We grew some humongous cabbages this year. Approximately 50 pounds in all, about 10 – 12 inches in diameter. Traditional sauerkraut, 13 quarts to be exact, was brewed in a big crock.
We still have cabbages sitting in cold storage waiting their turn to be transformed into something healthy and delicious. This recipe for Pickling Naturally : Beet Kraut puts to use other garden veggies along with our extra cabbages, so Beet Kraut will join the ranks of our pickled preserves.
I made this recipe from the Nourishing Meals Cookbook last year but not nearly as much as I should have. It was one of our favorite ferments and went all too quickly. All of the ingredients are grown right here in our garden so I made more of this brightly hued magenta kraut. Are these colors just so gorgeous?
We planted our first row of beets in late April and they were consumed by early July. From that crop I canned these spiced sweet beets. Yum! I have never tried planting beets through the heat of the summer so planting a second row in early July was definitely an experiment, but we were pleasantly surprised to see them flourish through a month of 90 plus degree heat.
So I’m making a few batches of this so we can enjoy the garden’s bounty for a while longer.
After all, it keeps well for 6 months in the refrigerator.
And in the middle of winter when the price of grocery store vegetables are so high but nutrient deficient, we will be so happy to have our own little stash of enzyme rich cultured garden veggies.
Follow the directions in the recipe carefully and you too will have your own stash of nutrient rich veggies for winter storage.
Savor these last few days of summer. It went way too fast!
1 wide-mouthed quart jar
8 cups shredded cabbage
1 medium beet, peeled and shredded
2 large carrots, shredded
1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
First, remove the outer cabbage leaves and save one good-looking leaf for the top of the kraut. Cut the head of cabbage in half from top to bottom. Place the flat side of the cabbage half on a cutting board and cut in half. So now you have the head of cabbage cut into quarters. Remove the core. Shred into thin strips using a sharp vegetable cutting knife, or use a slicing disc on a food processor to shred it. A mandolin works too.Measure out 8 cups and place in a large bowl.
Shred beets and carrots and add them to the bowl. Sprinkle the sea salt over the top and toss the shredded veggies together. Then, gently pound it all with a wooden mallet or other blunt object. I use a wooden mallet. Pound for about 10 minutes, until the veggies release their juices. Spoon the kraut into a clean jar. Firmly press it into the jar to push air bubbles out as you add it. The Vita – Mix mallet works great for this because it’s narrower than my wooden mallet and fits nicely in the jar. Pack it in there leaving about 2 inches of space from the top of the jar.
Fold a cabbage leaf that you set aside to cover the kraut. Using your mallet press firmly to allow the juices to rise above the cabbage leaf. It’s very important to keep the kraut under all the juices so it ferments properly. Place a plastic mason jar lid on the jar loosely, so that gas will escape as it ferments. Place the jar on a pan to catch any juices that may bubble over. Place it in a warm dark spot to ferment for 5 – 10 days. I put mine in a kitchen cabinet.
Once the kraut is done, remove the cabbage leaf, screw the lid back on the jar and store in your refrigerator. It will keep for up to 6 months.