Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Baby Girl Tries It: Fresh & Fermented Sauerkraut

Do you like fresh sauerkraut?  Have you ever made your own?  It's really easy.

You only need a few materials.
I tried Fresh and Fermented by Julie O'Brien and Richard J. Climenhage with my own additions.


You don't really need the book for this, but if you want clearer instructions you can use the book. Chop the cabbage into strips of your desired length.  (They're in strips because other shapes don't go onto a fork as easy.)
Put the cabbage in a large plastic bowl.  It doesn't have to be plastic, but that works best.
Dump one tablespoon sea salt into the bowl with the cabbage.
Knead and squish the cabbage to wear the salt into the cabbage.  You should start to see liquid at the bottom of the bowl.
This is what the cabbage should look like after squishing.  You can taste a piece if you like, to see if it is salty enough.
Add a tablespoon of chopped garlic.
Spoon or dump into a glass jar.  If you are dumping, have a towel ready in case a little brine spills.
Pack it down tightly!
One cabbage should fit in the jar.
You should have saved the middle and a leaf of the cabbage.  That way you can lay the leaf on top of the sauerkraut and put the middle on top.
If you need extra brine to cover your cabbage, make some.  Use 1 cup of water to 1 and 1/4 teaspoons sea salt.
Pour extra brine in to cover all the cabbage.
Put top on loosely.  All done!
We made two jars with two cabbages.  Bubbles will start to appear and if your brine is full, some will come out of the jar. You'll get salty puddles! Leave on your counter for a week.
Too good to resist!  And it's good for you too!

Have you ever fermented anything?  What's your favorite flavor of sauerkraut?

Baby Girl

Mom Note:  This is Baby Girl's mom.  I cut the sauerkraut.  I also helped to make sure that the cabbage was packed tightly in the jar.  You want to avoid any air bubbles so that the cabbage doesn't spoil by allowing bad bacteria to grow, you only want the good bacteria.  We put a cabbage leaf and the core on top to hold the cut cabbage down in the brine.  We remove those when the sauerkraut is ready and discard them.  In the summer we found 5 days on the counter was perfect for our taste.  In cooler weather we find 7-8 days is perfect.  Taste your cabbage and see if it is fermented to your liking after a couple of days, let it sit out longer if it isn't ready.  When it's ready you can put it in the refrigerator.  It will still slowly ferment in the refrigerator, but ours usually doesn't last too long.  We eat it nearly everyday.  Baby Girl loves it!  It contains a lot of healthy probiotics!  Happy fermenting!

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