Sauerkraut is all the rage with nutritionists these days for its probiotic characteristics that aid in digestion. Emily was at a workshop on “Optimizing Your Plant-Based Diet” last week where, among other things, they encouraged people to eat homemade sauerkraut. It sounded like a fun experiment, so we gave it a go. We’ve made pickled vegetables before (cucumbers, beets, etc.) but never fermented anything.
It was really easy. We followed the instructions my Baba gave me and combined with ones I found on the internet.
- Shred cabbage thinly.
- Layer in a bowl.
- As you add each layer, add salt and knead the cabbage together. This will compresses it and release water.
- Mix in other veggies. We added carrots and garlic. The carrots were good and the garlic added flavour but didn’t soften enough to eat on its own. Baba suggested onion and pickling spices in a cheesecloth.
- When you’re done kneading the cabbage, you should have a good amount of water in the bowl. If not, keep kneading.
- Put a plate over the ‘kraut’ and place something heavy on top of it (we used a case of cat food). The water level should rise above the plate.
- Set it aside to ferment for a few days. We left ours on the counter, which gave off a nice, eastern European aroma. You can put it in the fridge. The temperature it ferments at will affect the taste (sweetness vs sourness).
- After 4 days ours was ready to eat. We packed it into jars and put it in the fridge.