I enjoy eating food that supports my creative life – in the same way that spending a few minutes sitting in silence, or going for a brisk walk in the fresh air might do.
Red cabbage sauerkraut is one of my foodie faves. There is always a kilner jar- full or otherwise – on the counter top. Cultured, and fermented foods have this beautiful dual role of increasing the nutrient content in a food – this means vital vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, and healthful bacteria are available to our bodies – and through assisting with the breakdown and digestion of food (and old matter), they help move waste and toxins out of our system. Isn’t that a powerful metaphor for keeping ourselves clear so that inspiration, ideas and creative insights can continue to find a welcome in us? If I was consulting with you on a food strategy to support your creative expression in the world – cultured foods would most certainly be on the agenda.
A simple recipe – Red Cabbage and Onion Sauerkraut
- 1 head of red cabbage (peel off two large leaves and place on one side)
- 1 onion*
- Natural sea salt or pink Himalayan rock salt
- A large Kilner jar
- A food processor
- A big bowl
Shred the cabbage and the onion in the food processor until it looks finely chopped (you could make it coarser but it may take longer to ferment). Pour into your bowl and mix in three large tablespoons of salt, this helps to provide the right environment for the lacto-bacteria (naturally present in the air) to get to work on your veggies. It will be very salty to taste, but remember you’ll be adding water to your jar later.
Use your hands to squeeze through the cabbage – this helps to break it down and evenly distributes the salt. Once that’s done, scoop your mixture into a Kilner jar, and top up with water. Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon or chopstick, fold the cabbage leaves and place on top of the jar, and press down to secure the leaves under the mouth of the jar. Top up with more water and lock the lid. Stand the jar in a bowl, as there may be some leakage as the culture bubbles away.
You may need to put some weight on top of the leaves if they don’t stay submerged e.g. a little ceramic cup or a small glass jar. It’s important that everything remains under the salty water to prevent mold. After about five days it should be ready to eat!
If you are not used to probiotic food, you may want to start out gently and use your sauerkraut as a condiment, rather than downing bowlfuls in one sitting. This will give your body time to get used to this new addition to the menu.
*Garlic can be used instead of onion, and you can also add herbs and spices – lots to play with!
Red cabbage and onion sauerkraut is great eaten with:
- boiled eggs
- home-made chicken or vegetable broth (stir it in after the broth has been served , not while cooking as that will destroy the friendly bacteria)
- sandwiches or as part of the filling
- grain dishes e.g. mixed in with rice and beans.
It brings that lovely contrasting tang of sourness, and supports better digestion and creative clarity. Win-win-win.
If you have a favourite cultured veggies recipe, please do share in the comments below!