one pot cabbage rolls (keto unstuffed lazy version)

I’m all about easy one pot meals, and I love cabbage rolls. So when I stepped upon this unstuffed lazy version I knew i have to make it. You know these days when you absolutely cannot be bothered spending more time in the kitchen than it’s absolutely necessary. Or you simply don’t have enough time to properly cook, but you still like to eat something homemade?

This lazy one pot unstuffed cabbage roll are perfect for these kind of days. What’s even better – it’s low carb, because we swap rice with cauliflower. All preparations will take you less than 30 minutes, than you just leave it on a small heat stirring it occasionally. Or you can pop all ingredients to a slow cooker (although it’s nice to fry the onion and meat first) and let it cook slowly without your attention.

This one pot unstuffed cabbage roll is full of flavour, aromatic, if you like it more on a spicy side, you can add some cayenne pepper or couple splashes of sriracha – Thai sauce made of mashed chilli peppers with garlic, vinegar, sugar and salt. Warm and hearty meal you can make even on a busy day and have for your lunch or dinner.

one pot cabbage rolls

(keto unstuffed lazy version)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small white cabbage
  • 500 g pork (or beef) mince
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • about 500 ml tomato passata
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1-2 chopped garlic cloves
  • dried or fresh parsley for garnish
  • 1 tbsp butter

DIRECTIONS

Finely chop onion, heat a large frying pan adding 1 tablespoon of butter. Fry onion until gold, than add minced meat, salt pepper and sweet paprika powder. Fry on a medium to high heat until meat becomes greyish – brown and won’t be raw any more.

In the meantime, chop your cabbage, it doesn’t need to be chopped in any particular way – should be quick and easy though. Also finely chop a cauliflower, you can also use a food processor if you have it on hand. I just chopped it in small pieces using a large knife.

When meat is ready add chopped garlic, cabbage and cauliflower. I used a large non stick pot to fry meat and onion, so I just added veggies to it. If you don’t have a pot like that transfer fried meat to a regular pot and add veggies. You need to be able to cover it with lid, to simmer gently. Also add passata, give it a good stir and cover the pot with lid lowering the heat so it will simmer slowly. Stir every now and then, keeping an eye it not burning on the bottom of the pot.

Cook until cabbage will become as tender as you like it. You can make it almost overcooked, or firm and crunchy. Add some more salt and pepper if needed, at the end garnish with parsley.

You can easily prepare this meal also using a slow cooker.

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS

Finely chop onion, heat a large frying pan adding 1 tablespoon of butter. Fry onion until gold, than add minced meat, salt pepper and sweet paprika powder. Fry on a medium to high heat until meat becomes greyish – brown and won’t be raw any more.

In the meantime, chop your cabbage, it doesn’t need to be chopped in any particular way – should be quick and easy though. Also finely chop a cauliflower, you can also use a food processor if you have it on hand. I just chopped it in small pieces using a large knife.

When meat is ready, transfer it to a slow cooker, add chopped garlic, cauliflower and cabbage sprinkle with some more salt and pepper, pour over tomato passata and about 100ml of water. Give it a good stir and set up your slow cooker on “low” for about 4 hours. After 2 hours give it a good stir and check if it needs any additional seasoning.

Serve hot garnished with some parsley.

Enjoy!

Asian inspired red slaw

I love these kind of salads – quick and easy to prepare, crunchy and colourful, and they goes with all sorts of meats or fish. They can easily be a morning salad you can serve with fried eggs (if you’re on low carb foods), or on its own in the evening, if you want to munch on while watching Netflix.

I like experimenting with different spices and this time I had a taste for something Asian inspired, so I dug in my spice drawer and composed this tangy dressing. I really enjoy the taste of apple cider vinegar combined with sweetness of cabbage and carrot. If you like vinegar taste you can add even more to this dressing. If you don’t have hoisin sauce, that’s fine, you can add a bit of dark soy sauce. I think a pinch of chilli flakes could also work great if you like it on the more spicy side. For me is fine as it is.

