Wednesday, November 17, 2010

winter pink sauerkraut

Thought I'd share a little something brewing on my counter top today. This is sauerkraut made with (organic, biodynamic) napa cabbage and turnips that are pink inside. I like pink vegetables as there's a better chance the little ones will eat them. My Polish and German background makes sauerkraut a staple around my house and since I discovered Sandor Katz's 'Wild Fermentation' in 2003, I have been fermenting various somethings, round the clock. He does workshops in my area frequently and I've enjoyed being part of them. My kitchen always looks like a science lab. Fermenting (live cultured) foods makes them more nutritious and more easily digestible and its origins are as old as humanity. I find it especially beneficial for my daughters with allergies because it builds immunity, especially in the digestive tract.

To prepare sauerkraut, simply chop cabbage finely and throw it in a wide mouthed jar with some salt as you go. You can also add seaweed, grated turnips, kale, carrots etc. Pack it in firmly and put a weight on it. A plate that fits inside followed by something heavy on top of that. I use a jar or a glass full of water. The weight squeezes the juice out of the cabbage and brings it to the top. This is called the brine. As long as the cabbage dwells under water, and doesn't hit the air, it will ferment nicely. Keep it covered with a towel and taste it every few days until it's just the way you like it. You can also drink the juice as a digestive tonic or use it to start a new batch.