Last week we decided to visit one of our neighbours who are growing the most beautiful organic vegetables from their home market garden in the suburb of Pinelands.
The Pinelands Market Garden Open Day turned out to be marvelously inspiring and we walked away with some great ideas and some rather sexy cabbages!
On the way home I remembered that I had some cranberries and wouldn’t they add the perfect sweetness to a spicy sauerkraut? Yup, I believe they would! Sold to the lady with two organic cabbages!
These cabbages were small (pictured above) and I ended up using both along with a small handful of cranberries and filled 2 x 300 ml jars of kraut. Not bad!
BENEFITS OF SAUERKRAUT
As cabbage ferments to produce sauerkraut, it produces a diverse population of live bacteria. These probiotics replenish the good bacteria in your gut and help inhibit the growth of bad bacteria. They may also boost your immune system, synthesize B vitamins and relieve diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics. However, heat kills live bacteria. If you cook it or buy pasteurized sauerkraut, you won’t benefit from probiotics. It’s always best to make your own or find locally made organic kraut at farmer’s markets and the like.
Making sauerkraut is a great way to release pent up frustration and angst. It requires squeezing, pounding and a fair degree of mashing and bashing. Just remember to thank the stuff you’re smashing because bad juju is not an ingredient we want in our food. Allowing frustration to transform into yummy, gut healing, pro-biotic goodness is good juju so don’t hold back!
All that liquid you see in the jar below is the result of all that pro-active violent behaviour. We add a small amount of good quality salt and that (along with our sqashing and squeezing, mashing and bashing) releases the liquid from the cabbage. Our goal here is to create enough liquid to completely cover our kraut. Then, we leave it and wait until it tastes just right, then you can refrigerate to halt fermentation.
The cranberries did not disappoint! They added just enough sweetness to round of the spiciness of the purple cabbage. They also added something soft to chew along with the crunch of the cabbage. You could add some grated apple instead of cranberries. There are countless combinations.
Sauerkraut is a great accompaniment to salads and stir fries and even as a side dish to main meals. Heck, I even like it straight out the jar.
Here are some good resources for making Sauerkraut – let us know your favourite recipes.
- 2 Minute Homemade Mayo
- A Beginner’s Guide to Kombucha Part 1: The Set Up
- A Shout-Out to Nasturtiums ~ Beneficial in the Garden & in Medicinal Food Recipes
- Roast Balsamic Beetroot with Honey & Rosemary
- A Beginner’s Guide to Kombucha Part 2: The First Ferment