I like to cook. Seriously, it’s my outlet. I especially like to make food that’s both tasty and good for you. It’s not hard, really, just use fresh ingredients and take a little care. Sauerkraut for example, is easy to make, tastes great, nothing like store bought, and it’s really good for you. You can also take it for a flavor spin, just add a little of this or that, and it can be even better.
This past weekend I made sauerkraut, it took all of 30 minutes from beginning to end. Here’s how I did it.
For ingredients I used:
- 2.5 lbs. of green cabbage
- .5 lbs. of red cabbage (there was half a head in the fridge)
- 1 carrot grated
- 1.5 inches of fresh horseradish, grated
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds
- 1.5 tbs. of kosher salt
Shred the cabbage, grate the carrot and horseradish, and put it all in a large bowl.
Add the salt and caraway seeds, and mix gently with your hands until everything is evenly distributed.
Let it rest for 30 minutes.
Give it another mix and start packing it into a half gallon mason jar. I used a canning funnel to help with this. It reduces the spill factor. And I used a mojito muddler to pack it all in nice an tight. My hand is too large to fit in the jar. Be sure to add any liquid that collected in the bottom of the bowl while the sauerkraut was resting.
Cover the top of the cabbage with a whole piece of cabbage to help hold it all down. You don’t want the cabbage to be exposed to the air while it ferments.
Please don’t add any water. The liquid in the cabbage will be pulled out and will soon cover everything.
Vapor locks are readily available online, click the image to go to find one on amazon.com (affiliate), or you can get them from your local wine/beer making store. I drilled a hole in the plastic lid using a 5/16 drill bit, inserted the vapor lock’s rubber stopper, and it works great.
Sit back and wait for the magic to happen.
In 5 days to a week, it depends on the ambient room temperature, your home made sauerkraut will be ready to enjoy. When it’s ready, put it in the fridge, it will keep for a few months. As you use it don’r let any of the cabbage be exposed to air. This will allow mold to grow. If this happens, remove the moldy bits right away, and push the cabbage under the liquid. It’s fine, just don’t eat the moldy bits. You can use a small ingredient bowl filled with marbles, or a baby food jar, or anything that’s glass, can hold something heavy, and fits into the mason jar, to hold the cabbage under the liquid if it decides to be stubborn about it.
But wait, there’s more…
I haven’t done this before but what the heck, lets try to make fermented horseradish. I peeled the rest of the fresh horseradish, grated it, and put it all in a half pint mason jar. No salt, which may have been a mistake, we will see, popped on another vapor lock lid, and set it on the counter next to the sauerkraut to do its fermentation magic.