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DIY Sauerkraut: Cruciferous Cabbage

Published on December 29, 2011 by   ·   1 Comment Pin It
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Winter is the time to make your own sauerkraut –  fermented foods give us immunity-boosting properties with their delicious probiotics.  Check out this easy recipe via Cookus Interuptus and eat it raw, on tempeh ruebens, or on salads.

Adorable image via onelittlewordsheknew.blogspot.com

How to Make Sauerkraut

This recipe is a blend of one from the amazing Sandor Katz book Wild Fermentation (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2003) and Lucy Norris’ Pickled (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2003).  Both individuals are experts on fermenting foods.  A livelier gut makes for a healthier immune system.  Read Sandor’s story.  And it’s crazy how easy it is to make your own crock of kraut.

Special equipment:
Large ceramic crock (food grade plastic bucket or non-reactive bowl)
• Plate that fits inside crock, bucket or bowl
• I gallon jar filled with water or a clean brick
• Cloth cover (clean dishtowel or pillowcase)

Ingredients for 1 quart of sauerkraut
• 2 ½ pounds cabbage ( ½ large red and ½ large green)
• 2 pink lady (or other variety) apples
• 5 teaspoons kosher salt

1. Any type of cabbage will do.  A mix of green and red cabbage will give you fun pink sauerkraut.  Cut cabbage in half north to south.  Cut in half again.  Remove core from each of the four pieces.  Chop or grate the cabbage very finely.

2. Grate apples.

3. As you chop add place the cabbage in a large bowl, adding some of the grated apple.  Sprinkle salt on each layer until the cabbage looks sparkly.  Use more salt in the summer, less in winter.  You can use seas salt to gain more mineral value but the finished jar will appear cloudy.  For a clearer looking product, use kosher salt.

4. Put salted cabbage into crock a little at a time.  Pack each layer down with your fist or other kitchen tool (I like using a meat pounder).  The tamping helps force the water out of the cabbage.

5. Cover kraut with a clean plate.  Place the jar of water or other weight on the plate.  The weight helps pull water out of the cabbage and submerge it under the brine.  Cover the whole thing with a clean cloth or pillowcase to keep dust out.  It is best if the cabbage is submerged.

6. Press on the weight every few hours until the brine rises above the cabbage.  This can take up to 24 hours.   If you don’t get enough brine after the first 24 hours of occasionally pressing you can add a solution 1 tablespoon of salt dissolved in 1 cup of water.

7. Put crock in a cool place and allow to ferment.  The longer it ferments the tangier it gets.  Just make sure the kraut is submerged.  Don’t worry about mold that forms around the plate.  Just skim it off.  Sauerkraut typically takes 1-2 weeks to develop.

8. Taste the cabbage after a few days or a week.  When it tastes right to you remove it, place in sterilized jars with a sealed lid and store in the refrigerator.  Sandor likes to remove some at the start and leave the rest to ferment more so that the taste keeps changing with each batch he pulls out.

9. The sauerkraut will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 months in a sealed jar.  Be sure to tamp the kraut down so it remains submerged in the jar.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Cheese says:

    Cruciferous Cabbage sauerkraut is very delicious during winter.




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