For people on the AIP diet, probiotic rich foods are a huge help in healing your gut. Anyone on the AIP diet should be including a lot of fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and water kefir. I have been buying Eden’s Organic Sauerkraut and GT’s Kombucha (the multi-green) from Wegmans, but I figured I could make them for a lot cheaper at home. Kombucha seems like it is the more difficult of the two to make (and to make right), so I figured I would start with an attempt at homemade sauerkraut. I got a kit of three pickle-pro vegetable fermenting lids made by Homesteader’s Supply and a 12 pack of quart size wide mouth mason jars.
I haven’t gotten fermenting weights at this point because I think I am going to try it first without them and see if they are even needed. I don’t think they are since I have the airlocks and it is hard for me to justify paying $20 for what are essentially glass hockey pucks unless they are absolutely needed. After all, since I have been cooking more lately there are a lot of purchases I have been wanting to make for the kitchen (like an Instant Pot), so I am trying to prioritize. Not to mention, my NutriBullet recently stopped working so I just dropped some cash on a Ninja Mega Kitchen System to replace it. Granted, I did get it from Home Depot because it was on sale there and I had $100 worth of Home Depot gift cards already, so it wasn’t much out of pocket and I am sure I will get a lot of use out of it. With my increase in cooking lately the food processor function should be really useful as well.
Anyway, back to the sauerkraut. I went by the recipe that Mickey Trescott has in her book, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook. I can’t even begin to tell you what a vital resource that book has been for me lately. There are so many awesome recipes in there and a lot of them have very few ingredients, which makes it even easier. Before I started making the sauerkraut, I made sure that the mason jars were super clean by using the sani-rinse feature on my dishwasher. You are going to want to make sure everything is really clean so that there isn’t any risk of contamination. Then I chopped the cabbage and added Himalayan pink salt to each layer as I placed the chopped cabbage into my mixing bowl. Once all of the cabbage was chopped, I massaged the salt into the cabbage until it got soft and started to “weep” or produce juices. I did that for about 10 minutes and then let it sit for another 10 minutes to release more juices before I pressed it into the mason jar. It seemed like a lot of cabbage at first, but since you really have to press it down hard into the mason jar it ended up only filling one quart size mason jar. This is fine for now because it is my test run anyway, so if it turns out terrible I won’t have a lot of it.
Now I just have to let the jar sit on my counter for about 3 to 4 weeks and let it ferment until I have a finished product. I am really excited to see how it turns out. If I would have had fermenting weights I would have put one on the top of the cabbage to hold it down under the juices, so that no cabbage is exposed to air. Instead I just made sure I had pressed the cabbage down as hard as I could and added a little more brine to the top of the jar, which is made by dissolving some of the salt in water.
I am supposed to get my Ninja in the mail on Thursday, so there might be some interesting smoothie recipes to come in future posts.