Basic Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut
Our favorite kraut for eating raw is a mixture of cabbage, onion and carrots flavored with garlic, caraway and celery seeds. With so many beautiful heads of cabbage harvested from our garden we ferment some variations of that recipe to use in cooking. Yes...heat kills the beneficial bacteria but their skeletons remain and the flavor added to food that is cooked is incredible. We use this kraut in breads, latkes, Colcannon and other recipes.
You will need:
8 cups shredded cabbage and other vegetables if desired
1 tablespoon finely ground pink Himalayan sea salt
For this batch of basic kraut we used 7 cups of shredded cabbage, 1 cup of finely sliced onion and added 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Combine shredded cabbage, other vegetables if desired and salt into a large bowl and allow to macerate for a few hours stirring occasionally. Pack kraut tightly into jars. A kale leaf will keep the shredded veggies from rising above the brine. A mini ramekin is used as a weight to keep everything submerged. Small jelly jars also fit inside of a wide mouth jar and make an affordable weight.
Place lid on jars and ferment for two to four weeks depending upon atmospheric conditions and temperature. Open lid on jars to burp daily. When fermentation time is completed move jars into refrigeration. After 24 hours of refrigeration check brine level in the jars adding additional brine as necessary. Jars can be stored in refrigerator for months.
If you look closely at the attached image you will notice the vegetables are not yet completely submerged in two of the jars. Krauts are self brining. We allow the salt to draw out the moisture in the cabbage and check the jars after a few hours, adding additional water if necessary.