Christmas Kraut

 

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This spicy, tart and juicy Christmas Kraut is a match made in heaven for your plate, throughout the holiday season.

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Traditional Christmas foods are naturally rich in fats, nutrients and, of course, sugar! Many of us will also be enjoying a tipple or two at parties over the coming weeks. Adding a fermented aspect to these meals, this Christmas Kraut may help the body to deal with and digest all these excess foods and drinks. Hopefully lessening the fatigue, bloating, hangovers, sugar highs (and lows) and of course the noxious fumes that generally comes with turkey, sprouts et al.

Christmas Kraut star loulanatural

Perfect on the plate at the main event or served with cheese, this Christmas Kraut will totally change some of your Christmas traditions!! It will certainly be on the menu for me for years to come.

christmas kraut made Loula Natural

So simple, if you are in a warmish climate you could ferment this in a week and have it ready for your Christmas table this year.

Christmas kraut collage Loula natural

To find out how to make a basic sauerkraut see here and for my beetroot and ginger flavour see here.

Christmas Kraut
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Ingredients
  1. Ingredients
  2. 1 whole green cabbage thinly sliced
  3. 1 whole red cabbage thinly sliced
  4. 1.5% Salt
  5. 250g of fresh cranberries cut in half
  6. 1 orange (zest and segments cut in 3)
  7. 2tsp Pumpkin pie spice (or use a mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and star anise)
Instructions
  1. Retain 1/2 of the outside cabbage leaves for later.
  2. Make sauerkraut by mixing the cabbage with the salt. Massage the cabbage until it starts to wilt and release water.
  3. Add and combine the cranberries, orange and spices.
  4. Press the mixture into a fido (airtight sealable jar) jar and keep pressing down to release liquid.
  5. When the mixture is all in the jar and there is liquid covering the top, press down the outside cabbage leaves to keep any stray bits of cabbage from floating to the surface of the liquid.
  6. Seal and leave to ferment on the counter for a week-28 days. Keep tasting the kraut every few days.
  7. Put in the fridge for an additional week.
  8. Enjoy, Merry Christmas
Notes
  1. This recipe is especially nice with cheese or an alternative to cranberry sauce.
Adapted from How to Ferment: Sauerkraut
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Christmas Kraut Loulanatural pin

How To; Ferment Sauerkraut

How To: Ferment Sauerkraut

Ferment Saurkraut Loula Natural fb

For my inspiration watch this;

Sandor Katz has taught me so much about fermenting… here is his book The Art of Fermentation. and here is his book Wild Fermentation and the link to his website.

Here is how I have tried to make sauerkraut- without a crock or any kind of fancy equipment! Just what I already have in the house.

Sauerkraut is cabbage that has been fermented. Normally made from finely shredded cabbage and salt. The salt preserves the cabbage for a few days while the probiotic bacteria begin to grow. Raw naturally fermented sauerkraut contains lactic acid and the living probiotic microorganisms that are beneficial to the digestive and immune systems.

Fermented cabbage has a long history of providing benefits for many different health conditions mainly because fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering sauerkraut even more nutritious than the original cabbage.

I have used a mix of half red cabbage and half white cabbage cause I love both. Cabbage is one of the cruciferous vegetables which may have huge benefits on the digestive and hormonal systems. The vibrant colour of red cabbage reflects it concentration of protective phytonutrients, far more than a green cabbage. This enhances the claims to health benefits such as dietary antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Fermenting these (and adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to potentially further enhance them) make these nutrients a powerful mix of goodness and healing for the body.

Here is the recipe with directions and I have photos to follow

Sauerkraut
A simple way to ferment cabbage using only salt and cabbage!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 head of red cabbage thinly sliced
  2. 1/2 head of white cabbage thinly sliced
  3. 1-2% of cabbage weight in sea salt/ pink Himalayan salt (I generally use 1.5% weight)
  4. Equipment;
  5. Bowl
  6. Mason Jar (or litre jar)
  7. Jar which will fit into the mouth of the mason jar or
  8. A ceramic crock/ glass fido jar with a wide opening with a plate on top to weigh down the cabbage
Instructions
  1. Try and retain one of the outside leaves of the cabbage for later, cut out heart of cabbage
  2. Weigh the cabbage and times the weight by 0.015 to find out 1.5%. Weigh out that amount in salt.
  3. Thinly slice your cabbage.
  4. Add the thinly sliced cabbage to a non reactive bowl (plastic, glass, stainless steel or ceramic).
  5. Add the salt and get your hands in there to massage and work in the salt. The cabbage will quickly become softer and wilted. You will start to see water collecting in the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Add to the mason jar/ceramic crock pushing the cabbage down with a wooden spoon, potato masher or your other jar. You can also just use your fingers. You will notice the brine being created and rising up to the top of the cabbage.
  7. When all the cabbage is in the jar then you place the retained cabbage leaf on the top- this will ensure all the stray bits remain under the brine. Push the smaller jar down and weigh down with either ceramic baking beads, marbles or rocks. This step is not compulsory but does help the first few days of fermenting as it makes it easy to continue to push the kraut down to keep the cabbage in the brine.
  8. Leave for 1 week and taste, depending on the temperature and humidity levels of your fermenting spot- leave for up to 28 days. Ferment to taste so continue to taste and then refrigerate when you like it!
Notes
  1. Ensure that the cabbage stays under the brine to reduce mold and mildew growth.
Adapted from Sauerkraut by Sandor Katz
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
This is the basic recipe. You can play with flavouring your sauerkraut with turmeric, apple, caraway seeds, fennel seeds or carrot. 

