Around here we eat some sort of ferment at least once a day. A welcome addition to any meal, tangy and salty these three ferments are just a few that I make on rotation. The classic caraway sauerkraut is Adrian’s favourite. While I love the vibrant hue and the subtle earthiness of the beet cabbage sauerkraut, the curtido (cabbage, carrot and onion) might be my new favourite.
When I make ferments I like to make them in batches. Enough to last us a few months, and some extra to give away too! Once you realize how easy it is to make your own ferments you’ll never have to rely on expensive store-bought varieties to get your fix. Good for your gut and your wallet 😉
Our house was on the cooler side during this fermentation, which slowed the process down a bit. I let my ferments go for 3 weeks, but if your house is warmer, it could take a week or two. Give the ferments a taste after a week, and then every few days after that until it reaches a sourness to your liking.
Sauerkraut 3 Ways
Making sauerkraut of any kind follows the same basic procedure — thinly slice cabbage (with a sharp knife or a mandoline) and generously salt as you go. I thinly slice a quarter cabbage at a time, place it in a large bowl or pot, add salt, repeat). Pack everything tightly into a clean jar or crock, weigh it down (I use a small mason jar), cover with a cloth or tea towel and secure with an elastic band. LET IT FERMENT!
For each of these versions I used 1 med-large cabbage. Below you will find the exact measurements in addition to the percentages so you can easily adapt the recipes for the amount of vegetables you have. Keep in mind these measurements are not an exact science. When adding sea salt (not iodized salt), taste to see if it’s salty enough, you want it to be aggressively salted but not completely off-putting. During the summer (when it’s warmer) it’s a good idea to use a little more sea salt, and in the cooler months you can use a little less.
When packing sauerkraut into jars, use your fist, a wooden spoon or a rolling pin to tamp it down. After a day or so, if the vegetables are not submerged under brine, add some brine – 1 L water : 3 tablespoons salt. The most important part of fermenting vegetables is ensuring that they remain submerged. Lactobacillis bacteria responsible for the delicious flavours thrive in an anaerobic (oxygen free) environment.
- about 3 lbs. (1406 g) Cabbage
- 22 g Sea salt (1.6%)
- 1 Tbsp. Caraway seeds
Thinly slice cabbage, salting as you go. Mix in caraway seeds. Pack tightly into a clean jar, add weight to submerge vegetables, cover with a cloth and secure with an elastic band.
- 2.3 lbs. (1066 g) Cabbage
- 1/3 lb. (about 1-2) Beets
- 19g Sea salt (1.6%)
Thinly slice cabbage, salting as you go. Thinly slice beet and mix with cabbage. Pack tightly into clean jar, add weight to submerge vegetables, cover with a cloth and secure with an elastic band.
- 1.8 lbs. (844 g) Cabbage
- 1 lb. Carrots
- 3/4 lb. Onions
- 23g Sea salt (1.5%)
Thinly slice cabbage, salting as you go. Thinly slice carrot and onion, and mix with cabbage. Pack tightly into clean jar, add weight to submerge vegetables, cover with a cloth and secure with an elastic band.