Homemade Sauerkraut

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Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free

Got cabbage? Let’s go!

Sauerkraut is full of healthy probiotics, a great source of vitamin c and an immune booster. It balances the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract and even has cancer fighting properties! To think that sauerkraut was merely used as a topping on hot dogs! It’s beyond easy to make, requires very little special equipment and the results are delicious! It’s the perfect healthy treat by themselves or accompaniment on toast, in sandwiches or in salad!

All you need to do is combine shredded cabbage with some salt, spices and any other vegetables you want and pack it into a jar. The cabbage releases liquid, creating its own brining solution. Submerged in this liquid for a period of several days or weeks, the cabbage slowly ferments into the crunchy, sour condiment we know and love.

You may see bubbles, foam or white scum on the surface of the sauerkraut but these are all signs of normal, healthy fermentation. The white scum can be skimmed off as you see it or before refrigerating the sauerkraut. If you get a very active fermentation or if your mason jar is very full, the brine can sometimes bubble up over the top of the jar. In this case, I recommend using a larger jar than is really necessary to hold the cabbage. If you do get a bubble-up, it’s nothing to worry about – just place a plate below the jar to catch the drips and make sure the cabbage continues to be covered by the brine.

Here are some resources about the benefits of fermentation:

http://www.thekitchn.com/the-art-of-fermentation-by-sandor-ellix-katz-174374

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/01/fermented-vegetables.aspx

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium green cabbage (shredded)
  • 2 purple carrots & 1 orange carrot (shredded)
  • 1.5 tbsp. sea salt
    OPTIONAL:
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • chilli powder/chilli flakes (if you want it spicy)
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 5 cloves

Method:

  1. Clean everything first: When fermenting, it’s vital to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your jar is washed and rinsed of all soap residue. Wash your hands thoroughly also.
  2. Combine cabbage and salt: Transfer the shredded cabbage and carrots to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. The cabbage will become watery and limp. This should only take 5 minutes. Mix in the spices now.
  3. Pack the cabbage firmly into the jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the canning jar. If you have a canning funnel, this will make the job easier. Every so often, tamp down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar.
  4. Weigh the cabbage down: Once all the cabbage is packed into the jar, use a smaller jar by pressing it on the top of the cabbage and pushing it down even further. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid.
  5. Cover the jar: Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid. As it is a small batch of sauerkraut, it will ferment faster than larger batches. Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate. You can also allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer. There’s no hard and fast rule for when the sauerkraut is “done” just go by taste.
  8. Store sauerkraut for several months: This sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be.

If you choose to re-create any of my recipes please tag me on Instagram or Facebook #veganwithbambi so I can see! 🙂

X Bambi

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