Red cabbage is a great source of vitamin C (even more than oranges!), vitamin A and Potassium. It also contains vitamin K (very important for our bones), and B vitamins, also full of antioxidants. Red cabbage is also noted as one of the fruits and vegetables with the lowest amount of pesticide residues. So you definitely include lots of cabbage into your diet, if you like it obviously!

Did you know that the colour of the cabbage will be different depending on the pH balance of the soil it grows in? For example on pH 2 (which is very acidic), the cabbage would reflect bright red-pink colour. At pH4, the colour becomes light purple, on pH6, we get the dark-purple to red. When the pH reaches 8 (that’s alkaline), the hue becomes more blue.

Asian inspired red slaw

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 small red cabbage
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS

Very thinly slice red cabbage. You can also use a peeler to slice the cabbage – it will slice very thinly. Just be careful with your fingers when you use a peeler to slice it. Chop one onion, grate the carrot. Place them all in a large container and give it a good stir.

In a small bowl combine together: olive oil, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, hoisin sauce, lemon pepper, pinch of salt and half of the sesame seeds. Pour it over the veggies and stir thoroughly. Cover with lid and place in the fridge for about 30-60 minutes. Before serving transfer to a bowl and sprinkle on top with the remaining sesame seeds.

Enjoy with or sorts of meat, fish or on its own 🙂

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An if you liked this red cabbage slaw take a look at this recipe as well:

creamy cabbage (ketogenic friendly)

I wouldn’t share with you this recipe, because it’s so simple and not revealing, but… This kind of cabbage side dish is very popular in my country, and as with all the very common dishes you can find hundreds of versions of the same recipe depending of the region and people’s own tastes. So when I tried my friend’s version of it I decided to copy it and post here as it’s a great keto meal on its own, or if you skip the sausage it can become great side dish when you serve a roast or other piece of meat. I think it’s a great recipe for cool, rainy Autumn days that’s definitely coming closer.

What’s so special and different from the version of this recipe that I know? Double cream takes it to another level. It gets nicely creamy and soft. Also addition of couple fresh tomatoes gives a bit of sour taste. I really encourage you to add a fresh dill, which will make it smell wonderful and adds an hint of Summer to this meal. I also add some marjoram to help with digestion.

All that makes a really good keto meal, so if you’re for a hunt of the keto meal ideas that’s the one that stands out for me. You should definitely add it to your keto recipe book. Apart from that it’s easy and quick to prepare, which makes it even better. For all of us who are rushing through the day but trying to eat homemade and a little bit more healthy.

I think this recipe could also be easily done in a slow cooker, especially if you want to make a bigger batch. Although I encourage you to fry onion and sausage first – it gives a lot of flavour to this dish. And add cream, tomatoes and marjoram (marjoram becomes bitter if cooked for too long) at the end of cooking.

Creamy Cabbage

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small white cabbage
  • 1 large brown onion
  • thick slice of butter
  • bunch of fresh dill
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large or couple small tomatoes
  • couple tablespoons of double cream
  • optionally: smoked sausage or any king of sausage you like
  • natural rock salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram

DIRECTIONS

Finely chop white cabbage, also chop onion and sausage if you decide to add it.

In a large non stick pan melt thick slice of butter and add sausage and onion, or only onion. Fry until starts getting golden. Then add chopped cabbage and some salt and pepper. Don’t be to generous with salt – even though it looks a lot, cabbage will get shrink while cooking. Add a splash of water and cover the pan with a lid. Lower the heat and let the cabbage simmer until tender.

Finely chop a bunch of fresh dill, mince the garlic, also cut tomatoes in smaller pieces. Add them to a pan, also add some marjoram, couple tablespoons of double cream and give it a good stir so all ingredients combine. Let it simmer for 3-5 minutes, then add some more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot.

