Homemade sauerkraut is so easy to make and it is a great way to get a large amount of probiotics into your diet on a regular basis. I eat or drink fermented foods every day, and I love them! The probiotics have been really great for my digestion and my immune system. I no longer suffer with environmental allergies, and even some of my food allergies have been healed. I haven’t been sick with even a sniffle in well over 2 years either. I don’t have any concern when coworkers in the office are riddled with colds and flus.
Homemade sauerkraut is as easy as chopping and pounding some vegetables and then waiting for the lactobacilli bacteria to multiply. When you mix green and purple cabbage together, you get a beautiful magenta colored sauerkraut!
Start with some basic ingredients. Use 3 TB of kosher salt for each 5lb of cabbage (sorry, you will have to weight it for the best outcome!). I like to add 2 carrots and 2 cloves of garlic per head of cabbage also. Caraway seed is one of my favorite spices, so I use a lot of it – 2 TB per head of cabbage.
Shred cabbage and add it to a large glass bowl. Mix in salt and any herbs that you’d like to add, like caraway seed and crushed garlic cloves. I mix in the carrots after the cabbage starts to release its juices.
Massage the salt into the cabbage until it becomes limp and starts to release its juices.
After the cabbage starts to release its juices, pack it tightly into a glass container. I layered mine because I enjoy watching the colors swirl together during the fermentation process. After it is packed into the jar, I use a plastic bag filled with salt water (in case it leaks) to weigh the cabbage down under the water level. If your cabbage hasn’t released enough water, you can add some brine on top at a ratio of 1 cup water to 1 TB salt. This makes an approximately 2% solution. It will continue to release juices at the start of the fermentation processes, so make sure there is plenty of room in the jar. I use a half gallon jar per head of cabbage. Some people use crocks or other fancy tools to make their sauerkraut. You can certainly use those (keeping oxygen away from the ferment is necessary, which is why it needs to be submerged), but I have a small kitchen without storage for a lot of those extra things. If your jar doesn’t have an airlock on it, make sure you pop the lid once or twice a week to let the excess gas out. This is the most practical method for me and I haven’t had a batch go wrong yet.
This photo was taken about a week into fermentation. The cabbage is releasing its juices and the colors are muddling together. The bubbles are a sign that active fermentation is happening. You’ll know it’s done when bubbles stop forming. I push it down a couple times a week to release the gases (those are carbon dioxide bubbles – a byproduct of the fermentation process). All of the research and personal experimentation leads me to believe that a 12 week minimum fermentation time is ideal to allow for the most complete bacterial profile to develop and to reduce the histamine levels if you are sensitive to them. After this point, refrigerate it. It will continue to ferment very slowly in the fridge, but probably won’t last very long because you’ll be eating it. 🙂
Finished sauerkraut with a gorgeous magenta color.
Appx 5 lbs cabbage (2 average sized heads - I mix 1 green and 1 purple to make pink sauerkraut)
3 TB kosher salt (I like it for pickling and ferments)
4 TB caraway seed (Warning: I LOVE this stuff. You can use less if you don't love it as much as I do.)
4 carrots (optional)
4 cloves garlic (optional)
Wash and shred the cabbage into thin strips. You can do this with a large knife, but two much faster ways are to use the slicing blade on a food processor (my preference), or to use the straight blade on a spiral cutting tool (I have tried this method and it works pretty quickly as well).
Shred carrots if you are using them.
Crush the garlic if you are using it.
Add 1.5 TB salt to each head of shredded cabbage (I end up using one large mixing bowl per head of cabbage).
Massage the salted cabbage until it starts to soften and give up some juices. Squeeze and pound on it a bit. Some people use "vegetable stompers", but I just use my Vitamix tamper. 😉 The process might take 10-15 minutes.
Mix in the caraway seed, carrots, and garlic.
Pack it tightly into a large glass container (the Vitamix tamper comes in handy for this too). I use a half gallon jar per head of cabbage.
If the liquid does not cover the top of the cabbage, you can make a brine with 1 cup of water and 1 tsp of water, and add a little as needed until your cabbage is completely submerged by about 1/2" water.
