I have mentioned before that I started making and eating probiotic foods such as sauerkraut because I had been diagnosed with “Leaky Gut Syndrome”. Just a reminder: Leaky gut syndrome occurs when there is an increased intestinal permeability which causes bacteria and toxins to leak through the intestinal wall directly into the bloodstream (McMillan). Western medicine is split as to whether this is a real thing (GI Society). For me, IT IS REAL!
For me, probiotics healed my gut! If you have been following my blog, you know that probiotics are the good bacteria that line the intestines and help break down food and help your body absorb nutrients as well as help regulate and increase energy (Krajmalnik-Brown et.al.). You can purchase them, but quality probiotics cost on average $30-$50.
Again, I am not a connoisseur of all things probiotic, but, I do know my sauerkraut. Another SHOUTOUT to my favorite: Bubbies. Why is my favorite? Simply said, it is ALIVE! Naturally fermented, it is full of billions of probiotics, however, like anything good, it is expensive. Why should I spend that much when I can make it for PENNIES on the dollar?
Well today, I am bringing you one of my FAVORITE sauerkrauts! It is sweet and sour and not only provides billions of probiotics a bite, it gives offers an double anti-inflammatory punch! Enough talkin’ let’s get to this: Pineapple Turmeric Ginger Sauerkraut.
HERE’S WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO NEED
- A large bowl
- Food grade gloves (optional)
- A sharp knife
- A heavy plate that fits in the bowl (optional)
- 1-2 Quart size canning jar
- Fermentation lid with air lock (this is what I use)
- 1 large head of green cabbage + 2 large cabbage leaves set aside
- 1 fresh organic (if possible) pineapple
- 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric
- 2 inches of fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
- Quarter the head of green cabbage by cutting it in half, cut out the core, and cut each half in half.
- Slice each half as thinly as possible.
- Put the cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt. With your hands, mix the cabbage around so that the salt is evenly distributed.
- Let the cabbage rest and begin releasing it juices for 15 minutes while you work on preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple.
- Cut the rinds off by slicing down from top to bottom making sure not to cut too deeply into the flesh.
- Cut the pineapple in quarters and slice out the core. *Don’t throw these away. Even though the core is quite fibrous, they are a delicious snack!
- Slice the pineapple into 1/2 inch chunks.
- Peel and grate the ginger
- Measure out 1 tablespoon of turmeric
Let the cabbage continue to release it’s juices for another 15 minutes. During this process, the cabbage is actually making its own brine. If you wish to help this process along, place a heavy plate on top of the cabbage ato help force the water out of it.
After the second 15 minutes, start working the cabbage with your hands. Again, I would wear gloves because salt is drying to the skin. I work the cabbage like I am kneading dough and by grabbing fistfuls and squeezing hard enough that the water runs out of the vegetables into the bowl. When you notice about a 1/2 cup or more of liquid at the bottom of the bowl, stop squeezing.
Taste the Cabbage
Is it salty to your liking? If not add more salt until it tastes good in its raw state. If it tastes good raw, it will taste better as it ferments.
Mix in All the Other Ingredients
AGAIN, WEAR GLOVES or your hands will be stained a beautiful golden-orange. Mix in the pineapple, turmeric, and ginger. Make sure it is evenly distributed throughout the cabbage.
Pack and Wrack
All of the mixture should fit in 1 quart size and 1 sixteen ounce jar. As you pack it in use some sort of pounder to continue forcing the cabbage to release more of its water. I use a food pounder (like this one). But any heavy oblong object should do. Keep pounding the mixture into the jar until there is no more in your bowl. Pound until the “brine” rises above the cabbage mixture. When the brine is above the mixture, top it off with the brine from the bottom of the bowl. All of the cabbage should be submerged below the brine.
Use the Remaining Cabbage Leaves as a CAP
To keep the mixture below the brine, fold the remaining cabbage leaves up and press it over the top of the ferment and push them below the brine. It is important that you make sure that the ferment is submerged at all times or the kraut may develop some kahm yeast or some sort of mold. As I always remind you, Kahm yeast is harmless but can add an off flavor to the ferment. Just skim it off the top along with any of the cabbage mixture that may have been affected. Make sure the vegetables are submerged and go about your business. If you think you have developed mold THROW IT OUT AND START OVER. Of course all of this can be prevented by making sure the ferment is submerged in the brine. As an added protection and guarentee, I also use a Sauer Stone on top of the cabbage leaf.
TIME TO LET IT SIT AND SIT AND SIT
Screw your fermentation lid and place the lock on top. That’s it! Let it sit in a dark cool space for 3 or more weeks. Starting on day 2 (depending on the climate you live in) you should start to see some bubbles and in 3-4 days, you should see some active bubbling. You can start tasting it in a week or so. The longer it sits the more the flavors will bloom. It will get more sour, but also more floral and sweet and the pineapple does its thang.
I hope you find this recipe interesting and tasty. Please visit, subscribe and like my YouTube channel “Kickin’ it with Karen; Beyond Sauerkraut” to find more things I’ve made.
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+These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This recipe is not intended treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Gardner, Amanda. “Guide to Soluble and Insoluble Fiber.” WebMD, WebMD, 23 July 2015 https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/insoluble-soluble-fiber
Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al. “Effects of Gut Microbes on Nutrient Absorption and Energy Regulation.” Nutritional Clinical Practice, 21 Feb. 2012. NCBI, doi:10.1177/0884533611436116.
“Leaky Gut Syndrome Archives.” Gastrointestinal Society. http://www.badgut.org/tag/leaky-gut-syndrome/.
McMillen, Matt. “Leaky Gut Syndrome: What Is it?” WebMD, WebMD, 13 Aug. 2013