With addition of sausage it can be a perfect keto meal on its own. If you skip the sausage it can become a warm side dish you can serve with a roast or other piece of meat.

slowly cooked vegan cabbage rolls

This recipe was a total improvisation and actually it was made in the process of cooking. My idea was to make cabbage rolls with Quorn mince, because I wasn’t very keen to make cabbage rolls with pork or beef mince (pork mince cabbage rolls recipe). Don’t get me wrong, I love traditional cabbage rolls with mix of pork mince and rice or barley with delicious, creamy tomato sauce. But since we don’t have any barley or rice, that gives the roll this juicy gluey consistency, adding just meat sounded boring. So I wanted to make something more juicy and Quorn mince was a great idea. To make it less boring while frying the mince with mushrooms and onion, I decided to add some grated carrot. When all that was mixed I came up with the idea that addition of linseeds would make the filling more gluey, like when you add barley. And because my linseed jar stands next to the sunflower seeds I grabbed a handful of them as well.

To finish and add extra flavour added couple dried cep mushrooms – they have beautiful aroma and always add extra season to all mushroom dishes. And you just need a couple pieces to bring the wonderful mushroom flavour. If you don’t have cep mushrooms, you can use porcini mushrooms.

For the cabbage I used spring greens, as they have quite large leaves. Young white cabbage with outer looser leaves will also work great and savoy cabbage is very good as well if you find a big one.

Instead of cooking them on the stove I decided to gently cook them in the slow cooker and it was a really good idea. They were not overcooked, kept it’s shape and all the falvours came through. The filling was juicy, delicate and fulfilling. Don’t expect them to have strong flavour, they are gently spiced, so you can feel the taste of each ingredient. I like more gentle tastes, so for me they are delicious. My partner who loves spicy food and stronger flavours found it a bit too delicate for him, but still really tasty.

Because we like cabbage rolls with some sort of sauce, I used remains of liquid (full of cep mushroom aroma) to make the creamy sauce. I used extra thick double cream, because we don’t mind dairy. But if you want to stick with vegan option, simply add coconut cream or coconut milk. Add some extra salt and pepper if needed and you have delicious and flavoursome wild mushroom sauce.

I will definitely repeat this recipe more times. Even though preparations are a little bit more time consuming, the outcome is good enough to spend some time in the kitchen. I highly encourage you to try this cabbage rolls even if you’re not vegan.

slowly cooked vegan cabbage rolls

INGREDIENTS (for about 12 rolls):

  • 500g no meat mince (Quorn mince in my case but you can also use soya mince)
  • 1 brown onion
  • about 150g white mushrooms
  • 2 medium carrots
  • large leaf spring greens or other cabbage with quite large leaves
  • couple dried pieces of wild cep mushrooms (other dried wild mushrooms will be also very good)
  • natural rock salt and coarse pepper to taste
  • good pinch of sweet paprika powder
  • pinch of garlic granules
  • handful of linseeds
  • handful of sunflower seeds
  • little bit of olive oil or butter for non vegan option

DIRECTIONS

If you use dried wild mushrooms it is the best option to soak them in a small amount of water over the night or at least couple hours before you start preparing cabbage rolls. They need quite a long time to become soft and soaking is the best thing to do.

First prepare the filling. On a large pan heat a small amount of olive oil, finely chop onion and fry until golden. Rinse or peel white mushrooms and also chop and add to onion. Fry until they become soft. Next add mince. I used frozen Quorn mince. I you use soya mince just pop it into a pan with a little bit of water, so it will soak it and become soft. Add all the spices: salt, pepper, sweet paprika, garlic. Let it fry slowly for couple minutes, stir it from time to time. Then switch of the heat and let it sit for a while to cool down slightly.

In the meantime take a large pot (big enough to fit cabbage leaves) and boil some water. Break of the biggest leaves from the spring greens and rinse them thoroughly under running water to get rid of remains of soil. Now place 2-3 leaves in a boiling water, cover the pot with lid and wait 2-3 minutes until leaves become soft but still firm. Don’t cook them for too long because they will break and you won’t be able to pack them with filling and roll them. Gently remove them from the pot and place on the drainer to cool down. Do the same with the rest of cabbage leaves. I had about 12 leaves.

When the leaves are cooling down, finish with the filling. Peel and grate carrots and add them to mince. Also ad a handful of linseeds and a handful of sunflower seeds. Give it a good stir, so all the ingredients combines.

Prepare a slow cooker by placing a little bit of olive oil on the bottom (or slice of butter in my case) and adding soaked wild mushrooms with the water they’ve been soaking in.

