A guaranteed way to make your day start with oompf? A dose of healthy probiotics from fermented foods. Sauerkraut is packed with flavor, crunch and all of those goodies to help generate a solid environment in your gut.
This fantastic sauerkraut recipe hails from the Wellness Mama, who has created a straightforward, simple way to get into fermenting. Start to finish it takes around 30 minutes, so go grab a crock and get started!
- 2 heads of cabbage (about five pounds)
- 1/4 cup of salt (about 2% of the weight of the cabbage)
- 1-2 tbsp caraway seeds (optional)
- Fermentation Crock with weight (If using mason jars, use 2 quart-size mason jars or 1 half-gallon mason jar with fermentation weights and airtight lid)
Slice the cabbage, removing the outer leaves and cores. Cut the cabbage into quarters for easier slicing. Then, thinly slice cabbage into very thin ribbons.
Add the salt. Place the thinly sliced cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle the salt over it. Knead and squish the cabbage/salt with your hands for about ten minutes. At first, it won’t seem like it is doing anything at all, but be patient. After a few minutes, the cabbage will start releasing liquid and by the end, there should be enough liquid brine to cover the cabbage in the crock or jar. Add the caraway seeds at this point if you are using them.
Move it to the fermentation vessel. Stuff the cabbage very tightly into the jars or fermentation crock. Pour any liquid from the bowl into the jar. If needed, add just enough water to make sure the water/brine covers the cabbage entirely. If the cabbage is fresh, no liquid may be needed, but don’t worry if you have to add a little water.
Weigh and cover. Add the fermentation weights and fermentation seal (or use the fermentation crock as directed). If you are just using a basic mason jar, you can also do this by adding a smaller jar that just fits inside the lid of the mason jar and covering both jars with a cloth and a rubber band.
Let it ferment. Fermentation will begin within a day and take 2-5 weeks depending on temperature and desired tartness. After 2 weeks, check for desired tartness. The sauerkraut is technically slightly fermented after only a few days, but the best flavor seems to be at the 2-3 week mark. Taste is the best measure here, so check it often and stop the ferment when you get the desired taste. Note: It is normal to see bubbles, white scum, or foam on top during the fermentation. You shouldn’t see any actual mold, though. If you do, scrape it off the top, and make sure all the rest of the cabbage is fully submerged. All cabbage below the brine level should still be fine.
Refrigerate it! Once fermented, it can be eaten right away, or it will store in the refrigerator for up to six months.
Leave a Reply