I’m not going to bla on about the benefits of fermented foods, because I’m really not an expert, but you can ask Google, and she’ll tell you all about it. One of these recipes has turmeric, and you can also ask Google about the benefits of that if you’re that way inclined.
I make a batch of both of the following variations, so I can mix and match them in my meals. Please do some research online about the correct procedure to ferment foods safely and properly – I’m more of a trial and error person, and I know that not everyone likes to roll with those sort of punches.
Generally, instructions say to sterilise the jars, I wash them with hot, soapy water, and leave them in the sun to dry so that I’m not wiping them out with a tea towel. I rinsed the vegies, and washed my hands before I started, but I wasn’t paranoid about contaminating my cabbage.
Mum got this recipe from Pinterest after my older sister gave us a jar to try. We mixed it up with a few batches and finally agreed on our own variation:
- 1 green cabbage (I’d say the one I used was of average build)
- 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric (I used the parmesan grater)
- 2 tablespoons ground turmeric (the powder stuff)
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 tablespoon sea salt (I used the pink stuff because the cool kids use it)
Peel the outside leaves of the cabbage off, and cut out the core and keep these bits (don’t throw them out, because you’ll have to fish them out of the compost bin and wash them…)
I cut the cabbage by hand, you could use a food processor (I’m too lazy to clean it and then figure out how all the bits fit back together), and put it in a bowl
Add the different turmerics, the seeds and the salt. I didn’t use organic any of the above, but if you’d like to, knock yourself out
Mix them up really well with your hands, the cabbage should be quite limp. Feel free to use gloves if you don’t want your hands to look like they’re nicotine stained…
Pack the massaged cabbage into a large jar with an airtight seal. I use a 4 litre jar I got from Briscoes ages ago when I was making kefir water. Add the leaves you kept aside (make sure you wash them well) and jam them down to stop the air getting to the cabbage. Hold the leaves down with the core, and jam on the lid
I left this batch for two weeks, opened it up, whipped out the core and the leaves, and put the sauerkraut into clean jars and into the fridge.
I wanted to add beetroot so that the kraut would end up a nice purple colour. I didn’t want to use red cabbage, because apparently it doesn’t ferment as well (if you’ve had good luck with a red one, please let me know).
- 1 green cabbage (again, it was of average build)
- 1 thumb fresh ginger (peel and grate, but use the normal grater this time)
- 2 fresh beetroot (cut into sticks – or “julienned” if you’re flash)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt (I used the pink stuff for this one too)
Peel the outside leaves of the cabbage off, and cut out the core and keep these bits. I learnt my lesson and didn’t throw them out for the second batch
Again, I cut the cabbage by hand, but if you’re the kind of person who can be bothered whipping out the food processor, please do so. Chuck the cut cabbage in the bowl
Add the grated ginger, the salt and the beetroot sticks
Massage the bowl full of stuff until it softens and gets watery, apparently the more you massage it the better, but I have adult attention deficit disorder (diagnosed by Google)…
Jam the massaged mix into the clean jar (as mentioned I use one big jar), and then pack in the (clean) outer leaves really tight, jam them down with the core you cut out, and then put the lid on and hope for the best (if I’m being honest)
Again, I left this batch for two weeks. Please be aware, that as the weather warms up, fermentation should be faster.
We keep the sauerkraut in the fridge, and it lasts for weeks. I’ve never had an issue with it being inedible. I add it to pretty much everything; salads, on top of crackers (with cheese of course), I stir it through curries, or mix it with my zoodles and add my meatballs.