. Add a fermented food every day and you will heal your whole digestive track with its richness of alive enzymes and natural probiotics. As a result of this you will add precious (and healthy) years to your life!
What is really nice about sauerkraut is, that you can leave the recipe totally up to your imagination… and to your leftovers in the refrigerator.
TOOLS YOU NEED
- A big glass jar with a wide mouth
- A food processor or a sharp knife and cutting board
- Weight (stones)
- 1 organic white cabbage
- Some carrots (4 or 5 will do but you can add more)
- A 2 or 3 inch (4 to 6 cm.) piece of fresh ginger
- A little bit of spring water (don’t use tap water)
- Keep 3 to 4 whole leaves of the cabbage with you for later use
- 3 TBSP of Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt
- Cut the cabbage in four quarts and take out the stem
- Cut the cabbage and carrots in fine strips and throw them in a large mixing bowl
- Grate the ginger on top
- Sprinkle the salt on the vegetables
- Massage a few minutes until the vegetables break down and become soft and juicy
- Let it sit for one hour (covered up with a clean cloth)
- Rinse your jar with hot water to kill bad bacteria
- Massage very firmly again for a few minutes until juice is released
- Now place thin layers of the vegetables in your jar and press out all the air with your fist
- Fill up the jar in layers while pressing firmly in between so all the air is removed!
- See to it that everything is covered up with the juice. If not, add some more spring water
- Place the cabbage leaves on top to cover up the sauerkraut
- Put a plate on top and a weight. Some stones that keep everything down work fine
- Seal the jar airtight (if needed use tape to prevent that air can come in)
- Place the jar in a dark place (a cupboard) at room temperature and let sit for 7 days
- Open each day for a second the jar so the pressure can come off. Bubbles will rise up
- After 7 days, take your jar out and check if it is mold free
- If you see a lot of mold, you can’t use the sauerkraut and you have to start a new batch
- If only a little bit of mold is formed on the edges of the cabbage leaves, it’s fine!
- Take out the weight and the leaves
- Transfer the content to another very clean( rinsed with cooked water) jar
- You can store sauerkraut for many months in the fridge!
- Wonderful with salads, as a salty snack (for salty cravings!) and on crackers, in a collard wrap…
- The juice is just as lovely; a few sips are enough to help you digest and to take away cravings for salt
- Whenever you ferment food, take very good care of your hygiene. Wash your hands very well, keep the kitchen counter and bowls very clean. You only want to culture the good bacteria, not the bad ones.
- To disinfect and rinse the glass bowls you use for fermentation (don’t use metal or plastic) you can pour boiled water in them for a few seconds. All bacteria will be killed and you will prevent the growth of mold during fermentation.
- You don’t need to add any probiotics as a starter when you add cabbage or cucumber. Those two contain the good starter bacteria, the Lactobacillus. If you ferment other veggies, such as peppers only for instance, add 1/4 tsp probiotic powder or the content of one probiotic capsule.
- Another possibility is adding some cultured water of a previous batch of sauerkraut as a starter or promotor to ferment faster and cut the amount of time in two.