You may not know this, but I'm part Ukrainian. (Ask my high school friends if they remember my ridiculous t-shirts my Uncle gave me: "Molson Ukrainian" and the "The R.U.M.P. Service" aka. Royal Ukrainian Mounted Police). I studied folk art in Lviv, learned to dance the hopak and play the bion, and at one time, could do all of these while drinking pepper vodka!
Further to that, my mother was raised on the Prairies where cabbage was in prolific abundance. 'Nuf said!
So sauerkraut is in my blood - and I also mean this quite literally! The bacterial strains living in my grandmothers crocks would have transferred from her body, to my mother's, and to me. I guess that means that I have a "cultural" disposition for sauerkraut. (One day soon I 'll write about how we develop our permanent residential bacteria - the the community of microbes that colonizes our guts in the first two years of our life).
A few weeks ago, I had some German travelers stay with me. They loved my kraut but determined that it was missing some nuance. So we experimented! Thank you, Johannes and Casper, the results were truly kraut-a-licious! So, if you are bored with your basic kraut, try these!!
As pictured above, from left to right: (minus the red cabbage kraut which is simple made from purple cabbage)
YUKON GARDEN KRAUT (1L)
-¼ head of cabbage, grated
-1 carrot, finely grated
-1 shallot, finely chopped
-1 clove garlic, minced
-4-5 juniper berries
PINEAPPLE-TUMERIC KRAUT (1L)
-¼ head of cabbage, grated
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 slice pineapple, chunks
- a small handful of apple, chopped.
CRANBERRY-APPLE KRAUT (1L)
- ¼ head of cabbage, grated
- one apple, chopped
- ½ cup Yukon cranberries
- 4-5 juniper berries.
And if you've never made sauerkraut before, here is my basic recipe:
BASIC SAUERKRAUT (Makes 1L Quart Jar)
To make a large crock, try the ratio of ¾- 1 Tbl of salt per kilogram of cabbage.
Enjoy and don't forget to tell me how it goes for you, and what you did differently. No two fermentations are ever the same :)
I love that look - you've seen it before too - when someone tries a new food and isn't sure she is going to like it when... eyes fly open, their face cracks into a grin and we are rewarded with that burst of surprise... "Wow! YUMmmmmmm!"
Hence, I call this "Mmmmm Kefir Cheese". It never fails to disappoint! Good with crackers, bread, or raw veggies, give this a whirl.
Over a bowl, pour your finished kefir through a cheesecloth or nut bag. Tie up the bag so the kefir can continue to drain into the bowl for a few hours or overnight. You will be left with a clear whey liquid in the bowl (useful for starting ferments) and a creamy curdy cheese inside the cheesecloth. Scrape the cheese into a 250ml jar, add the salt, crushed garlic and dill, and stir well. You can consume immediately but it will taste better if you refrigerate it for at least one day.
That's it! So easy its ridiculous :) Leave me a note and tell me how it goes for you.
It Takes Guts Nutrition
Katanne Belisle RHN
Gut Health Specialist
Whitehorse, YT, CAN
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