As our Director Nick Barnard tells us in his Eat Right Book, making sauerkraut is one of the best ways to discover how simple it is to make your own fermented vegetables, and just how easy it is to become addicted to them. So go on, give it a go.
4 cabbages, white, red or both
3-4 beetroots, any colours, or all
Some chilli peppers
2-3 garlic bulbs
Flaked sea salt – about 2 teaspoons per 500g vegetables, but it’s not an exact science
Some big bowls or, 5-litre or bigger plastic food grade tubs/buckets
Kraut masher, pestle or rolling pin
4-6 large (750ml-1 litre) storing jars with secure lids
- Chop the vegetables: for each cabbage, halve and then remove the core. Remove or peel the skins and outer layer from the other vegetables. When required, top and tail and core, removing seeds if you wish. Shred the cabbage, then chop coarsely. Chop small or finely dice the other vegetables; there’s no exact specification.
- Throw your vegetables or any other herbs and seeds into your bowl, salting as you go. Taste for salt. The mixture should taste salty, no more.
- Get your hands into the mix, mixing it up and then pressing down with your fists or mix with your hands to combine and then start pounding with your masher.
- Once there is water swimming about, start to jar the mixture. Do this by hand and press down the vegetables in layers. You want to pack each jar to about 2.5cm below the top. The water should submerge the contents.
- Label the jars and leave out at room temperature.
- Burp: for the first few days, release the build-up of carbon dioxide gas by undoing the lids, then sealing them again.
- Eat when you like, or store in the fridge or a cold place.