Sauerkraut is the most well-known of all fermented foods. Historically, most cultures eat some type of fermented food. This is unsurprising because fermented foods are such great digestive aids and natural probiotics.
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- 1 medium head of green cabbage
- 1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- Sterilize one 16 fl. oz. glass mason jar with a wide mouth and lid.
- Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and set aside.
- Quarter and remove the core of the cabbage. Shred it by hand or use a food processor.
- Place the cabbage in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and optional seasonings (if you are using them).
- Mix the cabbage well and then add handfuls to the jar. Use your fist, a muddler, or the end of a rolling pin to pack each handful down tightly. This should force the water out of the cabbage to create a brine. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water (you want the cabbage to be covered with liquid).
- To create an inch of head space in the jar, take the reserved outer leaves of the cabbage, roll them up, and wedge them into the jar so that the chopped cabbage is completely submerged under the brine.
- Seal the jar with some cheesecloth and an elastic band.
- Leave the jar on a counter at room temperature for 1-5 days. Place a plate underneath it to catch any liquid that might bubble over and seep out of the top. Check the jar every 24 hours. When you see the mixture bubbling, it is ready to be sealed with a lid and stored in the refrigerator.
Recipes for Life by Rita Thomas and Chef Erin Holm https://www.recipesforlife.ca/