Mmmmm fermented veggies are all the rage these days. Similar to our other fermented friends, sauerkraut provides beneficial probiotics that improve our digestive health. It is also extremely inexpensive to make!
- 1 small organic cabbage (red or green)
-sea salt or pink himalayan salt (not iodized)
- 1 large mason jar
- 1 small mason jar (that can fit into the mouth of the the larger mason jar)
-a clean cloth
- a large rubber band
Wash your hands and all utensils that you will be using. I recommend boiling the mason jars. This will prevent any harmful bacteria from getting into your kraut and is an essential step!
Using a large kitchen knife, cut the cabbage in half. With the flat side of the halved cabbage down, cut into the cabbage - shredding it into long strands. Place the shredded cabbage in a bowl and add salt. This step takes time to perfect and is different depending on your preference. I recommend to salt a little more than the taste you would like to receive from the kraut. Toss the shredded, salted cabbage with your hands.
Then begin to pack (and I mean PACK) the cabbage into the large sterile mason jar. Press it down as hard as you can, until you reach 2 inches from the top. Keep packing and pressing until you begin to see liquid being released from the cabbage. That is the brine. You do not need to add liquid. A fresh, juicy cabbage should produce liquid on its own.
Once you have packed the cabbage down and see the brine beginning to form, slide the smaller, sterile mason jar (filled with water and sealed) into the mouth of the larger mason jar. This will be your weight. Press it down into the cabbage then cover the mason jar with a clean cloth and seal it with a rubber band.
Keep the jar in a dark place at room temperature, especially for the first week. It can eventually be refridgerated. Check on the cabbage every week for three-five weeks. When you check it, wash your hands and press it down. You can peel up the top layer and taste a piece of cabbage underneath. The top layer may be discolored and that is ok. For the first week the cabbage may taste tingly, that is natural as well.
Once you are satisfied with the flavor, pull off the top layer, throw it out. Seal the mason jar and keep it in the fridge.
Add ons: Feel free to play with adding sliced onions or garlic for additional flavor profiling.
For more info: go to http://www.summerbock.com. Summer is my expert on all things fermented and is the inspiration behind this post.