Sauerkraut is a fantastic prebiotic and probiotic food that can help restore gut health. It’s also easy to make and this recipe is fantastic!
While it doesn’t matter what cabbage you use, the freshness of the cabbage you choose matters a great deal. The fresh cabbage is juicier than cabbage stored for a long time, and that juice is critical in making the brine that helps optimal conditions for fermenting cabbage. I generally use a red cabbage as it looks really nice!
Remove the tough outer leaves of the cabbage. Set one leaf a side to use as the ‘lid’ to your sauerkraut. Slice each cabbage into quarters and cut out the tough core that can reach from the cabbage’s base to its centre. Slice the cabbage quarters into ribbons about 2mm thick. The thinner you slice the cabbage, the more readily it will ferment.
Toss the sliced cabbage with 4 -5 good pinches of finely ground quality sea salt into a large mixing bowl. Leave the cabbage to macerate for 5 minutes, or until it softens and begins to release juice. Knead the salt into the cabbage for 5 minutes to break down the cell walls of the cabbage and allow it to further release its juice.
Add and mix through:
2 teaspoons of caraway seeds
2 teaspoons of juniper berries (sources from gourmet grocery or wholefood shop if not in your supermarket)
3 bay leaves
Half a thinly sliced onion
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds.
Layer the salted cabbage into a glass jar ideally with a plastic lid (or a fermentation crock), taking care to pack it very tightly as you add more. As you pack the juice remaining in the mix should rise up to cover it. Pour the remaining juice into the mix if room and cover the mix with a part of a cabbage leaf (curve of leaf facing the cabbage mix) to hold contents in the jar. Now place a glass weight or sterilized stone to prevent any shreds from floating to the surface of the brine. All cabbage must be under the brine.
Seal with lid tightly and allow fermenting at room temperature for roughly 2 weeks before opening the jar to taste the sauerkraut. Leave longer if you prefer a stronger sourness. The hotter the room temperature, the quicker the fermentation process.
Once your sauerkraut achieves the flavour you like transfer to the fridge and use on everything! Can last up to 9 months.
Whilst fermenting place jars in a container as leakage will stain your bench top.
If you leave the jars out for too long or if the cabbage mix is not covered in brine, the mix can go off (it will smell really off when opened). If cabbage not covered, cover with water and a little salt