Weight the cabbage down so that it stays under the brine. I use a large folded up cabbage leaf to keep the small strips from floating up and a plastic bag full of brine. Some people use river stones in a plastic bag, or a jar full of water that is small enough to fit inside the opening of the fermenting container.
Over the first couple days, it will release more liquid, so make sure there is room for expansion in the container or that it is placed in a glass dish in case it spills over.
Let it sit on the counter until bubbles stop forming in the container. Roughly 12 weeks is ideal to allow the full spectrum of available lactobacillus to develop and to reduce the histamine levels.
Refrigerate it and eat a small bowl each day. 🙂
It will keep in the refrigerator for months.
Check out the resources in the entry before this recipe card to learn more about what can go wrong and how to troubleshoot it.
By Adrienne Engell
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/
I was introduced to pancit only a few months ago. One of my friends posted a photo of a lovely meal her mother in law had prepared, and I immediately had to know more about this fascinating dish I had never heard of. I learned it was a Filipino noodle dish and I was inspired to create a raw vegan version that I could enjoy at home.
There are many different pancit recipes, and this particular one was modeled after pancit bihon. In place of the rice noodles, I used zucchini noodles. In place of chicken, I used chopped mushrooms marinaded in vegetable juice to produce a meaty texture with a rich flavor that a vegetable stock would have provided in a cooked recipe. Other than that, for my vegetable mix, I used sliced Napa cabbage (you could also use bok choy, pending availability), carrots, onions, and peppers, which often show up in different versions of the traditional version. Instead of soy sauce (which often contains GMO soy and gluten) or tamari (which is fermented with mold), I used coconut aminos, which are raw, taste less salty, and have a rich fermented flavor. They’re a little different if you’re used to the taste of soy sauce, but still delicious.
Raw Vegan Pancit Recipe
A light and healthy raw vegan pancit recipe, inspired by the traditional Filipino pancit bihon dish.
Chop the vegetables. Make sure there are enough chopped carrots and sweet peppers to put through the juicer for the broth juice.
Put the "Vegetable Ingredients" into a large bowl and set aside.
Juice the Vegetable Broth Juice vegetables and add the pinch of salt and pepper.
Put the chopped mushrooms and the vegetable broth juice into a bowl together and let them marinade for at least an hour (overnight is better).
Add the sauce ingredients to a small bowl and whisk.
Pour the sauce over the Vegetable Ingredients and mix until everything is well coated. Let it marinade until your mushrooms are done (about 45 minutes, but again, I prefer the overnight marinade).
After the marinading is complete, strain the mushrooms out and mix into the vegetables. You are ready to eat it!
Regarding sesame oil, I have also made this with EVOO and avocado oils and both work well, though the olive oil has a much strong flavor and the avocado oil is neutral tasting for the most part.
You can substitute red, orange, or yellow bell peppers for the sweet peppers if you like.
You can substitute bok choy for the Napa cabbage.
I prefer to marinade the mushrooms and the vegetables overnight for the best flavor. If you are in a hurry, an hour will do. If you want a rich flavor and soft texture, go with the overnight soak.
For this recipe, I have tested both diluted and non-diluted vegetable juices to soak the mushrooms. I prefer the juice to be un-diluted in this case, but you can use any strength that you like the flavor of.
You can drink the vegetable juice after you extract the mushrooms or reuse it for another marinade, depending on what kind of juicer you have. If you have a masticating juicer, it should be "fresh" for about 72 hours.
If you are mold sensitive, soak your mushrooms for 15-20 minutes in a dilute mixture of water and vinegar before chopping them to kill off the mold spores.
By Adrienne Engell
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/
Asian-inspired recipe #2 is a raw vegan Pad Thai! I really love spicy ethnic food, especially Thai and Indian cuisines, but historically, my options have been limited because of my severe gluten intolerance (I have celiac’s disease). I started making some dishes at home with gluten free and vegan alternatives, and then as my diet became more raw, I started experimenting with additional modifications. This recipe is obviously a little different from a a traditional cooked recipe, but rest assured that it is more nutritious and cruelty free. Look at all those vibrant colors from the fresh vegetables! 🙂
I’ll let you in on a little secret – one of the reasons that I love re-creating noodle dishes so much is because I get to play with my spiral cutter (some people call them “spiralizers”). I’ve always enjoyed playing with my food, and this little kitchen gadget lets me make extra pretty vegetable noodles. I have used it to make noodles from zucchini and other squashes, leftover broccoli stems, beets, sweet potato, jicama, apples, and a lot of other things. I have also used it to shred my cabbage for sauerkraut! It’s a really handy tool to have for raw food recipes, or even just making low carb boodle alternatives. This is a similar model to the one that I have: Spiralizer Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer.
