Temperature is key in making Sauerkraut or any fermented food. Ideal temperature in your house would be 75- 85 degrees. That means night time low-75. The key is you don’t want to go under 75 degrees or you’ll mess up the fermentation. I try to make most of my fermented foods in the fall and spring when temperatures are ideal. But you can find success if your house is cooler by putting a heating pad under your jars, using a heat lamp or sitting jars in front of a wood stove or fire place.
The lactobacilli in fermented vegetables increases the vitamin levels, enzymes, antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. The by- product, lactic acid, helps keep the vegetable and fruit in perfect preservation.
In past centuries ship captains would load large barrels of sauerkraut onto their ship for long trips. Some trips took over two years and the sauerkraut would still be good at the end of the trip, keeping the crew healthy.
Recipe is from Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions.
(Makes 1 quart)
1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoons whey(if not available, use an additional 1 tablespoons salt)
(I use organic cabbage)
In bowl, mix cabbage with seeds, sea salt and whey. Pound mixture with wooden pounder or meat hammer for about 10 minutes, to release juices. Place in quart-sized, wide mouthed Mason jar and press down firmly until juices come to top of cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage. The sauerkraut may be eaten immediately but improves with age. When the sauerkraut is covered and kept in the refrigerator, they will last up to 6 months.
(Photo’s: I used two small heads of cabbages, instead of one medium, so it made more than 1 quart)
Transferred to 1/2 Gallon Jar (you can get these at Michaels)After more pounding, it reduced even more and liquid is on top of cabbageAfter more pounding, it reduced even more and liquid is on top of cabbage. It is not ready! I put a top on it and screwed it on tightly and will wait 3 days before transferring to cold storage.After more pounding, it reduced even more and liquid is on top of cabbage. It is not ready! I put a top on it and screwed it on tightly and will wait 3 days before transferring to cold storage.
Recipes for Preserved Lemons and Yogurt up next!