I can't eat raw cabbage because it gives me gas. Fortunately, fermented cabbage, aka saur kraut, is a flatulence-free way for me to get the goodness of cabbage into my diet. Cabbage is also an amazingly cheap anti-cancer superfood. One important step in making saur kraut is to shred and massage the cabbage well enough so that lots of juice oozes out from the cabbage. I never have time to do that! So, I came up with this simple method for juicy saur kraut without the sore muscles from all of the shredding and massaging. It relies on juicing some of the cabbage and using the cabbage juice as a marinade. I hope you like it!
2 heads purple cabbage
1 head green cabbage
4 large carrots
2 cloves garlic
1 habanero pepper (optional, this makes it really spicy!)
Apple cider vinegar (optional)
1. Rinse the cabbage really well. If the cabbage is not organic, soak it for thirty minutes in water with either lemon juice OR food grade hydrogen peroxide. Organic is best, but none of us live in a perfect world and sometimes we have to make do with conventional produce.
2. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. Save them for later.
3. Cut the cabbage heads into quarters.
4. Juice a quarter of a head of red cabbage, a quarter of a head of green cabbage, two carrots, the garlic, and the pepper. Compost the pulp or save it for using in other recipes. Reserve the juice.
5. Coarsely chop the remaining cabbage and carrots. Put the chopped cabbage and carrots in a large glass or stainless steal bowl. Pour the reserved veggie juice over the cabbage and carrots.
6. The veggie juice should just barely cover the cabbage and carrots when you press down on the cabbage and carrots. If it doesn't, add equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar until you have enough liquid to cover the cabbage/carrots.
7. Cover the cabbage/carrots with the reserved outer cabbage leaves.
8. Put a plate on top of the cabbage/carrots, and put something heavy on top of the plate.
9. Leave the saur kraut on your counter for 3-4 days. When it smells vinegary, it is ready.
10. Remove the outer leaves and the very top layer of chopped cabbage/carrots.
10. Transfer the finished saur kraut to a glass jar and store it in your refrigerator. The cold temperature of the refrigerator will slow down, but not stop, the fermentation process. If you don't eat your saur kraut in time, eventually it will be all fizzy when you open the jar. Fizzy saur kraut should not be eaten. It should go directly to the compost pile. I include garlic in my kraut because it kills some bacteria, slowing down the fermentation.
This recipe may sound like a lot of work, but it is relatively easy compared to the old-fashioned way of making saur kraut. It also is much cheaper than buying unpasteurized saur kraut at a health food store. Best of all, saur kraut is a wonderfully nutritious, delicious predigested superfood. Have a great day everyone!