Gut shots and kraut pounders. A couple of words I didn't think would probably ever enter my vocabulary until a few years ago. Doesn't sauerkraut just come in a jar? Isn't that, that stinky stuff that goes on roast beef sandwiches? Cabbage? Bleck! I wasn't a fan of sauerkraut in the least, at least the stuff that I saw at Costco being piled on hot dogs and the yellowish stuff out of a jar for on top of St. Patrick's day corned beef. And if your wondering what a gut shot is.... its kraut juice in a shot glass (just had to put that out there.) I'm here to tell you that REAL fermented sauerkraut doesn't taste like that stuff at all. Its actually good!
About 5-6 years ago I encountered traditional cooking. A way of cooking that uses traditional preparation methods for things like grains, vegetables and meats. Some of these methods might not seem so strange like dehydrating meat for jerky. Fermenting bread dough and vegetables was a new thing to me though.
The fermentation process, whether it be bread our sauerkraut adds nutrition to the foods, helps to pre-digest some things our bodies are not so great at digesting and helps with our overall health. Live fermented vegetables add probiotics to our gut which helps us have healthy digestion. It is said that health starts in the gut!
These forms of food preservation were used until the Industrial Revolution making them quite normal in every day life. Over time that changed and these methods were lost and set aside. With so many gut related health issues in the news (think Chrons, IBS, ulcerative colitis) its no wonder that these traditional methods are coming back.
So its time to throw out that jar of store bought kraut and meet the real stuff!
Plain sauerkraut Recipe
2 medium to large green cabbages (purple cabbage works too, a bit spicier!)
9 tablespoons of good quality sea salt
1.) Remove the outer leaves of your cabbage to insure cleanness.
2.) Shred cabbage with a food processor shredding blade, knife, or traditional cabbage shredder.
3.) Add sea salt to shredded cabbage. Blend in well.
4.) Pound the cabbage to help speed the release of the the cabbage juices. When cabbage is juicy pack into a jar that kraut will fill to the top. You don't want any extra space in the top of your jar.
5.) Place a fermenting weight on the top and a lid. Let fermented at room temperature for 3-7 days until you see bubbles and have a sour taste. Time frame will vary depending on the temperature in your house.
If you love spicy and hot things than kimchi is going to be the kraut for you! Ours is a little more low key than the traditional Korean stuff but a great place to start if you are not sure about kimchi .... or if your just not ready for that hot bright red stuff!
Our low key kimchi
2 heads of green cabbage
9-12 tablespoons of good quality sea salt
1-2 daikon radishes
2-3 garlic cloves
Approx. 4 inches horseradish or to taste
2-3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1.) Remove the outer leaves of your cabbage to insure cleanness.
2.) Shred cabbage, carrots, daikon radish, horseradish, and garlic with a food processor shredding blade, knife, or traditional cabbage shredder.
3.) Add sea salt to shredded cabbage & veggies. Blend in well.
4.) Pound the cabbage & veggies to help speed the release of the the cabbage juices. When cabbage is juicy pack into a jar that kraut will fill to the top. You don't want any extra space in the top of your jar.
We hope that you enjoy these simple sauerkrauts as much as we do! Feel free to try different veggies in either of these recipes. Caraway seed and dill might be great in the basic recipe and remind you a bit of dill pickles. Spice up the kimchi more or less according to your taste! Add some green onion or what ever suits your mood.
If you would like to watch how we make sauerkraut we did a little video here with our 3 year old helping us out, complete with an end of fall farm update! See you next time.
CeAnne & Paul
How to Make sauerkraut
The stores in town are busting out the Christmas trees and the lights. The holiday bazaars have started and so has the shopping. Down at the farm life is a little bit slower.
This time of year we are embracing fall, even if the coldness feels a bit more like winter. We are enjoying the beautiful color on the fall leaves, the reds and oranges are just beautiful here this time of year. Along with the fall beauty we are embracing seasonal foods. Not that that is a new thing here on the farm but the season is new!
That means lots of cranberries, pumpkin and squashes and apples! Its also the season of sharing with friends and family! What better way than to make a dish to take and share at gatherings with friends and family?!
My favorite food at gatherings is usually the snacks or appetizers, aside from dessert of course ;) Little bites of yummy goodness! We decided to spice up a favorite treat of ours, turkey pinwheels, with some tea.
Our Coastal Cranberry Spice was the perfect blend for this recipe but you are welcome to use any fruit tea that you enjoy as well as just plain cranberry sauce.
We used tea in place of cranberry sauce not only because it adds to the depth of the flavor but it also utilizes different herbs that come with different qualities and nutrition. Its super yummy and we think you will love it!
What is your favorite holiday appetizer? Let us know in the comments below!
Tea Infused Turkey Pinwheels
6 Whole Wheat Tortillas
Deli Sliced Roasted Turkey
1.5 TBL Cranberry Tea (We used our Coastal Cranberry Spice Herbal Blend)
6 oz of Hot Water
12-15 leafs of Romain Lettuce
1 - 8 oz container of Cream Cheese (We love Nancy’s Brand filled with Probiotics)
1 TBL Pure Maple Syrup
1.) Steep the tea in 6 oz of water for 10-15 minutes. Strain and set aside until cool.
2.) Once tea has cooled add steeped tea, cream cheese and maple syrup to food processor. Blend until everything is well incorporated.
3.) Spread 1/4 c. cream cheese mixture on one whole wheat tortilla making sure it is thin and even over the entire tortilla.
4.) Place two turkey slices down the middle of the tortilla with cream cheese.
5.) Place 2-4 leaves of romaine lettuce over the turkey.
6.) Roll tortilla tightly and slice in about 2 in. pieces. Top with steeped tea leaves for a little bit of flare.
If you loved this recipe, good news! There is more to be had :) Below are 9 more recipes for our readers in our free cooking with tea e-book!
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