Sauerkraut

Cheap, easy and good for you

Cheap, easy and good for you

Seaside:

Vera Wilson pinches herself every morning when she wakes up by the sea. As a young girl she grew up in the land-locked Czech Republic surrounded by Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia.
JARS OF GOODNESS: Sauerkraut is chopped cabbage that is salted and then fermented in its own juice.
DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY: Hot, tasty sauerkraut fritters served with sweet chilli sauce. A great meal for the whole family and an easy way to get those good probiotics into your tummy. Even good cold for those late to the table.

When it comes to sauerkraut, the hardest part is spelling it. Making it is easy.

Sauerkraut is a two-ingredient dish — a cabbage and some salt. It is also cheap. The word, which is German, means “sour cabbage”. With cabbages now in season, they cost as little as $2.

Vera Wilson is a Wainui local who hails from the Czech Republic. She has a wonderful knowledge of European food, and in particular the health benefits of sauerkrat, an everyday staple she enjoyed while growing up.

She has been a fan of fermented food her whole life. It lasts a long time and creates wonderful essential bacteria for your stomach and digestion. It also helps with metabolism, moods, body size and your brain. If you do not like the saltiness, pickle and crunch of sauerkraut on its own, add it to some fritters.

This is a delicious meal for the whole family and a wonderful way to mix a food into your diet that does wonders for your tummy and health.

Vera is also an SPCA volunteer. Last month she ran a sauerkraut workshop with fellow volunteer Nes Benacek to fundraise and inspire people to cook more traditional food again.

• Vera’s next workshop is: “My First Multigrain Sourdough Bread” at SuperGrans.

If I’m not baking it, I am thinking about it,” says Vera about her love of sourdough bread which is packed with nutrition and delicious. See “Vera’s Food Workshops” on Facebook for information about her workshops and how to register.

Ingredients

One cabbage
Salt
Caraway seeds (optional - from supermarket)

You will need:
A chopping board
A knife
Glad Wrap
Plastic bands
Wide mouth glass jars

Method

  1. Chop up whole cabbage into quarters and remove the stalk in the middle
  2. Chop cabbage firmly by hand or in food processor
  3. Weigh the chopped cabbage
  4. Put chopped cabbage into a big bowl. Add 20gms salt for 1kg cabbage.
  5. With clean hands mix it all together, crushing the cabbage a bit then leave it to soften for up to two hours.
  6. The mixture will release liquid which is brine.
  7. Pack the mixture into a clean jar periodically pressing the mixture down tightly with your fist so that the brine rises above the cabbage and no air pockets remain.
  8. Leave 2cm space at the top of each jar.
  9. Cover with Glad Wrap, seal it with an elastic or rubber band around the top of jar.
  10. Stand jar or jars on a plate or tray to protect bench from any overflows.
  11. Keep at room temperature in the dark or covered by tea towel for one to two weeks.

Check daily to release any air build up — called burping it.

Check regularly to make sure brine is covering cabbage. If not, dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in 2 cups boiling water, let it cool, then top up jars so cabbage is covered.

After two weeks maximum, take off the Glad Wrap and put a lid on the jar. It can now stay in the fridge for months, and will develop better flavour and texture with time. Use it from the fridge to eat on its own, add it for some crunch to cheese toasties or make fritters.

Sauerkraut fritters

Ingredients:
100 gms chopped bacon (optional)
250 gms sauerkraut, squeezed and chopped
1 onion diced
200 gms self-rising flour
3 eggs
Salt, pepper, parsley

Method:

  1. Cook onion and bacon until it crisps then cool. 2. Mix with sauerkraut, eggs, flour, salt, pepper, parsley.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add 1/3 cup of mixture to pan and cook for about three minutes. Cook four at a time.
  3. Turn and cook for a further three minutes. Repeat.

When it comes to sauerkraut, the hardest part is spelling it. Making it is easy.

Sauerkraut is a two-ingredient dish — a cabbage and some salt. It is also cheap. The word, which is German, means “sour cabbage”. With cabbages now in season, they cost as little as $2.

Vera Wilson is a Wainui local who hails from the Czech Republic. She has a wonderful knowledge of European food, and in particular the health benefits of sauerkrat, an everyday staple she enjoyed while growing up.

She has been a fan of fermented food her whole life. It lasts a long time and creates wonderful essential bacteria for your stomach and digestion. It also helps with metabolism, moods, body size and your brain. If you do not like the saltiness, pickle and crunch of sauerkraut on its own, add it to some fritters.

This is a delicious meal for the whole family and a wonderful way to mix a food into your diet that does wonders for your tummy and health.

Vera is also an SPCA volunteer. Last month she ran a sauerkraut workshop with fellow volunteer Nes Benacek to fundraise and inspire people to cook more traditional food again.

• Vera’s next workshop is: “My First Multigrain Sourdough Bread” at SuperGrans.

If I’m not baking it, I am thinking about it,” says Vera about her love of sourdough bread which is packed with nutrition and delicious. See “Vera’s Food Workshops” on Facebook for information about her workshops and how to register.

Ingredients

One cabbage
Salt
Caraway seeds (optional - from supermarket)

You will need:
A chopping board
A knife
Glad Wrap
Plastic bands
Wide mouth glass jars

Method

  1. Chop up whole cabbage into quarters and remove the stalk in the middle
  2. Chop cabbage firmly by hand or in food processor
  3. Weigh the chopped cabbage
  4. Put chopped cabbage into a big bowl. Add 20gms salt for 1kg cabbage.
  5. With clean hands mix it all together, crushing the cabbage a bit then leave it to soften for up to two hours.
  6. The mixture will release liquid which is brine.
  7. Pack the mixture into a clean jar periodically pressing the mixture down tightly with your fist so that the brine rises above the cabbage and no air pockets remain.
  8. Leave 2cm space at the top of each jar.
  9. Cover with Glad Wrap, seal it with an elastic or rubber band around the top of jar.
  10. Stand jar or jars on a plate or tray to protect bench from any overflows.
  11. Keep at room temperature in the dark or covered by tea towel for one to two weeks.

Check daily to release any air build up — called burping it.

Check regularly to make sure brine is covering cabbage. If not, dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in 2 cups boiling water, let it cool, then top up jars so cabbage is covered.

After two weeks maximum, take off the Glad Wrap and put a lid on the jar. It can now stay in the fridge for months, and will develop better flavour and texture with time. Use it from the fridge to eat on its own, add it for some crunch to cheese toasties or make fritters.

Sauerkraut fritters

Ingredients:
100 gms chopped bacon (optional)
250 gms sauerkraut, squeezed and chopped
1 onion diced
200 gms self-rising flour
3 eggs
Salt, pepper, parsley

Method:

  1. Cook onion and bacon until it crisps then cool. 2. Mix with sauerkraut, eggs, flour, salt, pepper, parsley.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add 1/3 cup of mixture to pan and cook for about three minutes. Cook four at a time.
  3. Turn and cook for a further three minutes. Repeat.
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