Christmas is near … and there is nothing that screams
‘I care for you’ than receiving a jar of homemade sauerkraut
When life gives you cabbage, you make sauerkraut …20 ways & with a festive touch and to share with others.
Koreans have kimchi days like the tomato sauce making days Italian families have.
The grandmas organise the families and will make a 100-wombok kimchi, mainly with the help of the daughters-in-law.
Sometimes they will make a 500-wombok kimchi, and those larger quantities are stored in huge stoneware pots, often buried until another pot is required. Many Kimchi recipes in my Kimchi Book and follow along in Module 3 and receive the eBook bundle as a bonus + book club, where we not only read – but implement the strategies!!
Hosting a Christmas kraut party
Gather friends and boxes and boxes of cabbages in your kitchen, and slice, salt, hug, and massage and pack your way through heads of cabbage to put up the year’s sauerkraut.
Sharing the love and labour among friends with laughter, smiles and plenty of bling and beverages.
And rosewater, well, it bathes all the senses at once! This delightful blend will add a little mystique to any dish – we add to our festive hampers, the perfect marriage with a jar or 2 of sauerkraut!
Gifting pretty bottles of Gut-loving Festive Sauerkraut …
Plenty of variations:
Soak potato in Sauerkraut brine for 12 -24 hours before making chips / roast spuds, to make more digestible and lower in starch and tasty to boot!
2. Apple Kraut … green cabbage, radicchio, shallots, apple, juniper berry and allspice.
3. Red Apple Kraut … Red and green cabbage, diced apple, turmeric, and ginger
Massage ¼ of red cabbage to each ½ of green cabbage with fine Himalayan salt.
Add diced apple, turmeric, and ginger.
Place slices of Fuji fruit around jar.
Best quality sauerkraut is bright, crisp, has a feinsäuerlichen odour and a pleasantly spicy taste.
Over to the fermenting fairies in an oxygen free jar like a Fido, out of direct light.
Taste test at 14 days
This one is quicker than the wings of our plane … plain old cabbage and salt (maybe a touch of kelp / caraway) – because it contains fruit.
4. Christmas Kraut … Red and green cabbage, cranberry, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, vanilla powder and orange slices.
Roast pork (Schweinsbraten) is Eastern Austria’s traditional Sunday lunch. The pork loin comes with a crunchy crust topped with cumin and is served with bread dumplings.
Spicy horseradish and sauerkraut are often served with pork.
Why? It helps to digest the well-loved crunchy but fatty upper crust.
5. Pear / Peach + Goji … green cabbage, diced pear, goji berries
6. Gut loving bouquet?????? Add fresh edible flowers to sauerkraut.
7. Root vegetable like carrots, horseradish, celeriac, daikon radish and beetroot.
8. Some fruits like apples, pears, pineapple, carambola and prickly pear work nicely too.
Some sage babushkas use cabbage, grated carrot, salt and sugar …this recipe has omitted the sugar … cabbage, carrot, salt, pear and herbs. It is cut very fine, so fermentation time is a lot quicker. My dear friend Magda leaves on the countertop for 3- 5 days and is consumed the following week.
9. Spices and herbs like juniper berries, caraway seeds, parsley, dill and fennel. Fresh Ginger and turmeric – powder or fresh. Red cabbage and juniper berry – carambola slices to add the Christmas star
Classic Sauerkraut … a touch of caraway seeds … grandma said it kept the bugs away! German sauerkraut is often spiced with juniper berries, caraway seeds, and dill.
Some whole spices to substitute for caraway seeds are juniper berries (beautiful with red cabbage), fenugreek, dill and /or fennel seeds. Fennel seeds will probably be your best bet for a substitute for caraway seeds in sauerkraut, especially with green cabbage. Fennel and caraway are relatives. Some peeps do not like the earthy flavour of caraway… once mixed into a salad with a dressing, you will find the flavour is subtle. If a finished sauerkraut does not pass the taste test – kill the good beasties – and cook with it – plenty of recipes in Sexy Sauerkraut Book – Christmas Potato Soup, dumplings, pancakes and more!
A visit to France will find Choucroute garnie (French for dressed sauerkraut).
Choucroute garnie a l’alsacienne, a hearty mound of braised sauerkraut paired with potatoes and a parade of all kinds of pork products and encased meats.
Love the way the French use all the pig except the oink.
Cover the kraut with wine, water or apple juice and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain, pressing out any moisture. Place the sauerkraut in a heat-proof baking dish or casserole. Add a small amount of broth / wine / beer / or other liquid. Top with vegetables and a combination of protein of choice (plenty of snags). Cook very slow temperature for several hours.
In El Salvador, the culture is heavily influenced by the indigenous Pipil people and by the Spanish, who wandered south from Mexico (or as they liked to call it, New Spain) in the early sixteenth century.
Cortido (aka curtido) is a lightly fermented cabbage and pineapple dish that hails from El Salvador.
It is typically served with pupusas (a corn patty stuffed with cheese and meat).
1 red organic cabbage, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon ginger and turmeric, chopped
1 tablespoon juniper berries, whole
Approx. 2 tablespoons fine Himalayan salt
10. Organic dried fruit team well too … goji and fresh pear, Cranberry
11. Turmeric and fennel
12. Lemon peel
13. Pineapple, turmeric and ginger
When turmeric is fermented, it becomes water-soluble, making it more easily absorbed by the body. It also has superior bioavailability because the nutrients in turmeric are converted into a form that the body can easily utilize!
