The flavour of spring is sour so we wanted to share an easy to make, inexpensive recipe that is full of health benefits for spring and that can also be enjoyed throughout the year. Sauerkraut is not only sour in flavour which benefits the liver and gallbladder, it is also delicious and full of vitamins and beneficial bacteria for your digestion.
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Mixing bowl
- Large mason jar
- Smaller jam jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
- Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the jam jar
- Cloth for covering the jar
- Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth
- 1 medium head green cabbage (about 1 kg)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons PRL pink salt
- 1 tablespoons caraway seeds a small bunch of dill and a small fennel bulb (optional, for flavour)
- Clean everything you are using in the fermentation process and give your hands a good wash too.
- Slice the cabbage: Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
- Slice thinly the fennel and chop the dill.
- Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. At first it might not seem like enough salt, but gradually the cabbage will become watery and limp. This will take 5 to 10 minutes.
- If you’d like to flavour your sauerkraut with caraway seeds, fennel and dill mix them in now.
- Pack the cabbage into the jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the jar. Every so often, push down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you are massaging it into the jar.
- Weigh the cabbage down: Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jam jar into the mouth of the mason jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid.
Cover the jar:
Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or twine. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevents dust or insects from getting in.
Press the cabbage every few hours for the first day with the jam jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
Add extra liquid, if needed: If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days:
Away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature.
Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid.
Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate. You can also continue fermenting for 10 days or longer depends upon your taste.
While it’s fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mould, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don’t eat mouldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut should be good to eat.
Sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated.
Taken from www.thekitchn.com