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Sauerkraut - The Basics

Well sauerkraut is needless to say extremely good for you and is one way to get some helpful probiotics into your system, to maintain or rebalance gut flora. It's also kind of fun to do, quite theraputic on the outside as well as inside.

I make some fairly big batches to stock the store but they are still handmade, just BIG handmade, and its a quite messy and noisy process - lots of bashing and crashing about and a bit of an arm workout too. Fabulous for stress and fairly straightforward to do. 

So if you fancy giving it a shot, or if you have any questions, or are just curious read on...

A Basic Recipe To Start With...

2000g plain cabbage

40g salt 

Yep thats it! Nothing else! This will give you roughly 1600 - 1800g of finished sauerkraut (about 4 or 5 jars worth) and will take roughly 6 weeks fermenting time. 

There's only two ingredients but they are the most important part and you cant make anything good without good ingredients. Here's some info so you start off on the right foot...

So lets start with the cabbages.....

Firm, fresh heads with some of the outer leaves still on. You want as much of the the bacteria that is present naturally to drive the ferment. If the cabbages have been trimmed and has been hanging around drying out in a shop for a while your sauerkraut may not work!


Trim the base and peel them to remove any dirt or insects. DO NOT WASH - you will rinse away most of the fermenting bacteria! If you have chooks slice the scraps up when you are done, they love it - chicken coleslaw!



   The cabbage should be moist, heavy, fresh and densely packed inside, like this lovely one!   

Next slice it finely or a bit more chunky if you like. It's more about being a consistant size so it all ferments at the same time. Also the more surface area, the quicker everything will ferment. Mine is done by machine on 2mm (I make alot tho!), it's totally fine to use a knife or mandolin 


The last thing is the salt, and just salt, you shouldn't need any water only the juices from the cabbage. I use fine Himalayan pink salt, you can also use Kosher or Sea salt as long as it is a fine grind. NEVER USE TABLE SALT, it has additives like Iodine and free flowing agents that will totally mess with the fermenting.


Method tips to follow in the next post. I will also get into equipment and some DIY alternatives (love a biy of DIY!) and home hacks.
You can sink a bit of money into fermenting gear but you dont have to if you dont mind getting a bit creative.
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