I have been trying to explore different ways that I can make my own foods that are nutritious and cheap on the boat when I stubbled upon a 1700’s recipe for sauerkraut that was simply perfect. One of sauerkrauts best qualities it is known for is the prevention and curing of scurvy because it’s extremely acidic. George Washington himself requested large amounts for sailors, Captain Cook kept it aboard and it revolutionized the world of sailing. Not having hundreds of thousands of sailors dining will do that. Not only is it delicious and healthy but only takes too extremely cheap ingredients; Cabbage and Salt. In my recipe I added dill for a bit of flavor.
Fresh Cabbage Recipe:
- 1 head of cabbage
- Fresh or dried dill
- Crock pot or glass container (not metal)
- Something heavy to mash with
- Remove the outer leaves and cut out the heart of the cabbage (savage)
- Cut into very thin bits, you can even grate it depending on your preference.
- Place the cabbage into the fermenting container in layers, sprinkling the salt on the cabbage in between each one. I also added a bit of dill in between each layer.
- Once the entire head of cabbage is in the container use a heavy tool to crush the cabbage. Continue to crush the cabbage until the water being released form the cabbage covers the top of the cabbage. You can also crush the cabbage in between each layer as you add them.
- Sometimes if the cabbage is older and has dried out due to refrigeration it will not produce enough liquid. If this is the case let the cabbage sit for a day or two and see if the salt draws more liquid out. If not you will need to create a brine to pour over the top until it covers the cabbage completely. To make the brine simply mix a teaspoon of salt and a cup of water until the salt has dissolved.
- Once the brine reaches over the top of the cabbage place a cleaned stone or some heavy object that is not metal on top of the cabbage to keep it from floating to the top. Make sure that all pieces are submerged.
- Place a top on the container and set up somewhere cool and dark for at the very least two-three weeks. Six weeks is more normal or even longer, it’ll only get better. Make sure you check it regularly to make sure that the cabbage is still under water. If mold begins to grow on the top simply scrape all of it off, re-submerge your cabbage and let the fermenting continue.
The great thing about this is you don’t really have to worry about it spoiling because it’s already spoiled, that’s what makes it good! That’s why it’ll be great for living on the boat or in your home!
After 3 weeks this is what it looks like and is how I like mine. Most people like to let it sit a bit longer. Enjoy!