Carrot and Cabbage Probiotic Sauerkraut
This classic recipe was passed along to me by my good friend Hody Lye.
Many people don’t realize that store-bought sauerkraut is processed using vinegar and doesn’t have the same beneficial probiotic qualities that this recipe offers. Once you learn how simple it is to make, you’ll never want to buy sauerkraut from the store again.
While the carrots and miso aren’t necessary for regular sauerkraut, they add a delicious taste dimension that my body delights in.
Everything about this fermented cabbage is healthy and goes back to our early human ancestors, long before refrigeration existed. Let the tradition continue, and may our brains be wiser for it.
Makes about 4 cups.
- 8–10 cups shredded green cabbage, setting aside 1 large leaf
- 2 tsp. Himalayan salt
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1–2 tsp. chickpea or soy miso (optional); otherwise, add ½ tsp. more Himalayan salt
- 1 quart Mason jar with an airtight seal and nonreactive lid (no plastic or metal), sterilized
Put the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. With gloved or very clean hands, aggressively massage the salt into the cabbage until it “cooks” down and becomes very wet. This will take several minutes, and it will surprise you how much the cabbage reduces in size and the amount of water that begins to pool in the bowl. It is critical to continue to massage until there is a lot of liquid released from the cabbage, because it will be that same liquid that will protect the vegetable and will also be the magical carrier of the friendly bacteria.
Add the carrots and miso (if using) and mix in thoroughly again with your hands, massaging all the ingredients together, ensuring a thorough blending.
Place the mixture in the glass jar and press down firmly, making sure that all of the cabbage mixture is completely submerged in the liquid. Top the filling in the jar with a whole cabbage leaf, folded over and pressed down firmly, to act as a semiseal over the shredded contents. Seal the jar very tightly and leave on the countertop for 5–7 days (opening to release gasses every day) or until the vegetables obtain the desired taste.
Discard the leaf on top and store in the refrigerator to enjoy whenever you like. Kept submerged in an airtight container in the refrigerator, sauerkraut can last for several months.