Golden Kraut

Focus on a nutrient.

I may be bending the rules a little on this one – I don’t know if probiotics quite fit into the nutrient category but in terms of beneficial things for your body I definitely think that they are up there. Probiotics are good bacteria that help your body with digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as prevent bad bacteria taking over your system – they are our little buddies that like to help keep everything in balance. I’m sure that’s a very layman’s explanation, but that’s my understanding (also I often picture the little blue dudes from the probiotic ads that battle all the baddies for us).

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So since I did a couple of fermentation workshops I have been pretty obsessed with fermenting stuff. I haven’t experimented a whole lot, in that I’ve really stuck with the things I know – kim chi, sauerkraut and salsa. I try to remember to have a little bit of fermented goodness every day, often I will treat it as though it’s a salad dressing, packing it in my work lunches.

One thing I have played around with though is variations of sauerkraut. After having a few store bought versions from the health food store, I started scanning the ingredients lists for ideas. One of the ones that I had enjoyed most included carrot and turmeric and was a beautiful vibrant colour. Turmeric is well known for it’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties, so I like to incorporate it into my diet as much as possible.

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Golden Kraut
(makes 2 large jars)

2 small green cabbages (about 1.5kg)
3 large carrots (about 600g)
1 Tbsp fresh turmeric
2 Tbsp fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp sea salt
1½ tsp celery seeds
Pinch of chili (optional)

Sterilise two large glass jars in preparation for the kraut.

Remove outer layers of cabbage and put aside for later. Chop cabbage finely and place in a large bowl. I actually had to use two bowls for this recipe as my bowls were not large enough. Grate carrots and add to bowl. Use a microplane grater to grate turmeric and ginger, and add to bowl, along with garlic, salt, celery seeds and chili (if using).

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You may want to use gloves for this part as turmeric can leave you with lovely yellow stains on your skin. Using your hands, squeeze and mash the cabbage mix. breaking up the fibres, for a good few minutes. You will notice that the mixture will reduce in size and liquid will start to release from the veggies. When it’s about half the size it started, put a heavy bowl (or a lighter bowl with some heavy items in it) on top of the mixture to weigh it down, allowing more liquid to release from the mix. Leave for 15-30 minutes.

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Come back and remove the bowl. Pack the cabbage into your prepared jars, making sure to push the mix below the liquid. Leave about an inch of free space at the top of the jar, as the mixture may expand during the fermentation process. It is also important that the cabbage mix remain submerged in the liquid so that mould does not grow on top. If there is not enough liquid, add a little water. Once packed, you can press one of the outer leaves of cabbage into the top of the jar to help keep the kraut submerged. From here, you can either place the lid on top or put a weight on top of the mix (a jar full of liquid, or one of those awesome ceramic weights) with a clean damp towel covering it. Leave out of direct sunlight for 5-7 days, checking each day to ensure the kraut remains submerged (if it is not, just push it back under with a clean utensil). Remove cabbage leaf, transfer to fridge and begin to enjoy! Make sure you always use a clean utensil when dishing out the kraut.

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broccoliweb

 

15 thoughts on “Golden Kraut

  1. Probiotics are so important for keeping my system healthy, if I eat them regularly I feel so much better for it! I haven’t made my own Kraut, I really like your recipe for it, especially the turmeric and ginger -and buying that kind of kraut in the health food store gets expensive, thanks for the recipe hack 🙂

    1. I agree – they are really important and it’s so easy to incorporate them into your diet! I know – I’ve seen jars of fancy kraut going for upwards of $15 at the health food store. Yowzers…

    1. Hehe, it is beautiful! I like that you can easily change the flavour to suit your tastes – I’ve also done this with fennel seeds, or no extra spices, and also once with too much ginger and chili (ouchhh! haha)

  2. My partner and I keep talking about having a go at fermentation. I’ve just finished a course of medication and I think now would be a good time to start. Thanks for such a lovely clear explanation.

    1. I’m glad it comes across clear – sometimes it is hard to write up processes like this. I am still amazed at how easy fermenting is – I hope you enjoy it too. I think once you’ve done it once it makes so much sense.

  3. probiotics totally count! I love kraut so much, but I’ve never tried to make it myself. There’s a really good brand at the farmers market, and they sell all sorts of good varieties…so that kind of decreases my motivation to make it myself. But this one is so orange and beautiful!!!

    1. I totally get that – there are so many beautiful krauts going around here too, it’s become quite a popular thing to make and there are all different pink and purple and orange and green ones using all kinds of things from seaweed to beetroot. It’s really cool!

  4. I keep thinking this dish is kimchi because of the color! I know some people like using western cabbage for it so it gives a little more crunch to it. I haven’t made kraut before, even though it is a common staple. I guess I’ve always had store bought kraut in the fridge every time I have some cabbage!

    1. I know right? I’ve actually got some weird alien looking kim chi in the fridge at the moment – I only had purple cabbage and really wanted kim chi, it went a weird maroon colour. There are a lot of kim chis and sauerkrauts in the health food shops at the moment of all different beautiful colours using different veggies – it’s a very popular thing at the moment!

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