Homemade Dill and Mustard Kraut
You know what they say: When life gives you cabbage, make sauerkraut! I recently got a clay fermenting crock from Mad Millie, and have been totally addicted to making my own homemade kraut ever since. Before I share the recipe to my favourite creation so far: Dill and Mustard Kraut, let's talk about the benefits of adding sauerkraut into your daily diet!
Apart from being a super tasty way to jazz up basically any dish, sauerkraut is packed full of probiotics, making it great for gut health, digestion and immunity. Cabbage turns into sauerkraut by going through a process called lacto-fermentation. The lactobacillus bacteria naturally present on the cabbage leaves produce lactic acid during this process, which acts as a natural preservative for the kraut and also, being a probiotic bacteria, has a whole range of health benefits!
Probiotics are the good bacteria in our guts which help to improve our health on a number of levels, since gut health is absolute key to overall health and wellbeing! Having a healthy population of good bacteria in our guts means regular digestion, minimal gas and bloating, a strong immune system, great nutrient absorption, balanced mood, healthy skin and so much more. In fact, more and more research is showing how central gut health is to a great number of health conditions...definitely time make some kraut!
Sauerkraut is also rich in the amino acid glutamine, which is important for healthy function of our gut. Glutamine is the fuel for our intestinal cells and promotes the strength and integrity of our gut wall, supporting the synthesis of neurotransmitters, especially those which reduce stress and anxiety!
One of the best things about this homemade sauerkraut has to be how easy and inexpensive it is to make! It literally takes less than 10 minutes (plus a few days patience while it ferments!) and one cabbage usually costs just $1-2 dollars, as opposed to the $15 or more you'd pay for a jar of raw sauerkraut at the health food store. So while investing in a fermenting crock might seem pricey at first, you'll get your money's worth out of it in no time by all the savings you'll make!
I got my fermenting crock from Mad Millie and it's currently my favourite kitchen item. It takes all the difficulty out of homemade fermenting by providing a clean, temperature-regulated and contaminant-free place for my sauerkraut to ferment away, and ensures for perfect kraut every time without the risk of it going mouldy or growing any harmful bacteria.
Winter is the perfect time to get experimenting with homemade fermented vegetables to add to salads, nourish bowls or on top of toasted sourdough bread, especially with the added bonus of immune-boosting properties! I've already made a few batches of homemade sauerkraut with my crock, but my current favourite is a Dill and Mustard Seed flavoured kraut, which reminds me of my childhood in Switzerland, where dill pickles and sauerkraut were a staple part of our weekly diet!
The Mad Millie Fermenting Crock would also make a perfect gift for a foodie friends (my Mum loves it as much as I do!), but an even better gift for yourself. I mean, who can't resist having a jars of homemade sauerkraut in the fridge for adding that extra touch of yum (and #health) to all your meals?
Any way, enough rambling from me, let's get to the recipe! Don't forget to tag me on Instagram if you try out this kraut recipe, I just love seeing your delicious creations :)
- 1 medium sized white cabbage (approx. 1kg chopped cabbage)
- 1 Tbsp non-iodised salt
- 1 Tbsp dried dill
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- Sterilise all your equipment to start with, including your chopping board, knife, a large mixing bowl, spoon and Mad Millie Fermenting Crock with clay weights, using boiling water.
- Remove any dirty outer leaves of the cabbage, then finely chop.
- Place the chopped cabbage into your mixing bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Massage the salt into the cabbage with clean hands for about 5 minutes, until the juices are released and the cabbage becomes soft.
- Add the dried dill and mustard seeds and mix through to combine.
- Pack the cabbage as tightly as possible into the crock and press down firmly with your hands or a spoon, then place the clay weights on top. The cabbage should be covered with juices so none is exposed to the air, if there isn't enough liquid to completely cover the cabbage, you can make some extra by dissolving 1 Tbsp salt in 1 Litre of boiling water and allowing to cool to room temperature before adding just enough to cover cabbage.
- Place the lid on the crock and put water in the moat edge to create a water seal, allowing the gas to escape but nothing to enter the crock. Ensure the water level stays above the holes in the lid at all times during the fermentation process and top up if needed, as it will evaporate!
- Leave to ferment at around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), and after 3-7 days taste the sauerkraut using a sterile fork or spoon, then place the lid back on straight away. It should have a sour tang and a yellowish colour when ready! You can keep fermenting for up to 2 weeks until the taste is how you like it.
- Once ready, transfer to sterile glass jars and store in the fridge!
- The kraut will continue to ferment slowly in the fridge while maintaining the healthy bacteria. It keeps for 2-3 months or longer!
- If you don't have a Fermenting Crock, you can also use this mason jar method to ferment your kraut, however I definitely recommend investing in a crock as it's much easier and safer to ensure the right bacteria are grown in your sauerkraut and it doesn't become mouldy or contaminated!!!
This post is a collaboration with Mad Millie, however all views and opinions are my own. I only ever promote products that I truly love!