I’ve been brought up on sauerkraut – it’s been part of my Hungarian – German upbringing. I recall not liking the smell of it but surprisingly liked the taste and often had it on my plate with a variety of meals. The actual nutritional benefits of this ‘miracle food’ are amazing. I’d like to share with you my homemade sauerkraut recipe today.
WHAT IS SAUERKRAUT
In essence sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that only requires a bit of salt and the so called lactic acid bacteria already present in raw cabbage to kick start the lacto-fermentation process. The good bacteria that’s produced as part of the fermentation is called lactobacilli, a probiotic that aids digestion and supports a healthy immune system. It’s been also shown that cabbage itself includes similar anti-carcinogenic phytochemicals as broccoli and brussels sprouts, and is also a good source of vitamin C, K, folate, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese in addition to contributing a moderate amount of protein to your diet.
I would encourage you to have a go at making your own rather than buying the supermarket varieties that have been pasteurised and with that likely destroyed all the good bacteria within.
During my recent visit to my home town I helped my Mum an Grandma make some super delicious sauerkraut by following this recipe:
1 large white cabbage
15g (or 1 tablespoon) of himalyan salt (or celtic)
1 green paprika
3 bay leaves
4 black peppercorns
* if you are planning to prepare more just keep multiplying the ingredients by following these ratios which is exactly what we did
Wash the cabbage and remove all outer leaves
Slice or grate the cabbage into thin strips by using a sharp knife or a mandoline (a fine grater with super sharp parts)
Shred the carrot into very thin strips
Cut a green paprika into very thin strips
Add the salt and start massaging the mix thoroughly
As you massage all the ingredients together the cabbage will start breaking down and releasing liquid. I’d recommend following this process for 10 minutes and ensuring there is at least 5 cms of liquid covering the mixture at the end of it. Then add the bay leaves and peppercorns before transferring the mixture into a crock or a glass/ceramic jar to store.
It is important that the mixture is pressed firmly down in the jar and stored in a dark cool place. If you are fermenting regularly I’d recommend investing into a fermenting jar called crock which has weights that will help you with the pressing down part and sealing for maximum success.
I would recommend to keep fermenting for at least 3-4 weeks before consuming the sauerkraut but it’s a matter of taste. You will have some lovely crunchy sauerkraut pretty much after a week. After opening please store in a refrigerator.
If you have made sauerkraut before and have some handy tips for us please share – I’d love to hear from you. And remember, a healthy mind can only reside in a healthy body. Keep nourishing yourself so you are able to stay creative and inspire people around you.
Lots of love,
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