Since my last post I've been munching my way through two batches of fermented sauerkraut. It's safe to say that I'm addicted to it. It goes on toast, in soup, on salads, in stews ... and then if there's no sign of a meal anytime soon I just grab a forkful and chomp away. From now on I'll be making sure there's always some on the go.
I can't stress how easy the whole thing is and I'd definitely encourage you to try it out. The costs are minimal and the probiotic health benefits are wonderful. All you need is a kilo of finely chopped white and/or red cabbage and a tablespoon of salt. Mix the chopped cabbage and salt in a bowl, rub the salt in, massage and knead the cabbage just as if you're making some dough. After a little while it becomes limp and a little translucent, perhaps some of the cabbages own juices will begin to collect in the bottom of the bowl. Transfer the cabbage and juices into a very clean jar and use something like a wooden spoon or pestle to thud down the cabbage so there are no air gaps. You'll find there should now be enough juices to cover the cabbage, if not, add just enough water to cover it and a little more salt (more salt only if you've had to add water). Now put a clean cloth over the top and leave it to sit on the counter for roughly four days. When four days has passed pop it in the fridge where it will keep for quite a while. Each time you take some out to eat tap it down again so all the cabbage is below the juice.
After four days in my kitchen the sauerkraut smelled pretty strong to say the least and I almost abandoned the project and came very close to throwing it in the compost. I put it in the fridge and the next day I ventured to eat a mouthful, strangely it tasted very nice but I waited until the next day before eating a little more because I wanted to be sure I'd have no ill effects! Since then I've been munching happily on it and have made a second batch. Even my kids like it so all in all its been a very successful dabble of my big toe in the world of fermentation and I fully intend to go knee deep.
My next post will be all about my kombucha tea, another healthy elixir in the form of a culture full of healthy bacteria and yeast.