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You will probably think, “Nat, sauerkraut is a winter thing. Why are you sharing this now?” I will have to agree with you on this, but just in part. Yes, sauerkraut is a great way to utilize cabbage and get the vitamins we lack and need in winter. But the thing is that this winter has been really cold and long even here in the Greater Vancouver Area. I say ‘even’, as it is considered to be the mildest climate zone in Canada. Because it had been cold and long winter, spring has come later than usual. Though it looks gorgeous outside now with sakura and cherry blossom, our garden is still not producing much.
Another thing is that in our house we all like fermented foods, but it is actually the first year that we have started making the fermented cabbage at home.
Yes, I know.
It is so easy to make, yet, many people still buy it in stores. The whole cutting-and-kneading process is probably 15 minutes maximum. It is the fermenting process that takes 2 to 3 days, and this is probably what makes people go and purchase it from a store. However, if you are patient enough, the homemade sauerkraut is nothing to compare with the store bought. It is SO much crispier and yummier!
This recipe is probably not a typical sauerkraut recipe as it contains carrots. This is how my grandma and my husband’s parents used to make it. So, is it a Russian thing? 🙂 Share in comments if your family makes it at home and if you use carrots as well.
Benefits of Homemade Fermented Food
This is a huge topic which is worth a post on its own. I will just mention a few of the facts that you may or may not be familiar with:
- during the fermentation, probiotics and good bacteria are forming in the product. These bacteria are very beneficial for gut health;
- homemade fermented food doesn’t require pasteurizing to keep it fresh. Therefore, the bacteria are alive, unlike many of the products you find in a store;
- fermented cabbage is low calorie and can help you lose and maintain the weight;
- with homemade fermented products, you can control the salt (sodium) levels in the final product.
So, here you are.
Russian-Style Homemade Fermented Cabbage – Sauercraut Recipe
You will only need these ingredients:
cabbage, carrots, salt and pepper, and 2 bay or laurel leaves.
This is it.
Shred the cabbage and carrots, add salt and knead it all with clean hands until the cabbage juice covers the mix. Add pepper, and bay leaves. Cover it all with a plate or dish and place something heavy on top, to keep the cabbage “drowning” in its own juice. Keep it at a room temperature for 2-3 days mixing it once or twice a day with a wooden spatula or with clean hands.
In 3 days the cabbage is ready. Store it in a fridge.
There are a few dishes that you can make using the sauerkraut. I will be sharing recipes soon 🙂
- 1 medium-size cabbage
- 1-2 carrots
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 bay or laurel leaves
- pepper to taste
Shred the cabbage and carrots, add salt and knead it all with clean hands until the cabbage juice covers the ingredients. Add pepper and bay leaves. Cover it all with a plate or dish and place something heavy on top, to keep the cabbage "drowning" in its own juice. Keep it at a room temperature for 2-3 days mixing it once or twice a day with a wooden spatula or with clean hands.
In 3 days the cabbage is ready. Store it in the fridge. Enjoy!