I’m so in love with sauerkraut, I love the crunchy tangy raw goodness, enough to say I may be addicted! There’s now so many different types of sauerkraut available thorough out NZ at various organic stores and vege stores, my favourite brands are Living Goodness (who also do sauerkraut juice) and Quick Draw Slaw, their cabbage, celeric, carrot and spice is die for.
The rate at which I’m eating sauerkraut is now making this a slightly expensive habit, so I thought I’d try and create my own version with the added benefit of turmeric for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Sauerkraut is rich in probiotics making it one of the best fermented foods for gut health.
My first try at making this sauerkraut was not all that great, I used too much salt and too little fermentation time (because I couldn’t wait to eat it, only 4 days)). This meant my kraut was lacking in sour tang, was way too salty and would not have had all the beneficial bacteria that longer fermentation provides. My second go was a whole lot better; flavourful and tangy with a spicy kick to it.
Turmeric Carrot Sauerkraut
1 white cabbage, remove the outer 3-4 leaves and keep one for later
1 cup peeled grated carrot
1/4 Cup diced spring onions, I used white part only
2 tsp peeled chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you don’t like it to spicy)
Ground rock salt – how much depends on the weight of your vege’s, add 2.5% of the weight in salt, I didn’t do this the first time, then I found some really good info about fermenting vegetables here cultured.guru.com
They suggest this .. “Multiply the weight of your vegetables in grams by 2.5% (example: if they weigh 2,270 grams…. 2,270 grams x 0.025 = 56.75 grams). This is the amount, in grams, of salt needed.” I ended up with about 1.5 Tsp for this recipe but it all depends on the size of your cabbage.
Many recipes suggest using a mandolin so that you get fine slices of cabbage which apparently makes for a better ferment, I don’t mind my kraut being a bit chunky and found the ferment was just fine using the food processor.
Place the sliced cabbage in a bowl and add the salt, massage well to open up the pores for better fermentation, you’ll notice water starting to be drawn out of the cabbage as you do this, the longer you massage the more water you’ll have which is what you need to cover the kraut in the jar. Next add in the carrots, onion and ginger and combine.
Now you can add the turmeric, caraway and cayenne and mix throughly using tongs to avoid your hands turning yellow. Let stand for 15 mins.
When ready add everything to a sterilised mason jar packing the vege’s down as you go, you want to end up with the liquid about 2 cm above the cabbage/carrot mix, if you have a fermenting stone you can put this in on top, if not a small eco ziplock bag filled with water will do.
Place the lid on and put the jar in a bowl (to catch any overflow) in the pantry for a week burping if necessary. If you like crunchy sauerkraut you can eat it now, I read that leaving it for 3 weeks gives the best nutritional value and makes for the nicest tasting sauerkraut. I left mine for two weeks and was very happy with the flavour. You can taste test yours after the first week and go from there.