Weekly Food Item: Cabbage
Why it was selected: Cabbage, which is amazing for gut health, is an essential part of living a healthy life. When cabbage is fermented, it brings out the enzymes, which go right into the gut to help it heal and allow your body to function better.
In our world, many of us grew up on meat products filled with hormones and antibiotics or we took antibiotics multiple times in our life because of sickness. These antibiotics go into our bodies and not only kill the bad bacteria but also the good bacteria.
Those who work on restoring the good bacteria tend to have healthier bodies, as well as lower risk of chronic diseases.
1–2 poblano peppers, diced
1 large head of green cabbage, sliced into thin strips (set large outer leaves aside)
1 tbsp. Himalayan sea salt
2 large carrots, shredded
2–4 cloves of garlic (2 if large, 4 if smaller)
Dash of black pepper
1) Place 1/3 of your sliced cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over it. Using your washed hands, squeeze and stir the cabbage until it becomes more moist and soft.
2) Repeat this process, adding the remaining cabbage and salt 1/3 at a time to the bowl. Squeeze and stir the mixture until you can see water running off of the cabbage. This will take time and is a workout, so be ready to get your hands involved.
3) Peel and then grate the carrots on a mandolin or in a food processor.
4) Peel and then finely slice the garlic.
5) Add the shredded carrots, garlic, diced poblano peppers, and black pepper to the mixture and combine with your hands.
6) Fill the jar, pressing the mixture down so that water releases and rises above the line of the vegetables. Continue doing this until the jar is filled, with about 2″ of space remaining at the top.
7) Wedge the large outer leaves of the cabbage you had set aside into the top of the jars so that the mixture is underneath it and the water level raises above the flat cabbage leaf. You will want to use a small pinch bowl or a shot glass as additional weight to keep the mixture down.
8)Set the jars/cookie sheet aside in a secure place at room temperature where they will not be disturbed.
9) Check on your raw sauerkraut every day or two to make sure that the water level has remained above the vegetables and that no vegetables are touching the surface and coming into contact with air. The fermentation process happens underwater, so if you do see anything touching the surface, use a clean spoon to remove it. You may also see some growth or mold form around the top of the liquid – this is normal, but it’s best to remove it when you see it. If you need to add liquid to the jars, add some fresh water to make sure that everything is below a water line. The weights should a lot help with this.
10) After about one week, remove the weight and the top piece of cabbage from the kraut. Remove a thin layer off the top of the kraut, and give it a taste. It should be sour but probably not “there” yet. Allow the sauerkraut to sit for at least 2 weeks and taste it periodically as you wish to check on it.
11) Once the sauerkraut tastes as you like it, place the lid on it, and store it in the refrigerator. It will last for several months while refrigerated and will not continue to ferment further.