Raw Vegan Pad Thai
This is a light and nutritious raw vegan version of Pad Thai. The recipe is loaded with colorful fresh vegetables and sprouts.
Growing up in Florida, I remember having many varieties of coleslaw served at summer cookouts and birthday parties. I use the term, “summer” loosely, of course. It feels like summer here for 6 months out of the year, so we had coleslaw at Memorial Day and Labor Day cookouts as well.
Now that “summer” is creeping up on us down here in the southeast US, I thought it would be nice to put together a lighter and healthier version of the traditional mayo and sugar-laden coleslaw dish.
My recipe uses Napa cabbage instead of regular green cabbage. Napa cabbage has a more delicate texture and flavor, and it has a higher concentration of folate than other varieties of cabbage. I have also added some scallions for a little extra texture and flavor.
For the coleslaw dressing, I chose to use ripe avocados to create a creamy base instead of mayonnaise. This recipe is entirely free of eggs or dairy, so it won’t turn rotten if you have it outside for a picnic. I also used a garlic-infused raw ACV (apple cider vinegar) that resulted from from fermenting some raw garlic in the ACV for 8 weeks (and still counting), and a small amount of low glycemic raw unrefined coconut sugar.
Although I eat a large amount of raw food, one of my guilty pleasures is yellow curry from a Thai restaurant that is within walking distance from my home. I’ve really been wanting an alternative that I can make at home with no white rice, and all or mostly all raw ingredients. I think I’ve finally come up with a rich and flavorful version that does the trick. It even filled up my omnivore husband, as he could not finish his plate.
Zucchini noodles, before being mixed with the other vegetables and softened with a bit of sea salt. It is ready for the yellow curry sauce!
Instead of rice, I opted for zucchini noodles, thinly sliced vegetables, and fresh herbs. It gave the yellow curry dish great texture and a lot of color. The only non-raw ingredient in this recipe is flake coconut, which I blended into the sauce to give it a deeper and richer coconut flavor. If you would like the dish to be completely raw, simply substitute an equivalent amount of fresh coconut meat instead.
Raw Vegan Thai Yellow Curry with Vegetables
This is a flavorful and healthy mostly raw vegan version of Thai yellow curry with vegetables.
1-2 TB yellow curry powder (start with 1TB and then add 1 tsp at a time until desired strength is reached)
Basil and lime
Spiral cut the zucchini
Finely slice the cabbage
Shred the carrots
Finely chop the onion
Thinly slice the basil
Chop the cilantro
Add vegetables to a medium sized mixing bowl and toss in 1/4 tsp salt. Mix with your hands and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This will cause the vegetables to soften to noodle consistency and release some juices.
While the vegetables are softening, add all of the curry sauce ingredients to a high speed blender except the yellow curry powder. You will need a high speed blender, like a Vitamix, in order to blend it to a smooth consistency.
Depending on how strong you want the curry flavor to be, add only 2 tsp of the curry powder to start and taste it. If you want it to be stronger, add 1 tsp at a time until you are satisfied with the flavor).
Add a little curry sauce to the bottom of a shallow bowl and stack vegetables on top
Add vegetables to a bowl and pour curry sauce over the top like a dressing
Keep vegetables and curry sauce in separate bowls and dip in as much as you'd like
Garnish with lime wedges and some basil.
If you would like this recipe to be 100% raw, just use 2 cups of coconut meat instead of the fresh and dried mixture, but you may need to cut back on the coconut water a little, as it will be runnier. You might enjoy that texture though. 🙂
If you live a person who might not enjoy the flavors and textures of raw food, you can use canned coconut milk and/or cook the sauce and vegetables to make it more to their liking, while still knowing it is a healthy vegan meal.
By Adrienne Engell
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/