So far, I have had pretty good results with sauerkraut in my culturing/fermenting experiments. The reason I am having a go at fermenting is so that I can enjoy the delicious pickle-y taste of foods, but even more importantly, for the abundance of lactobacilli and other probiotics that are produced. These bacteria work wonders on the digestive system efficiently consuming/removing wastes and toxins so the body is rejuvenated, balanced, and so it is easier for the body to maintain good health.
I searched around a lot looking for the best and easiest way to make sauerkraut. I found a great video that was posted showing this method, but it has been removed.
So I will explain it. It is simple and works amazingly well.
- Use a crockpot--just the ceramic liner and lid. Or similar vessel.
- Shred enough green cabbage (any kind) to fill the crock. Pile it in.
- Fill cabbage-filled crock with water until about two or so inches from the lip.
- Add approximately 2 tbsp of sea salt (or non-iodized).
- Add 1/2 cup of sugar.
- Swirl it all about with a spoon or hands.
- Use a dinner plate that will fit closely the width of the crock pot and submerge it a bit to hold the cabbage down under the water. Water rushing over top of plate will help keep the plate submerged.
- Cover with crockpot lid (glass so you can see through!)
- And all you have to do now is wait...and stir the mixture once a day with a spoon, or clean hands if you relish intimacy with your alchemy!
- Taste after 5 days, approx. Once it tastes nice to you and is still crisp, use your hands (again ) to remove the glistening strips of cabbage and put them into a container of your choice. I use glass jars, or reuse Jalna Yoghurt containers, or sometimes a ziplock bag.
- You can include the juice, or not. I've found it doesn't matter. It stays crisp and delicious either way.
- Store your sauerkraut in the fridge to slow the fermentation down to a near halt. I believe it keeps good in the fridge for months, maybe years. I eat mine so quickly I don't know. Fermentation is, though ironically, a method of decomposing and yet preserving food. Actually I believe it is a method for creating transformational food, but I digress.
The sugar may or may not be necessary, but I have made this twice now exactly as above with delicious wonderful results. My sauerkraut was ready in 7 days. It depends on the temperature/time of year.
I also put a bit of dill weed in my last batch. It adds a nice flavour. Some people suggest caraway seeds. I haven't tried them yet. Just plain cabbage is really nice though, I must say.
Oh, and with the extra soaking water/juice, which is full of lovely probiotics, you may want to use it to water your plants. I am at the moment experimenting with this and it seems to be helping my plants, but I am not yet confirming this. It is after all the same principle as composting. But I will update.
I can take photos next time I make this, but for now, here is a photo of the crock vessel which still contains the juice from my last batch of sauerkraut.