Happy Cinco! I’m back and so excited to share my flavor packed, zingy and spicy, Jalapeño Cilantro Sauerkraut with you. It’s rich in probiotics, amazing for digestion and tastes like green salsa. I’m thrilled to be writing and developing recipes again and have some exciting topics and recipes to share with you this month.
BTW, I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA. I’ve had so many changes and events going on in my life in the last six weeks that it left me burnt out and with no time to do anything else.
My husband and I bought our first house, which is super exciting, but the house buying process was a little drawn out and rocky. We made some newbie mistakes, but learned some great lessons like; don’t give your 30 day notice until you’ve actually signed the loan papers, (or you might end up homeless), and don’t quit your job or change jobs until the loan papers are signed and pretty much DON’T do anything until papers are signed and you have the keys in hand. phew…. *sigh*
But, hey… it all worked out and we got to move into our new house with a full size kitchen and an actual yard where we can grow a veggie garden. The garden is on the project list for next weekend after our weekly trip to Home Depot. Seriously, I’ve been to Home Depot more times in the last month than I have in my entire life.
Sadly, during the transition, I managed to kill my kombucha SCOBY and my milk kefir grains. Oops! We didn’t have a refrigerator for 3 weeks and had some plumbing emergencies that completely distracted me from caring for my cultures.
So, to substitute for the lack of fermented foods on hand, I’ve been drinking my Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Drink and eating Farmhouse Culture Kraut. These were my life savers. I highly recommend Farmhouse Culture Kraut if you are in a bind and can’t make it yourself. It’s delicious, healthy and made the traditional way. Their Smoked Jalapeño Kraut inspired this recipe.
My Jalapeño Cilantro Sauerkraut is bursting with flavor. The jalapeños, cilantro, garlic and onion make this sauerkraut taste like a green salsa. It’s one of my best and it’s delicious.
I’ve been adding it to my salads to kick them up a notch in heat and flavor, eating it plain with chips (way too many times), mixed it with some goat cheese for a zippy and spicy cheese dip and I put some on top of my grilled salmon for a nice southwest flavor. Feel free to get creative with this one. Just like salsa, it goes with almost everything.
Health benefits of Jalapeño Cilantro Sauerkraut
Some of the positive effects I have experienced eating fermented foods are clearer skin, better digestion and increased energy and maintaining my weight. Dr. Mercola explains the benefits of fermented foods as…
Fermented foods are chock-full of probiotics or good bacteria. A myriad of research has demonstrated how the ideal balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut forms the foundation for physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
- Detoxification – Not only do fermented foods help clean out the toxic build up in our bodies but the cilantro provides the added benefit of binding to heavy metal toxins in our body and eliminating them.
- Fermented foods eliminate sugar cravings.
- Jalapeño juice is often used as a remedy for seasonal allergies and cardiovascular problems.
You can learn more about the health benefits of fermented foods in my article, How To Add Fermented Foods To Your Diet To Meet Your Health Goals and don’t forget to download my free Sauerkraut Quick Start Guide which includes checklists and a video.
- Pull 3 outer leaves off the head of cabbage and set aside. Shred the remaining cabbage in a food processor, mandolin or chop with a knife. Add it to a big bowl.
- Sprinkle the cabbage with sea salt and mix and massage the sea salt into the cabbage for about 5 minutes.
- Set the cabbage aside and let it sit for 15-20 minutes so the sea salt has time to draw out the liquid and make the cabbage soft.
- Meanwhile, remove the seeds from the jalapeños for a medium heat or leave them in for a spicier kraut and add them to a food processor. Be careful when handling the peppers, because they can burn and irritate the skin and eyes. I suggest wearing gloves when handling them and wash hands immediately after.
- Add the garlic, cilantro and onion to the food processor too and process until the ingredients are finely minced. If you don't have a food processor, finely shop with a knife. Set aside.
- Go back to the cabbage and mix and squeeze the cabbage with your hands again. If liquid comes out when squeezed then it is ready for the next step.
- Add the jalapeño mixture to the cabbage and mix it all together. Use your hands only if you wear gloves, otherwise use a spoon.
- Pack the cabbage in the mason jar tightly with either a gloved hand or a vegetable pounder. I used the pounder that came with my Vitamix and that worked perfectly. Push it all the way down until it submerges in its own juices (this is the brine).
- Repeat this until there is about 1½ inches of space from the top of the jar.
- Roll up the leaves and place them in the jar to push the cabbage under the brine.
- Screw on the jar loosely so gas can escape as fermentation takes place. Set on the counter for 5-7 days in a cool, shaded place. Place a plate under the mason jar in case it bubbles over and makes a mess.
- During fermentation the sauerkraut will bubble a little and become cloudy. If scum appears, remove it with a spoon.
- Remove the rolled up cabbage leaves and toss in the garbage before eating.
- Store in the fridge.
Caution: Some people are sensitive to peppers and should handle them while wearing gloves to avoid skin irritation.
Try making my Jalapeño Cilantro Sauerkraut this week and don’t forget to comment below or email me to let me know how it turned out.
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