Have you ever seen a 11.8 pound cabbage before?!
Prior to receiving this large beauty in my CSA share a few weeks ago, I had not seen a cabbage larger than 5 or 6 pounds. My first thought when I picked the cabbage up: “I’m going to make a mean sauerkraut with this.”
Last fall I took a class on how to make lacto-fermented sauerkraut at Brookford Farm. The class followed Sally Fallon’s recipe from her book “Nourishing Traditions,” and I wrote about it back in the winter in my Ingredient of the Week segment. I really like this recipe because it is much simpler to do than a typically water-bath canning recipe.
Using the same Sally Fallon recipe, I decided to show you all some step-by-step instructions for making sauerkraut. ‘Tis the season for sauerkraut making!
Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut, a Sally Fallon Recipe
1 Medium cabbage
1-2 Tbsp. sea salt
2-4 Tbsp. whey (I strained plain yogurt I purchased from Brookford Farm)
1). Core and shred cabbage into thin slices. Add the shreds to a large bowl, as shown below.
2). Add the whey and sea salt to the cabbage.
3). Using your hands, or a meat pounder, press down on the cabbage until it fizzes and the juices come out. This process takes about 10-15 minutes.
4). Then, begin to pack your cabbage into Mason Jars. Make sure to sterilize your jars and lids beforehand. Wide mouth jars work best, but regular mouth jars work fine. I typically use a spoon or tongs to help press the cabbage into the jar, as you want to eliminate as many air bubbles as possible.
5). At the top of your jar, you want about 1 inch of liquid covering the cabbage, as shown below.
6). Place a lid onto the jar and place it on your countertop for 3-5 days, until the pressure starts to build up. You want the lid to be tight, so that no oxygen can get in and ruin that lacto-fermentaion process. After 3-5 days, you want to release the pressure by unscrewing the lid and allowing it to escape. Then, place the lid back on the jar and place in cold storage. The sauerkraut will be good for about 1 year in cold storage.
Why eat sauerkraut?
- It contains high amounts of vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system and fight off colds and flus (which is why you make it in the fall when cabbage is in season, so you can eat it in the winter!).
- It contains lactobacilli, which helps create beneficial flora in your stomach and intestines so that your body can fight off viruses and diseases.
- Eating small amounts of lacto-fermented foods, like sauerkraut, with your meals will help your body digest the meal properly.
- For more information sauerkraut, and other foods you can lacto-ferment, check out Sally Fallon’s book, “Nourishing Traditions.”
How to use/eat sauerkraut
- On burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches
- With tuna fish or chicken salad
- With pork or chicken
Go get some cabbage from your local farm stand and make some sauerkraut! Eat it all winter long to help with digestion and keep away the colds, flus, and viruses. Happy sauerkraut making!