Fermented foods have traditionally been used to support a healthy digestive system and to prevent both acute and chronic illnesses. Packed with probiotics, enzymes, antioxidants and fibre, eating fermented foods daily could serve as a very affordable 'health insurance'. Sauerkraut is perhaps one of the simplest dishes there is to make, made up by only 2 ingredients in its basic form - salt and cabbage. In this recipe, I've created a more festive version which includes spices and apple for added sweetness. Serve it cold as a side-dish or fry it up with some bacon and onions, or any other leftovers!
Makes approximately 1 liter
1 small red cabbage (3 lb), coarsely shredded
2 cored apples, grated
15 whole cloves
2 inches ginger, sliced
3 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. sea salt
In a large bowl, add all the ingredients besides the cinnamon sticks. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Using your clean hands begin to massage the mixture, releasing liquid from the cabbage. This can take up to 15 minutes.
Once there is enough liquid, add the cinnamon sticks and transfer the mixture to a clean mason jar (or other air tight glass container), packing it tightly making sure there is at least ½ an inch of fluid covering the top. You may need to add a weight inside the jar to make sure the cabbage is kept below the surface. Cover the top with a kitchen towel and a rubber band.
Leave in a warm place to ferment for at least 3 days before tasting it. Depending on the room temperature the fermentation can take up 3 weeks. It is ready when it has a slightly sour taste.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Have you tried this? Then please leave a comment and let me know how you got on.
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