Here are the baking beads I use to weigh down the smaller jar

baking beads

Here is the jar set up again-underneath the jar you can see the whole leaf of cabbage to keep the little bits under the brine.

picture of the kraut Loula Natural

Thank you to here for the tip about the whole leaf of cabbage. Once the fermentation has been going a few days I will remove the second jar and put a lid on the jar.

If you use a lid be aware you need to release the build up of carbon dioxide which is a product of all fermentation. Depending on the speed of fermentation (which as mentioned before- depends on the temperature and humidity levels in your fermentation spot) this may be daily.

I will post below what it looks like over the next few days and weeks.

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Isn’t it pretty!

To make things easier for you, here is my pdf printable notes for you to make it at home! Let me know what you flavour yours with…

Sauerkraut handout

Ferment Sauerkraut Loula Natural

If you love fermenting come and check out my collection of inspiration from around the web. Full of drinks, foods and everything bacteria! Let me know if you would like to be a contributor.

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

Here is a great healing, fermented sauerkraut; Purple Cabbage and Apple Sauerkraut from A Harmony Healing

Sprouted Lentil Slaw and Hummus

Every week we have a vegetarian and a fish night. Now that summer is on its way there will also be a raw night. I believe 80/20 ratio fits my families lifestyle completely. 80% of the time we are incredibly healthy- always cook fresh and have a good mix of protein, carbs and fat. the other 20% of the time we have what we want when we want it. I find this helps when we eat out, when the kids are given those foods I dont give them myself by well-meaning others and if you can eat what you want when you want it you are less likely to binge or somehow ‘fail’ oursleves.

In this vein Easter was a little indulgent. There was some rubbish chocolate involved, but there was also some great nutrition there too. I even got my husband a little inspired by raw foods. Since then I thought I would start to get creative with my vegetarian options.

I love salad, craved it in my last pregnancy and would happily eat it every day of the week. My husband is Irish ( he loves his potatos, bread and simple foods). We compromise with meals. Tonight was a big compromise on his part. He ate it but he didnt like it. Thats ok, I enjoyed it and my 10 month old son ate it all up, but my daughter (who is coming up to 3 and a half) decided that she wasn’t having any. Fine too. I explained that there was nothing in there that she didn’t like, and to be fair she tried it. I think we forget how much they absorb and watch. Since my husband was making a fuss- so did she. There was little chance she was going to eat it when she had a model (one she massively looks up too) to copy. Who knows what might have happened if it was just the 3 of us round the table. Think about how many times we say my kids wont eat that, they are fussy eaters. What would happen if we only ever said- lets see what they like and if I am sitting there eating it maybe they might pick up their forks and absorb and watch. 10 times (kid and adult alike) you have to try something before you taste buds adapt. Most of it is all in your head. As long as the taste buds receive sweet, salty, bitter and spicy- they are happy!

Anyway here’s my new fav salad:

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Sprouted Lentil Citrus Slaw and Sprouted Lentil hummus

1 cup of soaked and Sprouted lentils (soak for 12 hours then keep wash lentils morning and night for 2 days while they grow shoots 1-2cm long)

1 large grated carrot

1 Peeled and grated apple (up to here is what my 9 month old son had)

1 cup of finely sliced red cabbage

!/2 Onion finely diced

1/2 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley and mint

1/4 cup of sunflower seeds

Dressing;

juice of half an orange

juice of half a lemon

1/2 tbs Apple cider vinegar

1tbs Olive oil

pinch paprika (had my daughters mix without this ingredient)

Salt and pepper

(whisk together)

Hummus (Whizz all ingredients together in a food processor until reach desired consistancy- add oil and cooking water sparingly)

(3 handfuls of the above lentils)

3 cloves of garlic (roasted-makes the garlic a little sweeter)

1 tbs vegetable cooking water (or stock)

2 tbs olive oil

1 tbs sesame seeds (beware when giving this to infants- can be allergenic. I have had no reaction from my son when they have been previously introduced)

salt and pepper and a little of the above dressing

I am very happy- what do you think?

 

Here is where I got some inspiration for my recipe;

http://deliciouslyorganic.net/lentil-hummus-recipe-grain-free/

3 Dishes From Sprouted Lentils

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