Take a large cutting board and place a cabbage leaf (If the stem of the leaf is a bit to stiff and hard, just slice it off to make it thinner and flat), put 2 heaped tablespoons of filling (more or less depending how big your leaves are), fold the sides of the leaf and start rolling. Try to be gentle but also roll them tight. Place the roll in a slow cooker. Do exactly the same with the rest of the leaves, placing the rolls in the slow cooker. Add some water (or veggie broth if you have on hand) lust enough to cover the first layer of rolls. Season with an extra pinch of salt.

Set the slow cooker on “low” and cook for 3 hours. Cabbage rolls are ready to be eaten. Take them gently from a slow cooker and serve. Leftovers of liquid will be a great base for sauce, especially that it’s full of delicious wild mushroom flavour. Simply pour it to a saucepan and add coconut cream or coconut milk, or if you like me don’t mind dairy, add extra thick double cream. Slowly and carefully heat and pour over cabbage rolls.

You can freeze them (without creamy sauce), but keep in mind that each time you’ll reheat them cabbage will get softer and more prone to break. So it’s the best not to reheat them many times. Spring greens have quite gentle leaves, white cabbage will be a little bit stronger.

Enjoy!

Mary Berry inspired – minestrone soup (regular, keto and vegan option)

There is no one recipe for Italian minestrone, it’s a kind of soup – add whatever you have left in your fridge. The recipe I chose is from Mary Berry’s “Cookery Course”. Mary Berry is a famous in UK culinary book author, who was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to the culinary arts. Pretty good recommendation isn’t it?

Nevertheless, in our opinion, the soup requires additional seasoning. Oregano, basil, Provençal herbs, maybe a little tomato paste to enhance the slightly acidic tomato flavour. I like intensive tomato flavours. But if you don’t, chopped tomatoes will be enough for you. Also original recipe requires chicken broth, but traditionally I use beef bone broth, as a base for my every soup. So you can use any of these two.

For non diet option: use spaghetti, or other pasta you have at home.
For ketogenic option: skip pasta, flour and add some more veg (for example Brussels sprouts).
For vegan and vegetarian option: skip beef bone broth and use veggie broth instead, also for vegan instead of parmesan cheese use nutritional yeast.

Minestrone it’s a great option to use all the leftovers you have in your fridge or freezer. You can use all kind of vegetables (in brackets the amount of carbohydrates per 100g):

celery (1), carrots (7), parsnips (13), swede (3), turnip (6), celeriac (6), green beans (4), Brussel sprouts (5), leek (3), onion (8) and any kind of cabbage (3).

The soup is thick, fulfilling great as a warming winter breakfast or dinner if you work from home and you do not need a lot of calories. You can also use a slow cooker to make this soup, just pop the ingredients in, and after 3-4 hours you can enjoy this warming, colourful and thick soup (recipe for crock pot at the end).

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Mary Berry inspired – minestrone soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • couple celery sticks
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 tbsp plain flour (skip for keto option)
  • 1½ l beef bones broth (for vegan option use veggie broth)
  • 400g (1 can) chopped tomatoes
  • black pepper and natural rock salt to taste
  • a handful of spaghetti broken into small pieces (skip for keto option)
  • a handful of green beans, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces (I used frozen ones)
  • a handful of chopped cabbage, e.g. savoy cabbage
  • a little parmesan to sprinkle on top (skip for vegan option, or add nutritional yeast)
  • optionally extra spices: oregano, basil or Provençal herbs
  • optionally: 2 tsp tomato paste for some more tomato flavour

DIRECTIONS

Dice onion, carrot and celery. Cut the green beans into smaller pieces, approx. 1 inch (2.5 cm). I used frozen one, if you have fresh, don’t forget to cut the ends and remove the tough fibres. Chop the cabbage quite finely.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Put onions, carrots, celery and leeks and fry them over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle the vegetables with flour and mix. Add the broth, canned tomatoes, salt and pepper. If you use fresh green beans, add them right now. Also if you like more intensive seasoning add some oregano, basil or Provençal herbs. Bring to the boil, and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Finally, add spaghetti, if you have frozen green beans add them right now, and finally chopped cabbage. Give it a good stir and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper if needed, also you can add little bit of tomato paste for more intensive flavour.

