There is a lovely beetroot sauerkraut you can buy in good health shops here… after a couple of jars I was like “I should just make this.” I have a collection of KJOVS (kilner jars of various sizes) at home and though I did not travel very light when moving to Sweden I did draw the line at kilner jars.
I seemed to have lost the lovely pics I took of this process- so please bare with my phone photographs! If the originals turn up then I will delete these ones and this note of my incompetence. 🙂
Gothenburg has a many second-hand shops and a picked up a glass jar with a rubber seal easily. So you will need a mason or kilner jar, steam sterilise it or wash in very hot water* and rinse very well – so there was no soapy residue, the only other equipment needed is a knife, a bowl and a plate and maybe a veg peeling tool. (*not too close to boiling- glass can explode! I have foolishly done this and have a scar to prove it)
I prefer to ferment organic veg, I find the idea of fermenting chemicals a bit off-putting. That said if you peel the non-organic beetroot and remove the outer leaves of your cabbage you will certainly lower the levels.
It is very simple and quick to prepare. I chopped everything but you could give things a whizz in a food processor or use a spiralizer for the beetroot.
Beetroot & Red Cabbage Purple Sauerkraut
- Two and a half medium purple beetroot
- Just under Half of a medium sized red cabbage (chop half)
- A flat dessertspoon of sea salt
- Maybe some boiled cooled water with a pinch of salt in it.
- A bulb of garlic if you like
You will prob only need two beetroot and under half the cabbage, but it is good to have extra, as you need to fill your jar.
So chop them into small bits. Not teeny tiny bits, but kind of as small as you’d get in a normal slaw. As you chop, put stuff in a bowl, I tend to add half the salt half way through and then the rest at the end.
Now to dye your hands a purple colour. With clean but NOT soapy (antibacterial and we don’t want to risk killing the good guys). Squeeze, mash, rub and press your mix. Lots of water will start to be drawn out by the salt. If not much water has come out yet, you can put a plate on top and leave it rest for a bit. You can put a weight on top if you like (I’ve used a bag of flour in the past). I didn’t use a weight this time.
Now start squishing the veg into your jar. If the liquid is not covering the contents you can add some of your cooled salty water. You could squash everything down with a bulb or layer of garlic cloves. But you will have some of a garlic-y flavour to sauerkraut. When doing large jars and I have been caught out by not enough prepared veg I have pressed everything down with a glass jar. Check it out in my detailed Sauerkraut post inc. troubleshooting Sauerkraut the new old superfood. I am tagging this again as a superfood, it is filled with colourful anti-oxidants and SOO much live bacteria it deserves the title, as do the beetroot red cabbage and garlic…I will stop or I will end up listing all veg, nuts, legumes, seeds, beans and herbs and spices in the world.
Once the jar is up to the tip-top put on your lid. I would ideally leave for 10 days to a month. I know some people leave their sauerkraut for even longer, but I like a bit of a bite in this slaw. I was nervous as to how well my vintage jar might keep it all airtight, I still opened everyday to leave gases out – to prevent a build up and explosion – kinda like burping the sauerkraut. I stuck mine in the fridge after a week I might be barely, barely fermented. I think I will buy a traditional kilner jar (rubber seal and metal clamp) in the second-hand shop this week and ferment again- in a less nervous manner.
You will know all is well as after about a week you should start to get a vingear-er-ry smell from the kraut. It is an amazing what smell can tell you. It should never smell “bad” or “off putting” or mouldy. It should smell cabbage-y and then a bit vingear-y. It should stay the same colour- i.e no bloom of mould! You shouldn’t have any of these problems if your jar is full, contents covered by liquid and airtight.
It is lovely on toasted rye bread with avocado! Hope you try it! Xs Aissa
P.S If you have concerns or it is your first fermenting rodeo you might like check out my other Sauerkraut post linked above for more detailed troubleshooting. 🙂 But don’t be overly anxious it really is a simple process!