Turmeric contains the substance curcumin which is a potent anti-inflammatory. It is this substance that gives turmeric it’s well known health giving properties, however, it is not easily absorbed and broken down in the body. To improve it’s bioavailability you can ferment it by adding it to sauerkraut. Not only does it make an easy way to increase your turmeric intake but it makes your sauerkraut an amazing golden colour.
As well as all the goodness or turmeric, fermented foods are great for people with digestive issues as fermentation starts the digestion process for you and also helps to introduce good bacteria to your digestive system.
To make turmeric sauerkraut:
Use sterilised equipment, cleaned with gentle, non-antibacterial washing liquid.
Use an organic cabbage so that your sauerkraut isn’t full of pesticides.
Slice the cabbage into very thin slices- the thinner the better for maximum fermentation. Add a dessertspoon of salt to a mixing bowl filled with the sliced cabbage. This seems like a lot but you should have a large amount of cabbage and you’re unlikely to eat a large quantity of sauerkraut at any one time.
With clean hands, squeeze and mix the cabbage and salt over 5-10 minutes continuously until the cabbage is wilting and water has been squeezed out. At the end add about 1″ of sliced turmeric. I recommend wearing plastic gloves so you don’t stain your hands. Mix it in but don’t work it in with your hands or you will be stained very yellow.
Transfer the cabbage to a sterilised kilner jar and make sure the cabbage is covered with water (add filtered water if necessary).
Cover with muslin cloth and seal with an elastic band (don’t seal the lid closed) as it needs air to ferment properly. Over the next 3 days keep pushing the cabbage down so it is below the water line. I place a cabbage leaf on top to keep the sliced cabbage sealed down. You can add a weight such as a jar filled with ceramic beans to help keep the cabbage packed down. Keep separate from other fermenting foods such as kombucha or kefir to prevent cross-contamination.
You can leave it to ferment for up to a week. It should smell nicely fermented and the cabbage should have shrunk and wilted. Store in the fridge and keep packing the cabbage down as you eat it to stop it going mouldy on top.