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