Making homemade sauerkraut with jalapeño pepper and collard greens may sound a bit out of the ordinary, but the flavor combination is pretty darn awesome. The jalapeño pepper gives it a bit of kick (and you can customize how hot it is) along with a punch of nutrition (like phytonutrients, vitamin C and folate) from the collard greens.
Why’s homemade sauerkraut so awesome? It’s easy to make, promotes gut health and is really easy to make at home. The type of fermentation used for homemade sauerkraut is called lacto-fermentation; Lactobacillus bacteria produce the familiar tangy flavor that kraut aficionados love.
One tip: use caution when handling hot peppers and if you have particularly sensitive skin, you may want to use gloves. I didn’t have any when I went to make this homemade sauerkraut so I put my hand in a small ziptop baggie instead.
Ingredients for Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collard Greens:
- 1/2 of a large head of cabbage, sliced thinly (about 4 cups)
- 3 large collard leaves, sliced thinly
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt
Special Materials for Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collard Greens:
Directions for Homemade Sauerkraut with Jalapeño & Collard Greens:
- Thinly slice the cabbage, and put it in a large bowl.
- Remove the tough center stem from the collard leaves and thinly slice them. Add them to the bowl.
- Prepare the jalapeño pepper: if you want more heat, leave the inner membrane and seeds intact. For a milder flavor, remove the inner white membrane and seeds. Remember not to touch your face or any other sensitive bits until you wash your hands. Add to the bowl.
- Mix all the veggies in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Use your hands to squeeze and crush down the veggies until they are slightly wilted.
- Load into two pint-sized Mason jars, packing down the veggies firmly.
- Once all the veggies are loaded, if the liquid doesn’t completely cover them, mix 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup and pour enough in the jar to cover the veggies. You may want to find a small jar to weight down the veggies (if using wide-mouth Mason jars, a 4 oz. jelly jar will fit).
- Leave uncapped and cover with a kitchen towel. Keep in a dark cabinet for 1-2 weeks. Check on the liquid level every 1-2 days and top it off if it’s dropped with more salt water (1 cup water : 1 teaspoon salt).
- It’s done when the veggies have reached a tart flavor that’s pleasing to your palate – usually 7-14 days depending on climate. Some folks let their sauerkraut ferment far longer. It’s really up to you!
Have you ever made homemade sauerkraut?