Food

Fermented Sauerkraut Cabbage

This is the queen (or king) of fermented food that will feed the good bacteria in your gut. A jar of sauerkraut lasts for months in the fridge, so make a big batch and eat it as slowly as you like. Red cabbage works just as well as the yellow one, you choose! 

Once you get used to making it you can also play around with different flavours and vegetables. You can ferment pretty much anything. Perhaps that should be my next recipe... 

Preparation time: 15 minutes during day 1 | Fermenting time and additional work: 5 minutes during the following 2-7 days | Helpings: 1 liter

Ingredients

2 kg red or white cabbage
3 tbsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start by sterilizing a big one-litre glass jar, a bowl, a sharp knife and a cutting board. Pour boiling water over and inside all items and dry them properly with a clean piece of cloth afterwards
  2. Then cut off the hardest, chunkiest part of the white stem and slice the rest of the cabbage into thin, long ribbons (approximately 10 cm x 0.5 cm large) and place them in a bowl
  3. Add the salt and work the cabbage using your hands. Alternate between massaging the slices with your fists and pushing the sauerkraut down towards the bottom to release liquid, which will slowly start to emerge after 5-10 minutes of active work. The more you massage the cabbage, the limper it gets and seems to shrink in size significantly. You can stop when there is clearly a small amount of liquid at the bottom of the bowl
  4. Place the cabbage and any liquid that has formed in a sterilized glass jar. Push down the strips down towards the bottom with a smaller jar or any dull object so that the content lies in its own juice. You can also sterilize a few stones (or any other heavy object) and place them at the top to hold the sauerkraut down
  5. Cover the mouth of the jar with a clean cloth, I usually use a nut milk bag, which allows for air to move freely and keeps the bugs away
  6. Store the glass jar in a dry and cool (20-23C) place away from the sun and push down the sauerkraut as often as you remember during the first 24 hours. Add 150 ml water with 1 tsp salt to the jar only if the liquid has not risen above the cabbage by now
  7. Keep the sauerkraut in room temperature for the next seven days and give it one good push towards the bottom of the jar each day. It’s completely normal that the surface bubbles and that foam appear. You might even find mould at the surface if a part of the cabbage has not been covered by the liquid. Simply remove the mould and any other mouldy parts using a spoon
  8. Start tasting the cabbage after three days, it’s ready when you like the taste (i.e. it’s never really “done”), which is also when you can place a lid on the jar and keep it in the fridge. It lasts for at least two months because it is fermented, so you don’t have to worry about eating it quickly

Stephanie is the founder of Helpings and the creator of all content on the platform. Watch her TEDx talk, 'Holy Shit', about digestion on YouTube, organized at King's Collage London in 2016. Stephanie is currently building her second business, a chocolate brand called kAAKAO, and she shares her experience by means of inspiring other entrepreneurs to excel in business and in life.

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