Authentic Sauerkraut – Just Like Oma Makes It!

I am German, I love sauerkraut, but being a purist, I was never happy with the commericially prepared jars available in the supermarket as they seemed “dead” to me. I used to dream of all the amazing varieties of kraut that one could get in Germanyand had resigned myself to the fact that I was only goingto get to eat decent sauerkraut when I was visiting the relatives in Europe.

sauerkraut.jpg

Then joy and surprise – the local organic shop began to stock it, so I was in kraut heaven; but I wasn’t completely enamoured with the rather hefty price tag! So I got thinking – my Oma (grandmother) used to make her own – surely it couldn’t be that difficult!

I invested in a good fermenting crock, bought an organic cabbage and started fermenting.

My first batch was rather boring – just plain cababge and salt, but it still tasted amazing. I watched over  that first batch like a mother hen – getting excited with every bubble and pop! I have now become rather adventurous and add all sorts of wonderful things:

 So here is how you do it:

NB: All utensils (including your hands) must be scrupulously clean -Wash well with warm soapy water and rinse with white vinegar. If you ignore this stage you will foster mould = BAD!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cabbage
  • Himalayan or Celtic salt ( approx 100g)
  • 2 green apples
  •  3 tsp carraway seeds
  •  2 sprays fresh dill

Method:

  • Core the apples ( I leave the skin on: More colour = more antioxidants!)
  • Cut out the core of the cabbage
  • Grate both cabbage and apples as finely as you are able to ( I use my thermomix – does the job brilliantly!)
  • Finely chop the dill
  •  In a large bowl, mix together cabbage, dill and apple so all ingredients are evenly combined

Now you get to play layering!

  • Place a thick layer of the cabbage mix into the bottom of the crock ( approx 10 cm). Press down firmly ( I just use my – very clean- hands).
  •  Add a small layer of salt.
  •  Repeat the previous 2 steps until all the cabbage mixture has been used. Finish off with a layer of salt. When you press down, you should see some moisture already appearing. The finer your chop the cabbage, the better the result will be.
  •  Weigh down with terracotta stones ( they come with the crock).You can simply use plastic snaplock bags filled with water – I actually prefer this as the terracotta can get a bit grubby over time.
  •  Place lid on crack and fill rim with water – this ensures that no air can get in .
  •  After a few days you will hear the water bubble – this means that it is working!  ( I like to call this stage the sauerkraut burping)
  •  DON’T be tempted to lift the lid during this process – you may need to replace the water in the rim to ensure the airlock remains tight, but if you lift the lid the kraut will stop fermenting = BAD.
  •  After about 2 weeks ( warm weather)  – 4 weeks ( cool weather) – your kraut will be ready.
  •  Spoon into pre-sterilised jars and refrigerate!
  •  Eat, enjoy, nourishyourself with amazing probiotic goodness!