Now is the time to use that organic cabbage from your CSA or local organic farm to make your sauerkraut to store and eat for the upcoming months!
We found these beauties at the Newburyport Farmer's Market, grown by Heron Pond Farm. Making your own sauerkraut is such an easy & fun activity for the whole family!
This recipe is the Latin form of sauerkraut, called Cortido, made with carrots, oregano, cumin & a bit of red pepper. Raw fermented foods are beneficial to the digestive system by increasing the healthy flora in the intestinal tract or creating the type of environment for them to flourish. Sauerkraut and its juice are traditional folk remedies for constipation. Fermentation actually increases nutrient values in the cabbage, especially vitamin C. Fermented foods are also said to facilitate the breakdown and assimilation of proteins. They have a soothing effect on the nervous system.
Before the days of refrigeration, sauerkraut served as the only source of vitamin C during the winter in northern climates. It was used on long ship voyages to prevent scurvy. Sauerkraut makes a synergistic combination with heavy, greasy and cooked foods such as sausage and cooked meat, the kinds of foods that nourish us through the winter. Because it aids digestion, you can eat these foods without feeling tired afterwards just by adding sauerkraut to your plate as a condiment.
The Process of Lacto-Fermentation:
The process of lacto-fermentation includes Lactobacillus (from a prepared culture, fresh whey, or just naturally occurring) plus sugar (naturally present in vegetables and fruits), plus a little salt, minus oxygen (anaerobic process), plus time...all combined to equal lactic acid fermentation. The length of fermentation can vary from a few hours to two months or more. The temperature of the room where fermentation occurs will determine the length of time. The ideal temperature is around 72�F, but warmer or cooler temperatures will still work. (Some strains of bacteria require specific temperature ranges.)
It is important to use high quality organic vegetables, filtered water, and sea salt to ensure the best outcome. The lactobacilli need nutrients from high quality vegetables in order to do their work, the process of fermentation.
Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon has many simple lacto-fermented recipes to try out. These foods are super easy for beginners to prepare and the only supplies you need are some wide-mouth mason jars and a pounder for the sauerkraut.
1 Large organic cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 Organic carrots, grated
1 Organic onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp. fresh oregano
� tsp. cumin
� tsp. chili flakes
1 � Tbsp. Celtic sea salt
Place sliced cabbage in a bowl, add sea salt. Allow to sit for 5 to 6 hours. The salt will draw liquid out of the cabbage. Now add remaining ingredients, massage & squeeze by hand to make more liquid.
Pack mixture into � gallon wide-mouth ball jars. A kraut pounder or wooden spoon can help pack it all into jar tightly. (Children get very enthusiastic about this step!) Be sure to leave about 2 inches of space at the top of jar, as it will expand. Cover tightly with ball jar lid and ring. (Pressure will build in jar and will make a "pop" when opened for the first time.)
Allow to sit for 5 to 7 days at room temperature. Then open and enjoy as a condiment with each meal. Store on counter or in refrigerator (fridge will slow down fermentation and increase life, but it isn't necessary). Flavors will likely change over time, it's a living thing!
Our official "kraut pounder" Phoebe Li Eyink
Chia Seed Pudding with Organic Coconut Milk
1 Can organic coconut milk (full fat)
4 Tablespoons grade B maple syrup
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
� teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/3 cup chia seeds
� cup berries for garnish
Whisk coconut milk, maple syrup & extracts until smooth. Stir in chia seeds. Divide mixture evenly between 4 glasses and allow pudding to sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Store up to 24 hours in refrigerator, and set out at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with berries, whipped cream, or chocolate shavings & enjoy!
In good health,