Wild Fermented Garlicky Kraut
We've incorporated our deep love of garlic into our cabbage kraut recipe. There are so many benefits to eating fermented foods and the addition of garlic to your sauerkraut makes it a potent health boost for your health, general wellness and immunity.
It's so easy to make your own. Here's my recipe to fit my large crock pot - adjust the quantities to make smaller batches.
Two medium-size heads of cabbage – it’s best to source organic produce – as this is thriving with good bacteria.
5 - 40 cloves of crushed garlic (depending on your garlic love!)
1 tbs sea salt
Remove any dirty outer tough leaves of the cabbage. Reserve 1-2 large outer leaves. Cut cabbage into quarters, remove & discard the core and slice the cabbage into fine slivers using a sharp knife. Place into a large food grade bucket or stainless steel bowl and combine with the salt.
Mix with your hands, squeezing firmly and then pound the cabbage with your fist or with a pestle to bruise the cabbage and encourage the salt to draw the natural juices out. Continue to do this for the next 5-10 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and mix through well.
Then cover with a tea towel and allow the mixture to sit for up to an hour. The salt will continue to draw out the moisture from your cabbage. You want to draw out enough of the juice so that it will cover the cabbage when it goes in the jar or crock pot.
Pound for another minute, once the mixture is nice a juicy, scoop it into two clean wide mouth jars (you need to be able to fit your whole fist into the jar) or a ferment crock pot. Press down firmly as you go to eliminate any air pockets.
Pour any liquids left in the bowl over the mix. (You need your veggies to be completely immersed in the liquid with no air bubbles). NOTE: if you do not have enough liquid to cover the contents you can make a salt brine to top up the liquid level. Simply dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 2 cups of water and pour over veggies until they are around 1-2cm submerged under the brine.
Wipe the inside of the top of the jar with a paper towel to remove any little straggly pieces.
Tear up and place your reserved outer cabbage leaves to form a lid over the top of the mixture, like tucking a child tightly into bed. The aim is to have no gaps where small pieces of cabbage can float to the surface – the veggies and the cover leaves must have no contact with air.
Once it is all completely immersed by the brine you’ll need a weight to keep it all under.
If using a fermenting crockpot: use the weights that come with the crockpot to compress the leaves down onto the mixture and put the lid on. Fill your moat with water.
If using normal jars, you can use things like an upturned shot glass as an alternative to a weight, or a flat river pebble (just boil it in water for 10 minutes to kill off any garden bacteria and allow to cool before using). Place the weight on top of your mix, then put on the jar lid to help keep it all under the brine.
Allow to sit at room temperature for about 3 weeks (less time in summer, longer in winter).
Fermentation creates gas. If you are using jars with airtight lids, you will need to ‘burp’ your jars by opening the lid slightly and releasing this air each day to avoid your jar exploding! Continue to ensure the veggies stay immersed. (If you’re using a crockpot with a water moat, you do not need to lift the lid as the gases escape by themselves).
It’s ready when it tastes sour and tangy and the cabbage has become a little softer, but still crisp.
Once sufficiently fermented, store in the refrigerator. The flavours will continue to develop inside the fridge, but you won’t need to burp the jars as the fermentation slows to a near halt.
It will last 12 months unopened, and around 2-6 months once opened. Consume daily. Enjoy.
Green Tree Blessings x