Fermented food is so hot right now as it’s positive impact on gut, cardiovascular and immune system health is being rediscovered.
This is a natural way to make your own probiotics. Probiotics are used to replenish your good bacteria in your digestive tract. When your gut bacteria (also known as gut microbiome) are in balance, you absorb nutrients from your food much more easily and the gut can eliminate toxins, bad bacteria, chemicals and other waste products from your body.
Many different foods can be fermented, and already are – think sourdough bread, wine, beer, yoghurt, pickles, etc.
Making sauerkraut is super easy and a great one to start off with at home.
Your Step by Step Guide to Making your own Sauerkraut
ALL YOU NEED IS:
½ head of a medium sized cabbage (I used ¼ white and ¼ purple for a bit of colour)
1 tblsp sea salt
WHAT TO DO:
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and discard. Thoroughly wash the cabbage. Leave a large leaf uncut to the side, and finely slice the rest of the it.
Place the sliced cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Wash your hands thoroughly and massage the cabbage for about 5 minutes. Really get in there and squeeeeeze it! You will notice a LOT of moisture coming out of the cabbage – this is exactly what you want.
Now grab small handfuls of the cabbage and squish it into a clean glass jar, pressing it down firmly as you go. I use a muddler to really squish it down and release the water. The cabbage must be covered in the liquid for the fermentation to take place.
The jar can be glass, but NOT metal, as the salt will corrode it. I use a mason jar as the metal lid has a coating on it to prevent this. (The mason jar lid is also perfect for releasing the gas that will build up as you don’t risk the lid flying off!) A 500ml jar works well for this amount of cabbage.
When all of the cabbage has been placed in the jar, place the large leaf over the top of the cut cabbage (it doesn’t matter if this leaf is covered by the water or not. It’s job is to hold down the rest of the cut cabbage. Make sure you leave a little bit of room at the top of the jar for the kraut to expand a little as it ferments.
Seal with the lid and leave on the kitchen bench, out of direct sunlight.
Now…wait for the magic!
I live in a temperate climate and I usually let mine ferment for 4 days, releasing the lid every day to let the gas out and taste it. You can leave it for up to 10 days if you want a stronger flavour (and stronger smell!!!!).
Once it’s at the taste you want, place it in the fridge – this will slow the fermentation process and keep the flavour constant.
Now it’s ready to eat.
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