HOW to KRAUT
We’ve all heard by now about the superb benefits to our GUT health from eating fermented foods. They are rich in “good” bacteria; PROBIOTICS that feed and maintain the intestinal bacteria we have inside. Making your own sauerkraut is one of the cheapest and low-maintenance ways of eating fermented foods.
Today I’m sharing my recipe for PURPLE KRAUT. It’s made with Red Cabbage, Beetroot, Garlic and Ginger. It’s the most delicious thing in the fridge except chocolate. The ingredients are organic and cost me around £2-3 from our wonderful shop. The recipe makes about 3 large jars. If you were to buy these readymade in an organic shop they would set you back between £4 - 6 for ONE JAR. So, you do the math. Trust me; this is an investment worth making.
It might take a bit of trial and error to get the hang of, which can be frustrating - we’ve all been there! Have another go if the first batch f**ks up and message us on facebook or instagram for help. If we don’t know the answer then there are loads of wonderful sources of advice on the internet we can direct you to.
RULES of KRAUTING
clothes Don’t wear white when making sauerkraut unless it’s with white cabbage! Red cabbage and beets will ruin your lighter toned clothing when you grate it…
salt The general rule is to use 1 tbsp of salt to every 800g of veggies you are krauting.
temperature Ideally you need to find a spot in your house with a consistent temp of between 18 - 22 celsius. Any cooler and your kraut will take a lot longer to produce those amazing lactobilli, and any warmer and it will be ready a lot sooner. What you want most of all is consistency in temperature!
time The beneficial bacteria start appearing after 1 week of fermentation, but at 3 weeks you get more strains of probiotics appearing, so aim for this if you can.
vegetables Organic is best, because then you’re not fermenting a load of pesticides. ALSO organic veggies taste soooo much better, and if you’re going to go through a minimum 3 week process, it may as well be with something quality. OH, AND just because this recipe uses red cabbage, white will work perfectly well!
materials No metal shall be used in the making of sauerkraut (except the grater!). Ceramic, glass, plastic or wood is fine.
sterilisation Everything got to be sterilised that the sauerkraut touches, including the jars they will go in and the materials you use to make it. Dishwashers are good, or the oven after a warm soapy wash. More info here.
storage There are fancy fermentation kits you can buy and pricey but beautiful crock pots specifically for krauting. BUT we are aiming this guide at someone who has a few empty jars, a cabbage, some salt and some time. So we advocate either screwing the lid on gently NOT TIGHTLY. And to “burp” it every couple of days. Burping simply means unscrewing the lid and re-screwing it; this lets any gas that has built up out into the ether (search the internet for exploded jars of kraut if you are bored). OR don’t use the lid and instead put a piece of cheesecloth over the top secured with an elastc band.
weights Some have success without using weights but for me they are a must. Because we aren’t using a storage device with an airlock, it’s really important that all the cabbage stays submerged in the brine. If it creeps over the brine edge then mould can happen.
**Excuse the extreme hippiness of using lumps of amethyst crystal, but they have been a fantastic use as I can clean them throroughly and fit as many as needed for the size of jar I’m using. We were lucky to visit an amethyst mine last year in Canada, and dug these out of the earth ourselves! In the past I’ve used small jars or measuring cups filled with dried beans.
brine You may find after massaging the kraut you don’t have enough liquid to cover it all. I like to use a salt brine (instructions below in the recipe), others use bottled spring water. A quirk I added into my kraut-making process is that after the 4th day of fermentation, the liquid seems to decrease in the jars, so I started topping it up with water kefir (which I make regularly at home). It gives the kraut a slight lemony tang. If you make it too then by all means use this method. However, if you add this before the 4th day, it will speed up the fermentation process way too much and make the kraut very soggy.
grater + garlic press
1 red or white cabbage
2 medium beetroot
1tbsp himalayan pink salt
2 cloves of garlic
2 inch piece of ginger
sterilise jars, weights and materials
in a pan bring 200ml water to the boil then turn off the heat
add 1 tsp salt to the water, stir and leave to cool
half the cabbage
chop the tail off the beets
grate the cabbage and the beets into the bowl
sprinkle the salt over the grated mixture
massage the mixture with your hands for 5 mins
leave it for 20 mins, repeat the massage
do this for as long as you have time for - 1 hour is good as a minimum
notice the juices being released, this is the brine
spoon the kraut mixture into your jars, and push it down so it’s compact
pour in the brine, then add your weights so all the kraut is submerged
put the lid/cheescloth on
leave for 3 weeks
move to the fridge and consume within 6 months