We have scoured the recipe books and are excited to try these this week… let us know which one your favourite is!
Homemade Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar
- 1 medium head green cabbage
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavour)
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Mixing bowl
- 2 litre wide-mouth canning jar (or two-litre mason jar)
- Canning funnel (optional)
- Smaller jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
- Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the smaller jar down
- Cloth for covering the jar
- Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth
Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it’s best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar and smaller jar are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. You’ll be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, so give those a good wash, too.
Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. At first it might not seem like enough salt, but gradually the cabbage will become watery and limp — more like coleslaw than raw cabbage. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. If you’d like to flavour your sauerkraut with caraway seeds, mix them in now.
Pack the cabbage into the jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the canning jar. If you have a canning funnel, this will make the job easier. Every so often, tamp down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar.
→ Optional: Place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
Weigh the cabbage down: Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid.
Cover the jar: Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or twine. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevents dust or insects from getting into the jar.
Press the cabbage every few hours: Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the smaller jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
Add extra liquid, if needed: If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: As it’s fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 18C-24C. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid.
Because this is a small batch of sauerkraut, it will ferment more quickly than larger batches. Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate. You can also allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer. There’s no hard-and-fast rule for when the sauerkraut is “done” — go by how it tastes.
While it’s fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mould, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don’t eat mouldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
Store sauerkraut for several months: This sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be. If you like, you can transfer the sauerkraut to a smaller container.
Fermented mixed berries
- 2 cups mixed berries
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon packaged starter culture or 2 tablespoons fresh whey
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Put the berries in a 500ml jar. Pack them tightly with your clean hand or a wooden spoon. In a bowl, mix culture starter or whey, a few tablespoons of water, sugar, and salt. Pour the liquid ingredients over the berries, and then fill jar with filtered water, leaving 1½ inches of headspace. Press down with fist or wooden spoon to be sure the water has filled all the air pockets. Add more water if necessary.
- Be sure the berries are below the waterline, using a weight if necessary. Put lid on and leave at room temperature for 1-2 days. Store in refrigerator and use within 1-2 months.
For the Lemonade Soda
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup lemon juice
- ½ cup fresh whey made by straining yogurt or kefir
- Flip-top Bottles
- Warm the water in a saucepan over low heat, keeping it just warm enough to dissolve the honey – about 38 C. Whisk in the honey continuously until fully dissolved in the water. Turn off the heat, and remove the pot from the stove.
- Whisk the lemon juice and whey into the honey water until fully incorporated.
- Pour the lemonade through a narrow funnel into three flip-top bottles.
- Seal the bottles, and allow the lemonade to sit at room temperature to ferment at least four and up to seven days. You can open a bottle to check for fizziness and flavour, keeping in mind that the warmer your kitchen and the more time you allow, the sourer and more fizzy your soda will be.
- 500ml of cider vinegar
- 450ml of water
- 450gm of sugar
- 30gm sea salt
- 4 stalks of rhubarb
- 10 slightly crushed black peppercorn
- half of a teaspoon of slightly crushed fennel seeds
- small piece of orange peel
Make a brine by mixing cider vinegar with water, sugar and sea salt. Bring to a boil until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and let this cool down to room temperature.
Wash rhubarb and pat dry. Cut each stalk in 10cm pieces. Shave with mandolin or cheese slicer in thin ribbons. Place these into a sterilized jar, together with 10 slightly crushed black peppercorns, half of a teaspoon of slightly crushed fennel seeds, and a small piece of orange peel. Cover with the cold brine and let sit for a few days.
Lusciously rich cultured beetroot slices
This cultured beetroot is superb added to hamburgers and sandwiches. It is sour-tasting and crisp and will fly out of the fridge.
- 500g fresh organic beetroot
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1-2 cabbage leaves to use as a fermentation lid.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- Remove the beetroot skin and slice it into very thin strips or grate using a coarse grater setting. Add the salt and caraway seeds and mix well using your hands. It is really important that the salt is evenly distributed throughout the beetroot. Leave to rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
- Get your fermentation jars ready next to the bowl and mix the beetroot again using your hands. Squeeze it in handfuls so that the juice is released from the vegetable fibres. Place it in the fermentation jar and squeeze it down so that the beetroot is fully immersed under the liquid.
* If you don’t have enough liquid, make up a salt brine using 1 tablespoon sea salt to every cup of filtered water and use it to cover the beetroot.
- Place the cabbage leaves on top to prevent the solids from coming up past the liquid. Make sure it is fully immersed.
- Leave out at room temperature for 48 hours before sealing it with a lid and transferring to the fridge. Enjoy after four days of fermentation. It will keep for several months.
Pickled beetroot is a stellar addition to home-made hamburgers with the usual ingredients such as chutney, tasty cheese, and a fried egg. It also goes well in cold salads with accompaniments such as leftover roast chicken and cold rice. Like sauerkraut, it’s great in sandwiches!
Enjoy your weekend!