I absolutely love sauerkraut. I had never eaten it until about four years ago and now it's usually a regular part of my diet. I used to stock up on the large jars of Bubbies sauerkraut whenever I was in the city, but in the past few years I started making my own. Not having local access forced me to give it a shot and I'm glad I did. There's something special about making my own kraut - I think its the same feeling as growing your own food. It's rewarding to put the work in and then sit back and let the magic happen for x number of days before its ready to eat.
I finished a batch before we left for Cuba and within a few days of being home I started a new one. I especially love to eat it with my breakfast eggs and in my salads, and my favorite combo is a simple mix of green cabbage, carrot, and caraway seeds. This new batch inspired me to share the recipe on this blog even though I've already posted on Universal Eater a few years ago.
For step by step instructions with photos check out my original post HERE.
1 large green or red cabbage
2 carrots, shredded, optional
1 tablespoon himalayan salt
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, dried dill, or other herbs/spices (optional)
1. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and thinly slice it with a knife or in a food processor.
2. Toss the cabbage, shredded carrot, and salt together in a large bowl. The salt draws water out of the cabbage, creating a brine, and also preserves it during the fermenting process. I added caraway seeds at this point.
3. Massage the cabbage, speeding up the release of water, and/or place a plate with a weight (rock, or jar filled with water) on top until you notice the liquid. I like to massage it and then let it sit with a weight for 20- 30 minutes. A good amount of liquid should be release before moving on.
4. Add herbs/spices of your choice, and/or other veggies and toss together.
5. Spoon the mixture into glass jars and then firmly press the kraut down (I use a wooden dough press) to release all air bubbles, and to bring up liquid level. The liquid must rise above the cabbage.
6. I like to press the extra cabbage leaves on top, to hold the mixture down.
7. Screw the lids on and set the jars in a neutral temperature for a few days. Check after 3 days and then store in the fridge, or ferment for a few more days. I usually ferment an old large pickle jar for 5-7 days. It will continue to ferment as it's left out, and will stop once refrigerated.
Note: Sometimes a layer of mold will form on top of the kraut (although it's never happened to me). Apparently it's still safe after skimming this top layer off, however I did have a jar go bad once and threw it out.
Have you ever made your own kraut? If you're intimidated like I was at first, just give it a shot. What have you got to lose? A head of cabbage is cheap! (But I'm sure it'll turn out).
Wellness weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays