Fermenting foods is an age-old tradition used by our ancestors and has had a resurgence over the last decade. Food conscious people are exploring again the wisdom of traditions old, wanting to avoid processed foods and sourcing clean, organic nutritious foods. Eating seasonally means sometimes we go without, but the beauty of fermenting is you can make batches in the optimal seasonal time, to then store away to use another day.
Some people view fermenting with trepidation, but really it is not complicated, time consuming or scary. Once you give it a try you will see how easy and fun it is to make. Now is the time to make use of ideal fermenting veggies, such as cabbage and check out an easy recipe below.
Firstly, here are the health benefits of eating cabbage....
Cabbage is rich in phytochemicals that help protect the body from free radical damage and help fight against carcinogens. It is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, cabbage is also a very good source of vitamin B6, folate, manganese & fibre. Green and red cabbage are good sources of vitamins A, B1, and B2, calcium, potassium, tryptophan, protein, and magnesium.
Classic Sauerkraut Recipe
The recipe is my standard go to recipe for kraut and goes with any meal. You can get creative with this and in my recent batch I added fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fresh ginger and turmeric. I use a contraption called Kraut Source, which has been a great investment, but you can still make good ferments without it.
You will need:
Approx. 700g green cabbage, chopped or shredded fine (save some of the big outer leaves)
1 heaped tbs salt
1 tbs caraway seeds
1 litre size mason jar with metal lid
Place the shredded cabbage in a big bowl with salt and massage into the cabbage. Give it lots of squeezing and massaging and you will feel it start to soften. Add the caraway seeds and massage through again. Let it sit for 10 mins or so, to let the salt draw out more liquid, then give it one last massage.
Pack the cabbage into your jar, firmly packing it down until the cabbage reaches near the top of the jar. There should be some liquid forming at the top. Take the washed bigger leaves that you set aside and fold up and push down into the jar, pushing the shredded cabbage under the liquid, making sure it is submerged. Fold up another outer leaf if you need to help weigh it down further.
Put the lid on (not super tight) and leave out at room temp for 10 days. Place jar in a bowl as some bubbling over is normal in the first few days. After the 10 days, open and toss the big leaves at the top, grab a fork and enjoy a mouthful of your delicious sauerkraut. Store in fridge once opened.