Red Cabbage

Making Sauerkraut is Easy

I took a couple of quick images while I was making a batch of Sauerkraut yesterday. Sauerkraut is a fermented or pickled food made from cabbage. I’m a HUGE sauerkraut fan and it’s other advantage is that it is considered an awesome pro-biotic food which is fantastic for gut health and fixing your gut flora.

A lot of people will shy away from Sauerkraut as commercially available ones are more on the pickled side. This makes them a bit more viinegar acidic in taste and smell. Myself, I love the taste and smell of a good home-made batch of fermented sauerkraut. It can last quite a long time as well, so the recipe you’ll see below only cost me about AUD$3.00 to put together.

Public service announcement : Cabbage has a high sulphur content which is what makes your farts stink. haha, with that in mind lets begin!

Ingredients :

Half a head of cabbage (400-500g) I went for red cabbage but you can use whichever type you prefer.
1.5 Tablespoons Salt – I opted for some Pink Himalayan salt as it is considered a slightly healthier option.
1 Teaspoon Organic Yoghurt

Utensils :
Large jar that can be sealed
Chopping Board & Knife
Wooden Spoon
Boiled hot water to sterilise jar and utensils
Glad Wrap / Plastic Wrap

Start by boiling some water in a jug and sterlising ALL of your utensils and wipe down your work area. This recipe all works from good bacteria so you don’t want anything nasty in there to ruin your batch. Now for some steam… Make sure your container is ready.

Getting Steamy

Then you can start shredding up the cabbage. It  gets messy so be prepared to spread it around. I prefer slightly chunkier sauerkraut myself so I left it a bit bigger. We’ll process it down a bit smaller shortly so don’t panic if you can’t get your desired shred straight up.

 

Red Cabbage

 

Next you want to mill out and measure some Salt. 1.5 Tablespoons should be plenty for this batch.

 

Pink Himalayan Salt

 

Next, you’ll want to measure out about a teaspoon of yoghurt. This bit is what will get the “culture” started in your sauerkraut. It is common for the Lactobacillus to be a great base for most fermented foods. This will give you a good kick start of great bacteria to get the fermentation underway.

 

Organic Yoghurt

 

Next, you want to pulverise the cabbage down as far as you can. Here I am just using the wooden spoon to make downward chopping motions into the jar. As you get the cabbage reduced down some more, you can then add in the salt and yoghurt to the mix.

 

Cabbage Crunch Time

 

When you can’t chop it up with the spoon anymore, wash your hands and dry them off Then use your fist (balled up like you’re punching a bag) to firmly press downwards and reduce the physical size of the cabbage down, it will be a dramatic amount of reduction as you will see now. It will also be filled with liquid at that stage which should be perfect. We don’t want any air left in the mix. Air is not our friend in this process.

 

Sauerkraut Day One

 

I have now taken two layers of Plastic / Glad Wrap and layered it ON TOP of the sauerkraut mix. This is to prevent the air from touching our beautiful sauerkraut culture and keep some of the nasties away. I didn’t get any photos but then I put two laters of glad wrap over the top of the jar and then put the cap on making it completely air tight.

So where to from here? It will now sit in a dark location in a cupboard for about 1-2 weeks before I inspect it again. It is normal to see it bubbling. If you come back and it is covered with multi colour fungus, try again because it shouldn’t have anything like that on it. The plastic on top should hold most of it off anyway. The last time I made this, there was no fungus or anything on it.

The smell will get better and better with time. My last batch lasted about 3 months and wasn’t refrigerated until the 4-6 week mark but you can go longer as long as it isn’t infected with bad bacteria. I believe that if you refrigerate it in a clean air tight container it will last for a very long amount of time once you hit the point of fermentation that you prefer. It just seems to get better and better with time. Have fun !

 

 

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