Do you pamper your gut? Unbalanced gut flora can impact mood, weight, immunity, energy, brain function, and skin. Yup. A healthy gut is a happy body and mind!
There are a number of ways to improve your gut health through yogurts, kombucha, kvass, sauerkraut, etc. Fermented foods improve gut health by providing important probiotics and enzymes. Plus - foods that are fermented aid digestion, may prevent some diseases, and are good sources of many vitamins. Bring on the probiotics!
Probiotics (living microorganisms) protect against hostile bacteria to prevent infection and help improve digestion and absorption of food and nutrients. A great source of probiotics is found in sauerkraut, fermented cabbage.
Are you a sauerkraut fan? Sauerkraut is cut cabbage that is fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. Translation? Healthy microorganisms! Kraut is filled with many incredible health benefits such as boosting immunity, aiding digestion, creating good bacteria, and more. Adding the detoxifying magic of beets with garlic and ginger, this BEET, GINGER AND GARLIC KRAUT is both delicious and healthy.
I am a recent kraut converter. I grew up in a family where sauerkraut was a favorite, but I often turned up my nose (mostly because of the pungent smell) to eating kraut. Now I am absolutely madly in love with beet kraut. Perhaps it's because the beet adds a balanced sweetness to cabbage or perhaps since this recipe includes ginger and garlic, two ingredients that I adore, Beet Kraut has a special place in my heart. Besides the amazing nutrtional benefits from kraut, there is also something quite rewarding about growing healthy bacteria in my kitchen because I am nurturing live wee beasties of goodness. Wahoo!
Making homemade kraut is quite simple. If you have extra mason jars to spare, double or triple the batch and seal the lids (canning style) when done fermenting to save for later. If you're already going through the process, you may as well make a big batch.
Enjoy beet kraut on its own or added as toppings to tacos, omelettes, and sandwiches. Kraut atop freshly sliced avocado is also brilliant!!!
Do you have a favorite fermented foods recipe? Send it over! I am always looking for new ways to ferment foods and make my gut flora shimmy with joy. Cheers!
Beet Kraut with Ginger and Garlic Recipe
1 large head of purple/red cabbage, raw and shredded
2-3 red beets (about 2 cups), raw and grated
2 tbsp kosher, pickling, or sea salt*
3-4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 inch fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 tbsp caraway seeds (optional)
Water (for brine if needed)
Kitchen Tools Needed
Wide-mouth mason jars
Fermenting air-lock kit (optional)
*This recipe accounts for 1 extra tbsp of salt for salt brine if needed. Since everyone's taste buds are uniquely different, you may wish to alter the salt levels in this recipe based on your preferences. To test your salt-lovin' ways, taste the brine in the bottom of the bowl after mashing mixture. The brine should definitely be salty, but if you prefer more, add additional salt to suit your palate.
Finely (or chunky if preferred) slice, grate, or chop cabbage and beets (for tips on less messy prep, click here).
Place beets and cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle 1 tbsp salt over mixture. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
Massage (mash, press, or crush) mixture for about 10 minutes to get the juices flowing! Massaging mixture should create a lovely beet cabbage juice at the bottom of the bowl.
Mix in garlic cloves, fresh ginger, caraway seeds, and dill.
Leave ingredients in bowl on counter for about an hour until cabbage has wilted a bit and released more salty juice (water).
Once cabbage/beet mixture is watery, pack mixture and juice into clean mason jars. Firmly pack down mixture (a wooden spoon works well). You want to eliminate as many air bubbles as possible. Keep packing until the jar is almost full (leave at least 1-2 inches at the top for expansion).
Liquid should lightly cover mixture. If there is not enough liquid to cover the cabbage, mix 1 salt tbsp with 4 cups water, and add brine to bring the water level enough to cover cabbage.
If cabbage floats, use a glass weight or piece of cabbage core to hold it down.
Affix jar lids and set aside in room temperature (no direct sunlight) for about ONE WEEK.
Placing jars on a dish or tray helps eliminate any messy leaking or spilling over. Additionally, "burping" the jar every day or so releases pent-up gasses. To do this, remove the lid (preferably over the sink), release the gasses, and also press down any floating pieces. You don't want to introduce any non-clean bacteria to your mixture, so make sure any utensils or fingers used are clean and sterile!
Taste your kraut after one week. If it has reached the right amount of flavor and tang, store jars in the refrigerator. If you wish to ferment your kraut further, leave at room temperature for a few more days or another week.