Sauerkraut is a popular fermented food these days, although it’s usually made with white cabbage. But for me, ruby red cabbage sauerkraut is the sassiest lady in town and especially when she’s spiced up with garlic, ginger, chillies and caraway seeds.
Apart from the taste being out of this world, there are much greater nutritional benefits to red cabbage sauerkraut. For instance, it has the highest levels of naturally available Vitamin C on the planet. One cup along gives you 700 mgs, which is more than a week’s worth of Vitamin C if you go by the amounts that health professionals recommend.
In addition, what you’re getting with red cabbage sauerkraut is real Vitamin C from actual food, which – unlike the laboratory-produced absorbic acid that’s used for off-the-shelf Vitamin C supplements – is attended by all the other nutrients and trace elements that you need to absorb it.
Not only that but any kind of sauerkraut – white or red – has more friendly gut bacteria than you could shake a stick at. One cup alone gives you more probiotics than eight large bottles of store-bought probiotic supplements.
And all that is before we even get to the nutritional benefits of red cabbage. Here’s a quick at-a-glance guide to some of them.
How to make red cabbage sauerkraut
It couldn’t be easier to make red cabbage sauerkraut, and so I usually make a big Kilner jar of it at a time, and it lasts me for weeks.
1 organically-grown red cabbage
2 dessertspoons salt (Celtic seasalt, or Himalayan)
(optional: garlic, ginger, chillies and caraway seeds, to taste).
Slice up the red cabbage finely and then put it in a big mixing bowl with the two dessertspoons of salt.
Spend about 10 mins ‘kneading’ it and picking up handfuls and squeezing them, until you have some dark red liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Then put the whole mixture into a large jar, and pour in filtered or spring water until there’s about an inch over the top of the sauerkraut.
Leave it on the shelf for a few days to ferment, until the dark purple turns more a sort of magenta colour, like in the picture below (how sexy is that?) and then it’s ready to eat.
I leave it out on the counter for about 10 days usually. If there’s any left after that – although there rarely is! – I put it in the fridge.