Serve hot, sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.

DIRECTIONS FOR SLOW COOKER

Pop in all ingredients apart from flour and pasta. Cook on “low” for about 3 hours, and then add pasta for another hour. I would skip the flour completely in slow cooker option. Also after adding pasta, it’s good to give it a good stir couple times, so the pieces of pasta won’t stick together.

Enjoy!

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basic keto white cabbage side salad can protect you against coronavirus – research made by Dr. Jean Bousquet Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Montpellier in France

Very basic keto friendly white cabbage side salad – great as an addition for all source of meat or fish dishes. Sometimes I have it also for my breakfast with fried eggs. Fresh, crunchy cabbage, spiced up with some onion and apple cider vinegar. Freshly chopped dill gives it a spring-summer vibe. Tastes great on second on third day, so you can make a bigger batch and enjoy every day.

There’s not much to say – cabbage is a great source of vitamin K, C, B6, A also potassium, magnesium and iron. In addition, cabbage is high in fiber and contains powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols and sulfur compounds. Antioxidants protect our body from cells damage.

And surprisingly, I’ve just stepped upon several articles saying that eating cabbage and sauerkraut can protect against coronavirus. According to this articles (I’ve linked them below) study made by researchers from Montpellier University in France, found that cabbage, cucumbers and Kimchi could help people to build up a resistance to the virus.

Dr. Jean Bousquet Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Montpellier in France was looking for association between consumption of fermented vegetables and COVID-19 mortality at a country level in Europe. Study published in the journal Clinical and Translational Allergy, found that cabbage, whether raw or sauerkraut, as well as cucumbers and kimchi, could help people build up resistance to the virus.

Dr. Jean Bousquet and his team of 25 researchers, took into account a number of variables, including confounding factors. Only fermented vegetables reached statistical significance with the COVID-19 death rate per country. For each day increase in the average national consumption of fermented vegetables, the mortality risk for COVID-19 decreased by 35.4%.

Fermented vegetables are mostly consumed in low death rate countries. Few countries consume pickled or marinated vegetables but countries with a consumption of these foods have a low death rate. It found Germany has significantly lower mortality, as did Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, the Baltic states and Finland, where cabbage is popular. Bulgaria, Greece and Romania also had reduced death rates, whereas fatalities were much higher in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and the UK, where less cabbage is consumed. We can read in the research, that as found in France, Spain and Italy, there are large regional differences in death rates and it would be of interest to compare sub-national regions with the different consumptions of fermented food. So further testing in properly designed individual studies would be of interest. Also the research was related only to Europe. It would be very interesting to investigate the matter in the rest of the world, such as Asia, where eating fermented vegetables is also very popular.

Also Ren Guofeng, an associate professor of medical nutrition at Central South University in Changsha (China), said there was strong evidence that vegetable consumption could affect the outcomes of many chronic diseases. As imbalance in the gut microbiota is associated with the pathogenesis of various disease types including allergy, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, different types of cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. I was talking about it in my post about sauerkraut juice couple months ago.

In my opinion, study by French scientists somehow confirms why the United States has such a huge problem with controlling the coronavirus. The percentage of people suffering from obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, atherosclerotic problems and other chronic diseases is so high that, in fact, any major virus can cause a catastrophe. Additionally, we probably all know that the diet of Americans is mainly based on highly processed food, therefore the gut microflora of Americans is probably extremely weakened and unable to fight any viruses.

It is extremely important that this kind of information is beginning to appear in the maistream media. Perhaps this way, more and more people will not only start to pay more attention to their diet, but will also cease to attach so much importance (and put so much trust) to treating health problems with pharmacological agents.

basic keto white cabbage side salad

INGREDIENTS (for quite a large batch):

  • 1/2 small white cabbage
  • 2 small or 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 small brown onion
  • 1 headed tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • couple splashes of apple cider vinegar with mother
  • splash of olive oil
  • good pinch of natural rock salt

DIRECTIONS

Chop the cabbage as thin as you can, also finely chop half of onion. Grate the carrot. Combine all the veggies, add couple splashes of apple cider vinegar, splash of extra virgin olive oil. Add good pinch of natural rock salt and one tablespoon of fresh chopped dill. Give it a good stir and put to the fridge for about 3 hours. Cabbage will get slightly soften and all the flavours will get through.

