Sauerkraut is a natural probiotic – great for gut health.
It goes really well with cold meats and potatoes, or with salad and cheese, or with baked spuds and beans or indeed anything you’d have pickle with.
If you buy sauerkraut ready-made make sure it’s not pasteurised as that destroys the good bacteria.
Make sure your hands, utensils and storage jars are really clean. Wash jars and rinse really well in hot water, then dry completely.
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage then cut it into quarters remove the core. Slice each quarter in half lengthways. Slice each wedge into really thin pieces, you can use a food processor slicing attachment.
Place the cabbage to a large bowl and add the salt. Massage and squeeze the cabbage and salt together until the cabbage becomes limp – about 10 minutes.
Mix in the cumin seeds then place the cabbage mix into a jar, making sure it’s very tightly packed down and there’s no room for movement. Add a cloth lid secured with an elastic band, so the cabbage can still breathe but is protected from debris.
Over the next day press the cabbage down every so often, making sure it’s covered in its liquid.
Ferment the sauerkraut for a minimum of three days at cool room temperature (around 18 degrees centigrade) in a dark or shady spot. After three days taste it, if it’s OK then put a lid on and store in the fridge ready to eat. If it’s not quite to your taste yet, leave it to ferment a while longer.
While it’s fermenting, you might see bubbles or froth on the surface, just skim them off, it’s a natural part of the process.
You can store the cabbage for two months in the fridge.
N.B. It’s likely that the probiotic activity of sauerkraut improves with longer fermentation. You are free to leave it to ferment for longer as long as you are aware of any food safety/contamination issues.
Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, the same as cauliflower, broccoli and sprouts, cruciferous vegetables provide particularly significant health benefits. One of cabbage’s great features is its anti-inflammatory effect. Inflammation happens inside the body as a result of poor food, alcohol, smoking, pollution, stress, lack of sleep and generally poor lifestyle choices. It’s a precursor to so many diseases and conditions. Certain foods have strong anti-inflammatory effects and we should eat them often, “Eat your greens.” is very sensible advice!
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