Myra's Kitchen Blog  

Red Cabbage Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut
Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lately, I’ve been on a lacto-fermenting frenzy, fermenting everything from red cabbage to dill pickles to beet and fruit kvass.

The lactobacilli, which are good bacteria, proliferate in fermented vegetables and fruit. The vegetables and fruit are easier to digest and the vitamin levels are increased as well. The main by-product of lacto-fermentation is lactic acid, which promote the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.

What I like about these fruits and vegetables is that once they’re fermented, they last for a long time in the refrigerator. They’re an instant quick hit of super nutrition. Moreover, they are easy to produce.

Here’s one of my favorites, a red cabbage ferment, that needs only salt to get the whole process of fermentation going. The salt inhibits any bacteria that could putrify the ferment until the lactic acid forms.

I start with a head of finely shredded red cabbage. I add some shredded carrots, a piece of minced ginger, a tablespoon caraway seeds, and two tablespoons Celtic sea salt.

The Ingredients

After stirring everything together, I massage the mix with my hands to help the cabbage release its juices.  There’s no need to add water to the brine when you make a cabbage ferment.. You can pound that cabbage with a mallet or just put a weight on the cabbage ( a bowl with a weight in it works well). and it will start sweating away in no time.

Ready to Jar

I then stuff the mix into a jar (a one quart bell jar is perfect) pressing down to make sure that there’s liquid floating on top. I make sure to have an inch of space at the top. (This is quite important to avoid leaks.) I leave this on my kitchen counter for 3 to 5 days.  With a bell jar, the piece in the middle is hard to press down when the ferment is complete.

Make Sure There's Liquid on Top

The red cabbage doesn’t look so bright in the beginning, but as it ferments it turns a beautiful magenta color. It’s best to transfer this to the refrigerator, where it can last a long time (up to a year) without opening. Once opened, it’s good for about three months.

Ready to Refrigerate

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Photo: Tess Steinkolk

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