Thursday, April 1, 2010

Make sauerkraut… it’s easy and delicious!

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Up until a couple of months ago, I had never made sauerkraut before. I’m not sure why…

I guess because my grandmother never made it, and my mother never made it. So I didn’t either.

If I had known how ridiculously easy it would be, I would have been making it myself all along.

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You start by coring and shredding one head of cabbage.

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Add 1 TBSP of caraway seeds. (This is optional, but adds an excellent flavor. Try it!)

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Add 1 TBSP of sea salt and 4 TBSP of whey. If you don’t have whey, no worries. Just add 1 extra TBSP of sea salt.

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Then pound it with a wooden pounder for about 10 minutes to release the juices.

There’s an actual tool for this, but I used my wooden spoon since I don’t have one.

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This is what it will look like after pounding. I didn’t add any water at all.

My spoon was a little weak for the pounding, so half way through the process I squeezed with my hands.

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This is what the sauerkraut will look like after it ages some. See how the green has faded?

Store the sauerkraut in mason jars. My medium sized head of cabbage filled 1 quart and 2 pint jars.

Be sure that you press down the sauerkraut in the jars until the brine covers it completely.

Also leave 1 inch of head space in the jars. Leave them at room temperature for 1 week before putting them in the fridge.

You can eat sauerkraut at any point, but it improves with age. After one month, my sauerkraut is divine!

I’m enjoying this tasty, tangy condiment on just about everything. Collard greens, pinto beans, hotdogs…

Lacto-fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut, have numerous health benefits which you can read about here.

This recipe was adapted from my Nourishing Traditions cookbook. It’s in my sidebar if you’re interested.

5 comments:

Ann said...

You make it look really easy Melissa. The only time I tried sauerkraut was when I was about six or seven, a German lady who lived near us gave me some, I thought it was horrible but maybe I'd like it now, I remember hating stewed fruit as a child, now I love it.

Stacey said...

Oh my Goodness! I have tons of cabbage in my fridge! I always do and right now I have a bag of it all shredded because I was going to make coleslaw but could never find a good dressing. I have tons of sea salt but i don't have any whey. Frankly I am embarrassed to say I don't even know where to get it. I guess I always thought I needed to cook the cabbage and use a lot of vinegar but I was wrong. I love sauerkraut!!!! Can't wait to try it. I even have brand new jars just calling my name. Thank You for posting this. By the way your homestead has me dreaming about a vacation. It is so gorgeous!!! And I hope you are starting to feel some what normal again.

Melissa said...

Stacey, it's so good to see you around here! I hope all is well for you and yours. I, too, love sauerkraut. This is the BEST I've ever had. I'll NEVER buy store-bought again. Here's a link to making your own whey. It's actually a by-product from cheese making. (I must confess I rarely have it in my kitchen.)

http://www.cheeseslave.com/2009/05/01/how-to-make-whey/

The sauerkraut was delicious without the whey, so don't let that discourage you. Just add the extra salt.

I'm not feeling better yet, but I'm still hopeful it is coming. God is the Great Physician, and he knows my needs. He is able! :)

Melissa said...

One more thing about the sauerkraut. I tried it after one week, and it tasted super salty. I was afraid it wasn't going to be any good. But after one month, all the flavors melded and it was amazing. So... all that to say I'd give it at least one month before eating it.

Stacey said...

Thx so much! i will praying for you!