raw vegan fermented red cabbage and beet sauerkraut
As we tend to spend more time indoors during the winter months, fermenting foods is a fun and healthy hobby to pick up. The process of fermenting your own food for the first time may seem overwhelming but I promise you it’s not that difficult. Fermentation has been used by many cultures throughout history to produce probiotic-rich foods including sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and kombucha. There are major benefits of adding more fermented foods into your diet as the healthy bacteria created by fermentation improves digestion and brain function, boosts the mood, helps build a strong immune system, and can help detox the body. The first thing I learned while becoming a Holistic Nutritionist is that health starts with maintaining a strong digestive system. Eating fermented foods can have a powerful effect on improving digestion as the friendly micro-flora can strengthen, heal and protect the gut lining. By fermenting foods, anaerobic fermentation takes place in the absence of oxygen, typically in a liquid base or brine. In this environment, the bacteria produce lactic acid and “bad” microorganisms are not able to grow. This action preserves food rather than spoiling the food. To get you started, why not try this red cabbage and beet sauerkraut recipe? You’re going to love it!
Red Cabbage and Beet Sauerkraut
Mixing bowl, large glass jar with lid, food processor (optional).
Dice the cabbage into thin strips with your chef's knife or slice it using your food processor. Peel and grate the beets as well as the ginger.
Add all ingredients into a large bowl. Use your hands to scrunch the mixture well for about five minutes. Juice should start to collect at the bottom of the bowl.
Once everything has been mixed well, transfer the mixture to a clean glass jar. It's important that you use a glass jar rather than a metal or plastic jar since glass will not interfere with the fermentation process. If the juices do not cover the mixture, add more salted water: 1 tsp of sea salt for 1 cup of water.
Cover the jar and leave the sauerkraut to ferment up to 1 week in a cool, dry spot out of direct sunlight. Each day you should also "burp" the sauerkraut by opening the lid of the jar for a few seconds and closing it again.
Once the sauerkraut has fermented up to a week, keep it in the refrigerator and enjoy!
You should be able to tell when the sauerkraut has fermented by taste-testing it. It should have a tangy, salty flavour.