20 November 2012

Sauerkraut at home

I've begun a new probiotic adventure tonight. Instead of taking a walk in the beautiful, still, clear evening air, I've been kneading cabbage. Why, oh why?

To make sauerkraut, which is full of good bacteria that will hopefully infest my gut.

My hands hurt. The chopped cabbage has to be kneaded with salt until the brine comes out of it. Three-quarters of a cabbage went down to only two cups or so of kneaded kraut-stuff, which was a bit demoralising, because that will make two or three serves at the most.

The cabbage leaf on top is meant to keep the
chopped cabbage under the brine. 
This is how I made it. I put 3/4 of a chopped savoy cabbage in a bowl, and sprinkled on a tablespoon of sea salt that was hurriedly begged from my neighbour, because I only had the supermarket iodised stuff. I then kneaded for about five minutes - not long, granted, but it definitely gave my hand muscles a workout. At this point there had been quite a transformation: the volume of cabbage was greatly reduced and there was lots of water in the bowl, all of which came from inside the cabbage.

I put it all in a clean jar and was pleased to see that the brine came above the level of the cabbage, which is how it's meant to be. I put some whole cabbage leaves on top to stop any of the kneaded stuff floating up into the airspace, which would make it go mouldy. That's when I took the photo above.

However then I was told that the leaves on top would go mouldy, so I discarded them and pushed a small jar on top of the kneaded cabbage to hold it down.

It'll be a couple of weeks before it's ready.

I ate sauerkraut in Germany, and really liked it. But can I really be bothered with all this carry-on?

Answer: I'll give it a go. But only for a few months.... it's all in aid of ridding myself of migraines.

The milk kefir I posted about has to go, as does the Caspian Sea yoghurt. The pain that returned to me a week or so after bringing dairy - albeit fermented - back into my diet was too much to bear. Farewell, delicious yoghurt, for another few months at least. I miss you so.

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