BY THE POWER OF OSMOSIS I bring to you my Paleo Red Apple Ginger Sauerkraut – it is a-mazing! This is my favourite kraut that I have made so far, it has that typical kraut flavour from the caraway seeds but what really makes it for me is the sweetness of the apple, the bitterness of the juniper and the spice of the ginger and black peppercorns. Perfection.
Now for those of you who don’t know what sauerkraut is, it is basically fermented cabbage that has been fermented by a process called lacto-fermentation. All that you need to know about this is that it basically preserves the cabbage, makes it taste amazing and it contains the same amazing probiotics and bacteria that yogurt and kefir contain. If you’d like to know more about why fermented foods are good for your health and your gut then head on over to Wellness Mama for more info.
You don’t really need any fancy equipment to make this but a food processor would help you a lot, if you don’t have a food processor then just cut your cabbage wedges into shreds by hand. You can do this by cutting the cabbage into eighths and then into fine strips. You will also want to use a grater for your apple and ginger. What you will require though is a couple of wide mouthed airtight mason jars and a couple of smaller jam jars that fit inside them. I often use one of these or 2 or 3 of these depending upon how big my cabbage is! If you’re not so new to kraut making then you may want to use a crock pot or place a fine mesh cheesecloth and rubber band over the mouth of the jar instead of using an airtight clip lock one. I just prefer to make it this way out of convenience!
I make lots of different kinds of sauerkraut including a Chinese BBQ red cabbage one, you can be as creative as you like with spices and don’t forget you can include other vegetables like beetroot, carrot and cucumber – it often works wonders for jazzing up your bog standard kraut! Another great recipe for making sauerkraut can be found here with some smashing in depth tips on fermentation.
There is a strange sense of satisfaction that you will experience upon making kraut, it makes you feel like some sort of culinary legend even though it is so simple to make! So go forth and make yo self some crackin’ kraut!
Yields: Enough to fill a 1.5-2L capacity mason jar
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Fermentation Time: 2-3 weeks
1 medium head white cabbage (roughly 1kg)
2 red apples (cored & quartered)
4″ root ginger (peeled)
3 tbsp fine Himalayan pink salt
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp dried juniper berries (crushed)
1 tsp black peppercorns
- Start by cutting your cabbage into quarters, or smaller if you have a narrower feed tube on your food processor. Place each quarter in the feed tube of your food processor and using either a coarse grating blade or slicing blade to shred all of your cabbage. Next grate/shred your red apples. Transfer your grated cabbage and apple into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Next switch your blade for a fine grating one and feed your peeled ginger down the tube. Be sure to finely julienne any excess ginger that didn’t make it through the grater and add it to the grated cabbage and apple.
- Sprinkle your Himlayan pink salt in a nice even layer over your grated cabbage, apple and ginger and begin to ‘massage’ the salt in. Massage with your hands for a couple of minutes until the power of osmosis draws out the liquid from the cabbage. You can now switch to ‘pounding’ and squeezing the mixture until your bowl is about a 3rd full of juice. You should be able to press down all of the mixture and it will have a good 1-2″ layer of juice above it, the cabbage will also feel limp. This stage could take you anywhere from a few minutes all the way upto 10 but it is a cracking workout for those summer guns of yours.
- Stir in your caraway seeds, juniper seeds and black peppercorns and start packing your kraut into some adequately sized, super clean, airtight mason jars. You can do this using your hands or with something called a ‘canning funnel’. Every now and then you will want press down the cabbage with your hands or using your fist but do be sure to divide the cabbage evenly before pouring over even amounts of the juicy brine.
- Place a clean and empty jam jar within each mason jar and firmly press down. Add in some clean stones, marbles or pretty much anything that can help act to weigh the jar down keeping the cabbage submerged in it’s juices. Lock your jars tightly and set to one side in a cool dark place.
- For the next 24 hours be sure to visit your jars and press down the jam jars inside your mason jars to release any gas build up and to keep the cabbage submerged in it’s brine. For the next 10 days press down the jars once a day – you should start to see some bubbles rising after a few days when you do this. Your sauerkraut will be ready when it tastes ready to you! This for me takes about 2-3 weeks otherwise I feel that it tastes a little too salty for my taste buds but it is safe to eat at any stage of the fermentation process. Once it is ready remove the jam jars and store in the fridge for up to 3 months. You may want to wash your smaller jam jars every now and then in some hot water to keep them clean.