Quick Kraut + recipe.
Healthy food trends come and go (Atkins diet anyone?) but certain processes like fermentation stand the test of time. Now i'm not going to preach too much about why you should be including something like sauerkraut into your diet. Google away and you'll see why this anti-inflamatory, immune boosting, digestive enhancing superfood has been around since the fourth century B.C.
It works. There's no red tape. You eat it, it does good things to you. End of story. We now know that overall health is dictated by what's going on inside our gut. If your gut is happy, you're happy. Including as much as a table spoon of kraut into your diet daily reaps benefits. And it's super easy to make. Convinced yet?
The fermentation process releases minerals like magnesium, calcium, sodium, copper, manganese, iron and vitamins A, C, B and K. Sauerkraut is also a great source of iron and has high levels of dietary fibre not to mention it's packed full of gut loving probiotics that are linked to healing immune, cognitive, digestive and endocrine functions.
A simple kraut takes only a few mins to make and can be store in the fridge for weeks making it easy to add to meals in an instant. What's great is you can create your own flavour combo's and experiment with ingredients. The process still stays the same.
Here's my go to for a good starter kraut, an introduction to kraut if you like.
Quick Kraut. Makes two decent jars of kraut.
1 small organic cabbage. Green or red it's up to you.
2 small organic carrots.
2 fresh bay leaves. Bay is the trick to keeping your kraut crunchy!!
Salt. Good salt, like Maldon or Himalayan.
A large bowl for mixing.
A jar or two with a lid for storing kraut in.
Peel off the outer few layers of your cabbage and keep aside. You'll need these later.
With a good sharp knife shred your cabbage as finley as you can and grate the carrots with a box grater. Alternatively feed them through your food processor for a quick and even slice. Place in large bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt. The salt is what activates the fermentation process so you need quite a bit. About two heaped tablespoons should do it. Add your peppercorns at this time too.
Massage your cabbage mix firmly with your hands. Bunch, squeeze and bruise it to release the juices from within the vegetables and combine with the salt. Lay a fresh bay leaf into the bottom of your jar and pack in the cabbage in super tight making sure theres no air trapped inside. Air bubbles will ruin your kraut before you even have a chance to enjoy it.
Take one of the reserved cabbage leaves and fold it a little parcel and place on top of your cabbage. Push it down into the jar to use as a weight to keep your cabbage submerged in the liquid. Top up from your leftover juice collected from massaging the cabbage if need be.
Screw the lid on your jar and put your jar in a small bowl. The small bowl will collect any liquid that bubbles out of the jar as the cabbage ferments. Place your jar in a dry cool place like a pantry or pot cupboard and leave for anywhere from 10-30 days. I leave mine for 10-15.
When you reach your preferred time take out your folded cabbage leaf and discard. Keep your kraut in the fridge and use straight from the jar. Add to salads, rice paper rolls, tacos or enjoy by itself. Easy!
Once you have the hang of it explore different flavours and ingredients. Try adding garlic, ginger and fresh Turmeric for a good immune boosting kraut. Or mix dill with red and white cabbage together for a bright pink kraut that's great with fish.