You can use fresh or organic powder turmeric. Or combination of both. We added some fresh grated ginger and bay leaf from our garden too.
14. Carrot and horseradish
Grandma Stein’s New Year Pork Roast and Sauerkraut
4- or 5-pound pork roast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup water
2 liters of sauerkraut
1 onion + 1 apple chopped
dash of caraway seeds Combine salt and pepper and rub it into the roast. In a Dutch oven, brown the roast in 2 tablespoons lard. Add water. Cover and cook about 45 minutes. Remove lid. Mix sauerkraut and chopped onion with meat drippings. Place sauerkraut on top of meat. Add enough water to nearly cover sauerkraut. Cook about 30 minutes longer or until roast is done. Caraway seeds and apple slices were often added to the sauerkraut to enhance the flavour.
15. Edible flowers, foraged greens, seaweed
16. Kale and bitter melon
For therapeutic purposes, leave green papaya skin on + add white seeds.
Papaya/ pawpaw black seed will over-power taste … makes a great pepper substitute – dried and add to grinder.
Green papaya skin is reputed to have the same benefits as the leaves.
18. Use the waste bits …. Banana peels and watermelon rind
19. Cauliflower, turmeric and chilli and rose petals and lavender buds … cabbage 75% of mixture
The kohlrabi, a cabbage with swollen stems, was also cultivated.
(A German word, kohlrabi means “cabbage turnip.”)
Diogenes, the ancient Greek philosopher, once advised a young courtier, “If you lived on cabbage, you would not be obliged to flatter the powerful.”
The courtier replied, “If you flattered the powerful, you would not be obliged to live upon cabbage.”
20. Christmas Star … carambola and turmeric
Star Fruit (Averrhoa carambola) It is easy to see where this fruit got its name. Other names for the star fruit are carambola (Indian name), five-angled fruit, arambola, Chinese Jimbelin, Chinese Tamrind (Chinese Tambran), Coolie Tamarind, Five Fingers,Chinese star fruit.
There are a few varieties of star fruit. One variety is sour/tart in flavour and has narrow ribs, the sweet variety has thick fleshy ribs, and there are two varieties of white star fruit that are both considered sweet.
Use sour/tart variety in place of lemon or lime slices.
Sauerkraut is an easy introduction to a new and old way of life.
Making sauerkraut at home is a skill that almost anyone can learn – young or wellderly.
Believe me, fresh homemade sauerkraut really does have an awesome flavour. The sourness can be a great addition to your plate, once you learn where to mix it in. Do not confuse sauerkraut with vinegary, pickled cabbage. Sauerkraut is not noticeably salty, vinegary (though slightly sour, of course) or even crunchy. Rather, it has a comfortingly texture with mild acidity.
Sauerkraut not only helps store cabbage for longer, it enhances the nutrient value including vitamin C and K, aids the assimilation of B vitamins, and makes cabbage easier to digest by breaking down complex proteins.
Properly prepared and fermented Sauerkraut has probiotic living cultures teeming with more lactobacillus bacteria than yoghurt, increasing healthy flora populations in the digestive tract.
The necessary bacteria and yeasts are naturally present on organic cabbage leaves. Apart from salt, to start the process, no other ingredients are required.
Natural fermentation (or lacto-fermentation, named for the lactic acid it produces) is a wonderful traditional method of preserving organic vegetables and enhancing their nutritional value.
So, it uses only salt, nature, and time.
What is most amazing… this is the only method of food preservation that adds nutrients including enzymes, vitamins and probiotic “live bacteria” So, triple bonus! Improve your immune system, as well as your overall health whilst imparting a feeling of well-being and increased energy levels. Oh! + did we mention, sexy kraut helps with sugar craving!
So, it is a GIFT, everyday of the year, definitely worth more cabbage in your garden.
Mix it in …
Christmas Kale and Red Kraut Salad
2 cups Chopped Kale massaged with Extra Virgin Olive Oil,1 cup green,1 1/2 cups Cooked / sprouted / soaked Quinoa,1 cup red Kraut
Mix ingredients together then add: 1 Mushed up ripe Avocado. Top with diced Tomatoes. Optional season with a dash of ginger beet kvass.
• Christmas Superfood Tabbouleh – mix finished kraut with quinoa, diced tomato, and fresh greens and herbs
• Stuff a seeded cucumber with kraut and slice
Sauerkraut, and its twin sister, sauer ruben, (reb’-en) or sour turnips. Both are easy to make, because when you add salt, the cabbage and turnips cure in their own brine.
Many people are not familiar with turnips preserved in the manner of sauerkraut, but, like sexy kraut, this is tasty dish that combines the qualities of a vegetable and a relish.
Sauer ruben will double for sauerkraut in any meal plan. Both these foods contribute calcium and some vitamin C to the family diet. And since much of their mineral content is in the juice, you can chill the juice for a healthful cocktail to perk up appetites before meals.
The crisp texture and pungent flavour of sauerkraut and sauer ruben make a contrast when you serve them with pork cuts, such as roasts, chops, spareribs, and sausage. Enjoy on salads, sandwiches, in soups or stews, in dumplings, and pancakes, if you want the good beasties, drink the juice you squeeze out before cooking! And of course, there are always the old favourites — pickled pig feet with sauerkraut, and wiener’s with kraut.
Many families around the festive table, enjoy sauerkraut with duck or goose.