By Teresa Cutter
What's great about it
I was brought up on sauerkraut. My Great Polish Aunt was a specialist sauerkraut maker and I remember us as kids always having it with our meals. The sour flavour comes from the process of lacto-fermentation, similar to the pickling of cucumbers. But instead of soaking the cabbage in a vinegary brine solution, sauerkraut preparation requires only salt and the lactic acid bacteria already present on raw cabbage. Sauerkraut produces amazing amounts of a healthy probiotic that helps with digestion and a healthy immune system.
Makes 1 jar
1 kg cabbage – 1 large cabbage
1 tablespoons Celtic sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt
3 bay leaves
4 black peppercorns
The main ingredient of sauerkraut is cabbage and salt.
To every 1 kg of cabbage use 15 g (1 tablespoon) of salt.
Use a good unrefined salt rich in minerals such as Celtic sea salt.
- Wash the cabbage and remove the outer leaves.
- Grate or slice the cabbage finely.
- Weigh the cabbage and weigh out the correct amount of salt.
- Layer the cabbage and salt in your fermenting crock pot or a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl, massaging each layer as you go.
- As you massage the cabbage will start to soften and release water. This will take about 15 minutes. There should be about 5 cm of juices on top of the cabbage. If this does not happen to make up a salt water mixture of 15 g of sea salt to 1 litre of water and add a little of it to the crock-pot only if necessary.
- Add the bay leaves and peppercorns.
- If using a fermenting pot, put the weights on top of the cabbage, submerging it beneath the liquid. Then place the lid on top and follow manufacturers instructions.
- Alternatively - Pack the cabbage tightly into a sterilised jar, pressing down into the jar as you pack it with cabbage, the cabbage should be completely submerged in the brine you’ve created.
- Seal the lid and place the sauerkraut in a dark spot at room temperature for a least 1 week.
- Refrigerate then enjoy.
Notes and Inspiration
If you make sauerkraut often, it's worth investing in a good quality fermenting crock-pot which will make sauerkraut making a breeze. I have an awesome one at home from MS -Steinzeugwaren in Germany.
Other vegetables and aromatics can be added for colour and nutritional benefit.
Choose from carrots or different coloured cabbage. My great aunt used to add a few bay leaves and black peppercorns to her mix.
Add as a side to smashed organic eggs or scrambled eggs and sautéed greens + a little Dijon mustard.
Make an open Reuben style sandwich with sourdough rye and top with avo, cured ocean trout, cucumber ribbon and top with sauerkraut.