When we think kraut we think cabbage. Sauerkraut is traditionally made of cabbage and has been for thousands of years. Cabbage is also a member of the brassica family along with flowery heads like broccoli and cauliflower.
Also members of the brassica family are some of the most nutritious leafy greens on the planet:
- mustard greens
- turnip greens
All of these leafy greens are delicious fresh, preferably cooked to help neutralize their naturally occurring goitrogens.*
What do you do if you have so many of these greens that you can’t possibly eat them all before they go bad? The answer is easy: kraut.
Because all of these are members of the cabbage family they make wonderful kraut. But there are a few things to consider when making kraut from them:
- They are much more pungent than cabbage and therefore can produce a strongly-flavored kraut.
- Different leafy greens have a different texture to them. Collard greens tend to be thicker and tougher, whereas mustard greens can be lighter. This can cause varying textures and rates of fermentation.
- A mix of sharper greens like kale and peppery ones like mustard can produce a well-rounded leafy green kraut.
- Goitrogens are still present in fermented greens so do be sensible about how much leafy green kraut you are consuming if this is a concern for you.*
- Enough shredded leafy greens to fill a quart jar: 2 or more bunches
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- In a large bowl combine greens and salt. Massage the leaves with the salt and allow to stand for 10 minutes so that the juices come out of them.
- Add half of the greens to a quart jar. Throw in the garlic cloves and pack the rest of the greens tightly on top, pushing them down so that the juices cover them.
- Cover tightly and allow to ferment 3 days or until they are bubbly and tangy to your liking. Transfer to cold storage.
*Information on goitrogenic vegetables and the effect of cooking and processing is available through the Weston A. Price foundation.