DO IT YOURSELF SIMPLE SAUERKRAUT
Photos by Monica SchwartzThe basic recipe comes together quickly and is easily customized to different tastes and the seasonal availability of vegetables. Growing up with German heritage, chef Alyssa Moreau of Divine Creations. and her family traditionally ate sauerkraut on mashed potatoes with Bratwursts and mustard.“It adds a nice tang and crunch and balances out the plate,” she says. Her recommendation: add a few tablespoons to a meal once a day.
- Storage Jars(i.e. Mason Jars)
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Zip-Close Baggie
- Weight(i.e. Smaller Jar To Place in Jar Opening Or Something Similar)
- 2½ lbs. Vegetables of Choice
- 1½ Tbs. Sea Salt
- 2-4 tsp. Dried Spices And Herbs (Optional, Add More If Fresh, Add To Taste)
- Plan your ingredients and flavors. For this recipe, we used green and purple cabbage, kale, carrot, and radish. For flavor, we added fresh dill, flat-leaf parsley, ginger, and dried bay leaves.
- Chop, slice, or grate your vegetables.
- Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add the salt and spices, if using.
- Massage well with your hands for several minutes, about 3-5. This breaks down the cellular structure of the vegetables, helping to release liquids.
- Begin packing the vegetable mixture into your sterilized jars, tamping down as you fill. Your aim is to release any air pockets and to have your vegetable mixture covered with a good layer of brine. Leave at least an inch of space for expansion at the top.
Seal and Store.
- Stuff a zip-close baggie down into the jar on top of the vegetable/brine mixture. To seal, fold baggie back over the lid of the jar.
- Place a weight inside the baggie in the jar opening, this can be a smaller jar filled with water or rice. This weight continues to press air out of the jar as the fermentation process takes place.
- Store jars in a cool, dark place for about four days. Fermentation time varies widely depending on factors like outside temperature, jar size, types of vegetables, and taste. Place jars in a shallow pan as liquids may release out of jars as the fermentation process occurs.
- Check your jars daily after the fourth day to see if you have achieved the desired flavor and tang. At this point, remove the weighted jar and baggies and replace them with the jar’s matching lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Sterilize the jars you plan to use.