Recipe is easy to follow and easy to do. Just done my first ferment and is looking yummy already!
Sauerkraut is one of the easier fermented foods to make. It is also packed full of probiotic bacteria and phytonutrients. What’s more, it looks and tastes delicious with its slight crunch and a mild salty sweet tanginess. Keeps for ages and you can add it to almost anything!
• 200g beetroot, grated (or carrot)
• 300g of red cabbage, finely sliced
• ½ small apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
• 1 tsp fennel seeds
• 1 tsp coriander seeds
• 2 tsp sea salt
• 500 ml glass jar with a secure lid
Wear clean plastic gloves to avoid staining your hands red. Grate the beetroot or carrot into a good sized bowl, along with the cabbage and apple. Throw in the coriander seeds, fennel and salt then stir and massage until the salt draws out the fluid. Cram into a clean glass re-sealable jar, including the juices, leaving about 2cm space at the top to allow for the mixture to bubble and fizz – remember it’s alive!
Use a rolling pin to pack the contents down hard so that it is totally submerged in its own juices. It helps to insert a weight to hold it down (a tiny dish or a boiled pebble works well). Leave the sauerkraut at room temperature for up to three weeks and a minimum of 3 days. The longer you leave it to ferment, the more sour and distinctive its flavour.
Check and taste your ferment regularly for the first 3 days and push the contents below the surface if needed. You will see small bubbles as it releases the gas CO2. If it’s drying out, add a half-teaspoon salt to 100ml filtered or spring water, and use this to top up until the kraut is fully submerged. Don’t be alarmed if black yeasts form on the surface of your pickle, you can scrape these off. When ready, remove any discoloured veg from the top and keep in the fridge for up to several months.
TIP: It is important to use filtered water because most of the chlorine will have been removed - chlorine would kill the bacteria needed for fermentation.