Easy Homemade Caraway Seed Sauerkraut
If you have never fermented anything before I’m sure you are like I was the first time. The first few times really. Scared to death! well it could be my death if it doesn’t turn out right is what I was thinking. We have become obsessed with hygiene and terrified of germs, viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms.
We don’t give much, if any thought to the fact that people knew how to keep fruits and vegetables for long periods of time without canning or freezers. This was done by the process of lacto-fermentation. Lactic acid naturally inhibits putrefying (bad) bacteria. Lactobacillus are everywhere on the surface of all living things and on the leaves and roots of plants. Cabbage is the easiest vegetable to start fermenting, cabbage is teeming with these friendly bacteria.
What you will need
First you need something to hold your fermenting cabbage in. I like to use quart wide mouth mason jars or the old 6 cup straight sided Miracle Whip jars (I use three of these jars for most of my fermenting) look in second-hand stores and garage sales.
Second is water. Do not use tap water that is heavily chlorinated, use spring water or even distilled water. If tap water is all you have then boil it to evaporate the chlorine before using it. Why do I have to boil the water? Chlorine is used in water to kill microorganisms, we want our good microbes to ferment our cabbage.
Third we need salt. I use sea salt. Sea salt or pickling salt are fine to use but not regular table salt. Table salt has iodine (is antimicrobial, like chlorine) and has added anti-caking agents and is heated to 4,000 degrees. Table salt is not really fit for human consumption. (my opinion) Salt is used to inhibit bad bacteria until the good Lactobacilli multiply and become strong enough to overcome any bad bacteria in the batch.
Caraway Seed Sauerkrautone large head of cabbage- green or red or half and half (will be pink in color) 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (makes the kraut sweeter tasting) 1 to 2 tablespoons sea salt or pickling salt few cups water if needed core and chop or shred cabbage – fine to coarse, to your liking put into a large glass or ceramic bowl add 1 tablespoon salt knead, squeeze, pound and massage cabbage with your clean hands to release juices from cabbage taste, if not very salty tasting add the other tablespoon of salt add caraway seeds, mix and knead more pack into clean jar a little at a time pressing and pushing all the air out from around the cabbage find another jar or glass small enough to fit into the top of your jar filled with cabbage fill the smaller jar with water to weight the cabbage down leave an inch or so of space, as more juices come from the cabbage it has room to expand Press down on the weight (smaller jar or glass) from time to time to help release the juices from the cabbage (every few hours) If the brine does not rise above the cabbage by the next day (older cabbage, some types drier) add enough salt water so brine is above cabbage 1 teaspoon sea salt dissolved in 1 cup water – use however much you need leave cabbage filled jar on the counter out of direct sun usually in two or three days the kraut has a mild tangy taste. refrigerate when it is to your liking remove the jar pressing down the kraut and put the lid on Enjoy!
I know it looks easy because it is easy. Give it a try, it will do wonders for you health.
Create the Life You Want to Live,
Juanita ~ Evolving Naturally