Sauerkraut, directly translated: “sour cabbage”, is finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. Today, Isabel’s is adding a bit of colour to her own sauerkraut.
- 1 head cabbage (green or purple, I used purple here)
- 3 large beets (orange, red, purple, whatever you have on hand)
- 2 tbsp coarse salt
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Quarter and core the cabbage, and then slice the cabbage into thin strips. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle the salt onto the top of them. Mix them together lightly with your hands, massaging just a little, and set aside.
Then, cut off the tops and stems of your beets, peel, and then grate them (coarsely). Place in a bowl nearby, set aside.
Go back to your cabbage and mash the cabbage up until it starts releasing juices. You can do either this or just let it sit and wait for the juices to flow on their own. This is for the impatient person in all of us! It took me about 15 minutes of heavy massaging with my hand to generate a significant amount of liquid.
Combine the beets and the cabbage and place in sterilized jar. It is very important to ensure there is a layer of liquid covering the whole thing – this is an anaerobic fermentation, meaning that oxygen should not be reaching the solid cabbage and beet. You may choose to put a heavy sterilized object on top of the mixture to ensure it doesn’t flow to the top. I put a glass full of chickpeas and placed it on top of the mixture and it worked great.
Place the mixture in safe place where it can’t get knocked over. Check every day to see whether the contents have stopped floating up to the surface. Once they have, try covering the mixture loosely with either a loose lid or a paper towel and elastic. Leave for a week at room temperature. This is when it will begin to ferment significantly – the mixture will foam up and that means it’s working!
After a week you can transfer to the fridge and it will be ready. Enjoy!