Fermented cabbage. Healthy vegan delight. One of the most popular gastronomic specialties of Bavarian cuisine.

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What is 

The term Sauerkraut comes from the German “Krauter”, an aromatic herb that, in the language of origin, mainly indicates all leafy vegetables and even some spices. Particularly, we mean the acidic cabbage, a delicious side dish derived from the Fermentation of cabbage head. This versatile vegetable harvesting in autumn is finely sliced and put to ferment in wooden barrels with salt, juniper berries and cumin. Finally, it’s a tradition to put a large stone on top to press it by extra weight, to make the excess moisture come to the surface and allow the anaerobic process in the absence of air, for the development of enzymes. The Sauerkraut will thus be left for a few weeks until the fermentation process is complete.

The Sauerkraut is a really healthy product, especially if consumed raw during the winter period, because it contains a lot of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and Potassium. While cooking process reduces the amount of ascorbic acid present, the natural fermentation on the contrary saves these ferments and the cabbage acquires a sour taste, and during the resting stage it is enriching by vitamin B12 and the pH is naturally reducing. In addition, Sauerkraut is a food that activate and balances digestion, as it strengthens the intestinal flora, thereby driving away bacteria and viruses.

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Preparation of cabbage

After carefully choosing a good white cabbage head, divide it in half by the length and eliminate the cabbage stump. Then divide it into 4 parts (cloves) and remove all the old or spoiled leaves.

Cut into very thin strips the cabbage cloves, wash them and dry with a salad centrifuge.

Weigh the cabbage. So weigh of the sea salt should be equal to 2,5% of the weight of the vegetable (you will have to calculate 25 grams of salt per each 1 kg of cabbage). Salt is important to activate a proper process of lactic fermentation: it prevents the proliferation of gram-negative bacteria, while promoting the development of good ones (mainly lactobacilli).


Steps of cabbage fermentation:

  • Once you have dried the cabbage strips well, put them in a capacious container and distribute the salt evenly, then mix thoroughly by hands, trying to rub the cabbage strips. Leave it for 1 hour.
  • After 1-hour rest, the cabbage will appear partially immersed with the vegetation liquid. Put the cabbage strips into a terracotta pot with high edges, alternating them with 2-3 juniper berries, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 3-4 bay leaves.
  • Add the vegetation liquid, the cabbage should appear completely immersed and should not come into direct contact with air. If not, make a brine with 20 grams of salt per 1 liter of water and add to a pot until completely cover the surface of Sauerkraut.
  • Cover everything using a lid that should be smaller in diameter than the top-neck of the terracotta pot. Lay over the lid a weight, cover it with baking paper and tightly seal the edges with turns of twine.
  • Put the terracotta pot with the cabbage into a cool dark place and let the Sauerkraut brew for 1 month. During this period of storage, cabbage will undergo a process of slow natural Fermentation.

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The Recipe

This recipe is prepared by Paradiso Pure.Living former Chef Federica Scolta.

Learn other healthy recipes on our Recipes webpage.

Bon appetit!