We love Sauerkraut here. It is a staple of this home, and when we realized how much fun it is to make, we never looked back. Sauerkraut is a wonderful vehicle for bringing more herbs into you life. Vary the flavors to get a delicious, different creation with the additional boost of herbal medicine! Need a little digestive aid? Go for some Fennel, Cumin, and/or Coriander. Need a little circulation boost? Try Ginger and Cayenne Pepper. Want to support your body’s natural defense system? Include alliums like leeks, onions, and garlic. Get creative and go wild! Yum!
BASE RECIPE (from Adam Elabd’s fantastic book: Fermenting Food, Step by Step)
1 Medium head of cabbage
1 TB of Salt
1 2-quart jar
- Remove one whole outer cabbage leaf and set aside. Cut cabbage in half and remove core. Slice the entire cabbage into fine ribbons, about 1/4” wide.
- In a medium bowl, combine cabbage and salt and mix well to distribute salt evenly.
- With your hands, massage the cabbage shreds, mashing and squeezing until the cabbage releases a significant amount of liquid.
- Add herbs and spices, if using, and blend well.
- Transfer the mixture to your jar, and press down until all f the solids are below the liquid line.
- Insert whole cabbage leaf into the mouth of the jar and tuck it around the mixture to keep small bits from floating to the surface.
- Place small jar (½ pint) upside down on top of the whole cabbage leaf and press down firmly to keep the mixture submerged. Alternatively, you can use a weight if you have one. Screw on the lid, then release it one-eighth of a turn to allow gases to escape during the fermentation process.
- Set the jar on a plate and out of direct sunlight. Allow to ferment at room temperature for at least 5 days. Refrigerate once satisfied with the level of fermentation and flavor.