There has been plenty of press lately about fermented foods and how beneficial they are for our guts. Basically they help recolonize the bacteria in the gut. How I hear you asking? Well I am not going to go into the science of it all but basically they are full of good bacteria.
So now is a really great time to start boosting your digestive system by adding a little portion of fermented foods to your daily meal. Now that may be done by adding yoghurt to your brekkie (make sure to read the labels and check that it says it contains live cultures) or by eating sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, pickles etc etc. I like to turn my kitchen into a mini science lab and make my own fermented goodies because some store bought sauerkrauts, kimchi and miso have been heated to extend its shelf life and the downside of this is that is that it kills all the good bacteria.
I know all this talk of bacteria might sound a little scary but if I can do this anyone can. Don’t worry if mould appears as long as it in the monochromatic range (no nasty greens or blues) you can just scrape it off. A good way to ensure mould doesn’t form is to keep your cabbage in this case completely submerged under the liquid. I do this by filling a bottle with water and sitting it on top of the cabbage to weigh it down.
This is a very quick ferment as I am using whey from drained yoghurt along with a little salt to ferment the cabbage. You can add other spices too, I like to keep my flavours pretty simple as I tend to team my kraut with many different dishes.
I dont do much fermenting in summer as I find it is just a bit tricky to stay on top of and the vegetables of winter and autumn are much more suited to this treatment. I may however to do a quick cucumber pickle.
Ruby red sauerkraut
1/2 red cabbage, core removed and leaves shredded
4 tablespoons salt
1 cup (250ml) whey (from drained yoghurt)
- Pack the cabbage and salt into a sterilised jar pressing down with a sterilised wooden spoon to bruise the leaves of the cabbage.
- Pour in the whey and fill the rest of the jar with a sterilised jar.
- Fill another jar that fits inside the mouth of the cabbage filled jar with water and rest it on top of the cabbage, to keep all of the cabbage submerged.
- Place into a dark place in your kitchen and cover with a tea towel.
- Check each day to ensure the sauerkraut is bubbling away, if unsure make press it down with a clean spoon and watch for bubbles to start appearing up the side of the jar.
- Taste a little each day, when you are happy with the consistency – mine took about 5 days but i like it crunchy.
- Remove the jar weighing it down and seal it with a lid. Transfer it to the refrigerator, chilling will slow down the rate of fermentation.
- Serve it with everything! It not only looks amazing, it tastes great and it is the best gut medicine! Win Win Win