Sauerkraut is a staple in my fridge. I eat it every single morning with my eggs. I eat it not just for its incredible health benefits but also for the delicious zingy flavour it gives to any meal. If, like me, you have a very temperamental tummy then this stuff might just be what you need. Start slowly with a teaspoon a day and work your way up to a generous tablespoon with meals.
So why sauerkraut?
In it’s fermented state, sauerkraut is loaded with good bacteria, which will help improve your digestion. When you’re experiencing dysbiosis in the gut (often resulting in gas, wind, constipation and an upset tummy) sauerkraut is a gentle and cheap way of helping to get things back on track.
It’s jam packed with nutrients, which boost immunity and reduce inflammation. Including vitamin C, K, and various B vitamins. It’s also a good source of iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium, and calcium.
It’s cheap and quick to make. Yes, you can buy the stuff in most good health food stores but it certainly aint cheap! A Jar of fermented sauerkraut will set you back $12-25. While the store-bought stuff is great, once you make it yourself, you’ll never buy a jar again.
Hot Pink Fennel and Cabbage Sauerkraut (gluten free, refined sugar free, paleo)
Makes 2 large jars
1 red cabbage (appx 700g), finely shredded using a food processor or knife
1 tablespoon Himalayan or celtic sea salt
1 medium fennel, fronds removed
Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, squeeze and scrunch the cabbage and fennel ensuring the salt is being evenly distributed. After a while you can use a masher (I like to use a rolling pin) and start to bash the cabbage until it is limp and liquid starts to release from the vegetables. This can take up to ten minutes but persist!
Tightly pack the cabbage into the jar (ensure the jar is clean and dry!). Use the end of the masher or the rolling pin to push the cabbage down and submerge it under the cabbage juice. Cover with a cheesecloth or tea towel, secured with a rubber band. Set aside away from direct sunlight inside your kitchen (keep it around 18-20ºC) for 4-10 days. Add a small amount of additional liquid if the cabbage is not submerged anymore and discard any brown bits on the surface.
You will know the kraut is ready when it starts to bubble slightly. Seal and store in the fridge for up to 2 months.