You make a kraut using organic white cabbage or a mix of white and red cabbage, unpeeled carrots / beetroot and ginger (whatever takes your fancy as long as the base is organic white cabbage as it has lots of the right bacteria on it).
- For a 500ml jar, use around 1.5kg veg: only wash the outer leaves of the cabbage, then shred or grate (remove but save base of stem and a few outer leaves) with any other vegetables you're using. Sprinkle with around 1.5tbsp natural sea salt (no iodine or additives). It should taste a bit saltier than you would like if you were going to eat it at that point.
- Mix and mash the vegetables with your hands and bash them with a rolling pin until liquid comes out. Pack into a clean kilner jar (washing with hot water is sterile enough). Press the veg down between layers to remove air. Leave some space at top of jar.
- Place the outer leaf of the cabbage (rolled up) on top of the kraut mixture with the piece of stem in the centre (on top of the leaf) - this acts as a weight that presses down on the mixture when you close the kilner jar so it has to make contact with the lid when closed. It's important that the veg mix stays submerged in its own juices.
- Leave in a warm place out of direct sunlight for about 5 days (a kitchen that gets cold at night is fine). It will start to bubble after a day or two. Press down the kraut mix once a day to help release carbon dioxide bubbles and allow liquid to fill the gaps. I leave the rubber seal off my kilner jar to prevent liquid from bubbling up and out but place the jar on a saucer to avoid spillage.
- After 5 days leave in a cooler place to develop the ferment. You may like to eat it then, but you can leave it for 2 weeks if you prefer a more complex and sour flavour. Once you are happy with the taste, remove the cabbage leaf plug and store in the fridge for as long as you like. (Reducing the temperature halts the fermentation.)
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