I have converted several self-professed haters of sauerkraut with this garlic-dill blend. It tastes just like dill pickles. And almost everyone likes dill pickles, including kids.
People who tell me they hate sauerkraut often also say they want to like it because of the many health benefits that lacto-fermented foods such as sauerkraut offer. Fermented sauerkraut:
- Is easier to digest than its unprocessed ingredients
- Contains higher levels of B vitamins, such as thiamine, riboflavin and niacin that the vegetables do when not fermented
- Preserves the vitamin C present in the vegetables
- Contains a diverse population of beneficial, probiotic and gut-friendly microbes (you may want to pay attention to this point most…)
If you want to learn more about how fermented foods improve your gut health and how your gut health affects your overall health in a major way (to put it mildly), you’ll love the book The Good Gut, by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg, pioneers in gut microbiota research.
- 1 large head cabbage (I like Napa cabbage for this recipe but I have made it with standard cabbage also)
- 1 bunch dill
- 6 cloves of garlic or to taste (Is it actually possible to have too much garlic? I haven’t discovered the threshold myself…)
- 2 teaspoons salt
1. Peel off a leaf of cabbage and set aside. Chop the cabbage roughly into smallish pieces. Mince the dill and garlic.
2. Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Squeeze them with your hands. Place a plate on top of them and a weight on top of that. The salt, the crushing and the weight all help draw out liquid from the vegetables. Taste the mixture. If you want it saltier, add more salt.
3. Pack the vegetables into clean glass jars. Place the conserved cabbage leaf over the vegetables to stuff them down in the jar. If you have a small jar, place it within the larger jar to force down the vegetables to submerge them completely in liquid. The vegetables WILL NOT FERMENT if you don’t submerge them in liquid. Put the lids on the jars. Place the jars on a plate. They will bubble, gurgle and ooze over the next several days and you don’t want that liquid all over the place.
4. Burp the jars daily (i.e., open the lids to let built-up carbon dioxide escape) during active fermentation (several days, depending on your kitchen environment).
5. Taste the kraut on day three. If you like the flavor, you’re done. If you want it tangier, wait longer. I usually ferment my kraut for a couple of months. Move your jars to the refrigerator when you like the flavor unless you have eaten it all…
For very detailed instructions, you can watch the recording of a webinar I did last week: Fermentation 101. I’m so glad I figured out how to record these. You can just skip over parts where I’m chopping…or cracking jokes… Although fermenting is very easy (one of the many reasons I love it so), I find that many people don’t want to try it on their own. Watching how easily it’s done really helps them feel confident.