Naturally Fermented Red Cabbage

I hope everyone had a safe, happy and healthy New year! This year is just another step towards realizing my goals. Every day for the past few years I have set out to find balance in my life. All year long I struggle with balancing good and bad within myself and within our diet. It is not black and white. We have plenty of gray. I hope this year to entirely avoid the inevitable posts where everyone sets forth to lose “x amount of weight.” I am officially banning detoxes and diets from my mind permanently.  Although the occasional fast or cleanse is not the enemy, the true villain here is ourselves. Myself? I am self-defeating and truly my own worst enemy. So this year I’m demanding a change of pace! We should all resolve to love ourselves as-is. Instead of resolving to “lose weight” why not resolve to be happy, healthy, and strong? This year I strive to happily appreciate myself and my loved ones. I will take on this new year with the same dreams and aspirations I’ve had, only this year I will try to throw away my expectations.

Every holiday season I make my favorite Christmas side dish and that is braised red cabbage. I often use a lot of butter and/or bacon as well as brown sugar, apples and jam. So this holiday season I set out to try something new. This past year I have acquired a taste for fermented foods. I’ve loved pickled goods as long as I can remember but this year I started naturally fermenting our foods. Naturally fermented foods have multiple health benefits. They can reduce cholesterol and strengthen and support our digestive and immune systems. Lactic Fermentation can increase the amount of nutrients found in food. Additionally naturally fermented food tastes incredibly different than commercially pickled products. They are sweeter and often much less astringent. This red cabbage was a tricky ferment. I kind of knew it would be this way going into it. It was an experiment gone-right because it turned out extremely well. Drizzled with sesame oil this fermented purple I mean “red” cabbage was sensational seasonal food with a twist!

 

Naturally Fermented Red Cabbage 
(Red Sauerkraut with Apples)
  • 1 head red cabbage, sliced or cut into 1″ bite sized chunks
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced finely
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt 

Place shredded, sliced or chopped cabbage into a large bowl and toss with salt and apples. Place into a sterile 4-6 cup non metallic jar. (I use mason jars. Size will vary according to how large your head of cabbage is) Cover and leave at room temperature for 2-3 days. Refrigerate. It will last in the refrigerator longer than you need it to, around 6 months.

NOTE:  My two mistakes were size and seasoning. I cut the chunks too large and it didn’t ferment evenly. Seasoning with cloves before fermenting was also not a great idea. Although my traditional Christmas cabbage has cloves, it does not ferment so well. Similar to fermented beets this came out slightly slimy. Once I rinsed it and cut it into smaller pieces it was delectable!

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