By Chef: Shannon Leparski
Posted: April 18, 2017
Known to keep our bellies happy, sauerkraut is one of the tastiest ways to heal, balance and enhance digestion, while simultaneously nourishing our bodies and adding amazing flavor to food. But not all kraut out there is created equal. If you want the health benefits you need to make sure your kraut is raw and unpasteurized, as the use of heat will wipe out many of the probiotic bacteria. Making your own is such an affordable option, and it’s actually not as tough as you may imagine.
- 1/2 medium red cabbage, sliced thin
- 1/2 red beet, shredded
- 2-inch knob of fresh ginger, shredded
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 cup filtered water
- 1 large sterilized glass jar
- Cleanliness is super important. Clean all utensils and jars extremely well by boiling them or scalding them with hot water. You don’t want bad bacteria to go wild; just the good bacteria!
- Wash the red cabbage. Peel the beet and ginger. Remove 4-5 outer layers of cabbage. Cut in half. Cut out the white core and the stem end (save the core; you will use this in the jar later. I forgot to do this while taking pictures so don’t mind that).
- Thinly slice the cabbage into shreds or small pieces (think coleslaw).
- Shred 1/2 of a red beet and a 2-inch knob of ginger in a food processor.
- Loosely pack the sliced cabbage, shredded beet and ginger into a clean glass jar, sprinkling in red pepper flakes (for some spice; totally optional) as you fill the jar.
- Make a brine by dissolving the salt in the filtered water. Open up 1-2 probiotic capsules and stir into brine (use a wooden spoon instead of metal for bacteria to flourish). Once stirred, pour brine into your large glass jar of veggies, leaving about 1-2 inches left for veggies to expand.
- Gently press down on the cabbage with a wooden spoon to submerge in brine and release any air bubbles. Place the cabbage core on top of veggies to keep them submerged in the brine and fill the empty space on top. Seal with a lid or clamp down. Set jar on a plate since there may be some overflow once active fermentation starts.
- Leave the jar at room temperature, keeping lids sealed the entire time for a full 3 days. You should start to see some bubbles on top, which is a sign that fermentation has started. After 3 days, the sauerkraut should have a lightly sour but clean smell and taste.
- Transfer jar to the refrigerator to ferment for 5 more days.
Sauerkraut will keep in the refrigerator and should be eaten within 3 months. Add to your salads, wraps and sandwiches for extra tangy flavor!