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Anti-Inflammatory Apple and Juniper Berry Kraut

This image courtesy of Glenn Scott Photography

The juniper berries lend a unique flavor to this very popular variation on a basic sauerkraut. Known for their reputation as an herbal remedy for a long list of diseases and ailments, juniper berries combine well with cabbage to create a power-packed elixir that explodes with flavor. Use more or less cabbage and apple as your fermenting crock site will allow.

NotesJuniper berries have anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. Because of this they are often of at help to those suffeing from arthritis, gout, and rheumatic diseases.

Serves1 gallon (2.2 kg)

Cooking MethodBrining

CostModerate

Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Recipe CourseSide Dish

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Lactose-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Taste and TextureSalty

Type of DishCondiments

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 heads red or green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 or 3 apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (13.5 g) caraway seeds
  • 3 tablespoons (23 g) juniper berries, crushed
  • 1/4 cup (72 g) fine sea salt, divided
  • Basic Brine (recipe follows), as needed
  • 6 tablespoons (108 g) fine sea salt, or 9 (162 g) tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 quarts (2 L) water, filtered or purified

Instructions

  1. To Make the Brine:

  2. In a large bowl, combine the salt and water. If the brine is needed immediately, dissolve the salt in a few cups of warm water over heat, then add cold water to make the full 2 quarts. Otherwise, you can make the brine in advance and store it in a glass jar with an airtight lid in the refrigerator. Keeps indefinitely.

  3. To Make the Kraut:

  4. Combine the cabbage, apples, caraway seeds, and juniper berries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with half the salt. Place the mixture, handful by handful, into a fermentation jar or crock; pound vigorously after each addition and sprinkle with the remainder of the salt after each handful. Liquid will begin to seep from the cabbage. The extracted water should cover the cabbage entirely. If not, add brine to cover. Be sure the level of the liquid stays 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the jar rim to allow for expansion. Press the mixture down and keep it under the brine by placing a plate or a lid on top, weighted down by a clean rock or resealable plastic bag filled with water.

  5. Place the fermentation jar in a warm, dark spot in your kitchen and allow the sauerkraut to ferment for 7 to 10 days. Check on it from time to time to ensure that the brine covers the vegetables. Add more if needed. Remove any mold that may form on the surface, and if fruit flies become a problem, cover the crock with a clean towel. A good way to know when it is ready is to taste it during the fermentation process and move it to the refrigerator when you are satisfied with the taste. Keep it covered with a lid.

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