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Ferment Your Head | Cabbage in Brine


A 5-day quarantine that brings out the best of your cabbage.


Although I knew of this recipe from Dad for years, I haven’t tried it until I was stuck at home and decided to make sauerkraut. With an ancient fermentation method, I discovered a fresh take on the classic sauerkraut, resulting in a slightly fermented, sour but still crisp and crunchy version.

Home-made sauerkraut ingredients: green cabbage, fresh dill, summer savory and salt

When little effort gives you more.

This recipe will spoil you on many levels. Spoiler alert 1: The making is super easy: all you need is a few essential ingredients that you assemble. They will do all the work; you can sit back and relax, then five days later, enjoy the result. Raw cabbage is already packed with nutrients, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; fermentation gives these attributes a giant boost. Sauerkraut offers nutrition and health benefits far beyond those of fresh cabbage. Spoiler alert 2: Its probiotics help your body absorb nutrients with less effort – giving you more of everything! – as well as improve the balance of bacteria in your gut, which helps keep your stomach lining healthy.

Cabbage in brine

Eat it or cook with it.

You can eat sauerkraut on its own or as a side dish. You can also cook with it, but be aware that live probiotic cultures are destroyed at around 115°F. If you want to preserve the gut health benefits, use it at the end of cooking time. This version is not the same as the one you buy at the store, so the dishes you make using it may come out a bit different, but I promise, you are in for a great surprise.


Go with that gut feeling!


Ingredients

(for a 55oz jar)

  • half of a green cabbage (approx 1-1.5 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon summer savory
  • lukewarm water
  • a slice of bread

Cook’s notes

In exchange for the warmth of sunlight you can bathe the jar once a day and leave it in the warm water until the water cools off.

How to check if cabbage is done? After 4-5 days remove the bread and taste the cabbage and the juice as well. If the flavor of the fresh cabbage is completely gone (the texture will be still crispy) and the juice is sour enough for your taste you can cover the jar tightly and place it into the fridge. If it needs more time, simply leave it out – no need to put the bread back at this point. Check the next day, most likely it will be done!

Preparation & nurture

  1. Shred cabbage.
  2. Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with summer savory, mix well.
  3. Place dill on bottom of jar.
  4. Start placing cabbage on top of dill, take a few handfuls at a time and press down with a wooden spoon to consolidate.
  5. Fill up jar leaving enough space for a piece of bread on top.
  6. Mix salt into 1 cup of lukewarm water, stir until it dissolves.
  7. Pour salty water onto cabbage.
  8. Add more lukewarm water until it fully covers cabbage.
  9. Place the piece of bread on top and add more water, if necessary, so jar is filled to top.
  10. Cover loosely – using a small plate or the lid of the jar (without tightening).
  11. Place jar on a tray and into direct sunlight, if possible, the heat of the sun accelerates the fermentation process. How to nurture? Check the jar every day. You will need to make up for the water that sneaks out in the fermentation process. Quarantine is indeed hard to handle!

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