Sauerkraut is traditionally a fermented food but it’s hard to find it that way anymore. In fact, it’s usually sold in jars in the grocery store, pasteurized and 100% dead. Bring your cabbage back to life and embrace the power of probiotics! Serves 16
1 medium red cabbage (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 large carrots, grated
1 bunch green onions, diced (1 cup)
1 teaspoon whole or crushed seeds of your choice: cumin, coriander, caraway, dill or fennel
1. Cut cabbage in half core-to-tip. Remove core and peel away outside layer. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice cabbage and place in large bowl or crock. Evenly distribute salt. Avoid using metal utensils, bowls or storage wear.
2. Using your hands, a pestle or large wooden kitchen utensil, begin to aggressively massage or pound the cabbage mixture for several minutes until salt and agitation begins to release juices. Add carrots and green onions.
3. Using 2-3 quart glass jars and a wide-mouth funnel, distribute vegetable mixture into jars. When jars are loosely filled, use the pestle or end of a wooden spoon to compact. Cover with a breathable material such as tea towels, paper towels or cheesecloth.
4. For the first 24 hours, check on the cabbage at least every 8 hours, continuously pounding out more juices. The goal is to submerge the cabbage completely in its own juices. After 24 hours, if cabbage hasn’t released enough juice, add a 2.5% salt brine (1 teaspoon salt for every cup).
5. Place a weight over vegetables to keep them submerged, cover and leave in a warm, dark place. Fermentation time varies greatly so check on it daily. When the cabbage produces bubbles and the texture and taste are where you’d like, refrigerate.
Depending on time of year, the temperature of your home, and the climate you live in, fermentation times vary from 48 hours to weeks! If you see anything “funky” growing on the top, simply scrape away - if you're not comfortable with that yet, scrap the batch and start over.
Recipe created for use by Heart-Healthy Woman & Well Fed Heart and their clients.
Time-Saver Tool Tips
-Use a mandolin to slice cabbage evenly and thin!
-A stoneware crock is an easy way to pound cabbage without worry of broken glass
-Have fun with this one! Experiment with using grated ginger, beets, jicama, daikon radish or even seaweed!