Made with a healthy dose of lactic acid bacteria, this beautiful sauerkraut is both delicious and extremely healthy, containing some of the purest sources of probiotics and enzymes.
The fermentation may not be done in time for the Christmas table, but this is a fun project to start during the Holidays, and it will prepare you for a healthy new year.
raw sauerkraut with beets, apples, raisins & cinnamon
1 large or 2 small heads of red cabbage
2 medium to large size beets
1 cup raisins
1-2 cinnamon sticks
3 tablespoons unrefined salt (I use Himalayan)
Set a couple of cabbage leaves aside, remove the core, and shred the remaining cabbage by hand or in a food processor.
Peel and shred beets and apples.
In a large glass or ceramic bowl, mix shredded cabbage, beets, apples and raisins.
Sprinkle with salt and with clean hands, mix until the cabbage mixture is evenly covered, squeezing gently to get some of the liquid out and the fermentation started.
Tightly pack one or more clean jars with the cabbage mixture, including the liquid, and distribute the cinnamon sticks evenly. Leave a few inches at the top of the jar empty and top with a piece of whole cabbage leaf and something heavy to keep the pressure constant. Cover with cheese cloth fastened with a string or a rubber band.
For the next 24 hours, check sporadically and press down to extract as much liquid as possible. If the the cabbage is not completely covered after 24 hours, add enough salt water (1 TBL salt per 1 cup water) to do so.
Let sit in a dark place at room temperature (65-73F) for 1-4 weeks depending on the temperature and how tangy you like it. It can be done in colder temperatures as well (such as a cold basement) but it will take a longer, up to a few months.
Check sporadically to make sure the cabbage stays under water and to scrape off any mold scum growing on the surface. This sometimes happen due to oxidation and is not alarming but should be checked and removed as soon as possible.
Refrigerate when the cabbage is fermented to your liking.
Photography by Philip Blankenship.