Serve with all source of meat or fish dishes.

Enjoy!

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.06.20147025v1.full.pdf+html

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12104493/cabbage-could-protect-against-coronavirus/

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3093969/coronavirus-study-suggests-eating-more-cabbage-cucumber-might

https://nypost.com/2020/07/20/foods-containing-cabbage-could-help-fight-coronavirus/

https://www.mirror.co.uk/science/eating-cabbage-could-reduce-your-22390785

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12104493/cabbage-could-protect-against-coronavirus/

how to boost immunity with sauerkraut juice

Nature already gave us all the solutions to keep us healthy, but we’ve discarded it for pills, tablets and other “medications”. That’s not our fault, we’ve been told that it’s better. But better for who? I’m not saying that all the medications are bad, because some of them are saving lives. But looks like instead of improving people’s health they just keep them (barely) alive. And I don’t want to start debating about pharmaceutical business, because I’m sure it’s already a common knowledge, that the most important for pharmaceutical business is their own business.

So we need to deal with our health problems by ourselves. And it’s not easy (taking a pill is much easier, but does it work better?) and takes time and knowledge. But it’s our health, our bodies and our life, if we’re not going to care about it who is going to?

We are used to being more reactive than proactive – means we usually start looking for help when it’s already really bad, and we need a quick fix (that’s why pharmaceutical business is going really good). We ignore small symptoms, forgetting that “prevention is better than the cure”.

Wouldn’t it be great to become independent from pills, drugs, vaccines? As I said, I believe that nature has already provide us with necessary compounds to keep us strong and healthy. So maybe if we try to come back to nature, and start to boost our immunity and make our bodies stronger, we stop being fated with big pharma.

You won’t find better time to start than now. In this uncertain time, when they scare us with the virus, like they forgot that everyday millions of people die with common flu, diabetes, strokes, cancer and other modern diseases.

So if you would like to start improving your health and boost your immunity, you can start with cabbage juice – one of the most underrated superfoods.

Here’s the recipe. If you would like to read some more information from the researches that has been done around this topic scroll down.

 

 

sauerkraut juice

INGREDIENTS

  • naturally grown white cabbage
  • filtered water (I use ozonated water)
  • natural rock salt or Himalayan salt

You’ll also need:

  • blender
  • few 1l glass jars with lids
  • large pot
  • wooden spoon

CABBAGE – the best is late season (winter) cabbage. Should be more white than green in color, quite hard, healthy, with no signs of mold or vermin. Green leaf cabbage with loose leaves, has low sugar content and won’t ferment properly. Try to find a good source of cabbage, preferably organic or from local farmers. I’ve tried to make sauerkraut from supermarket cabbage but didn’t work. I always buy from polish shop, few days ago I bout one from the local farmers shop, but didn’t try it yet.

WATER – I use ozonated water, you can use any kind of filtered water, free from chlorine, fluoride and other stuff, that can be found in tap water. Boiled water in room temperature will be fine as well.

SALT – also extremely important – don’t use supermarket salt with anti-caking agent (which is a synthetic mixture of sodium, aluminium and silicon oxides), it’s deprived of the essential trace minerals. Use natural rock salt or Himalayan salt instead. Salt will help to extract the juice from the cabbage and prevent from going bad.

PROPORTIONS – for about 1kg of cabbage, use about 20g of salt (about one tbsp). Because we’re making sauerkraut juice not a sauerkraut, we will be adding much more water, so I use my common sense and just add more or less salt.

JARS – glass jars are the most available for everyone and they are easy to store. Make sure they are perfectly clean, you can scald them out with boiling water. To make juice from one quite big cabbage (I would say about 2 – 2,5kg) I need 9 glass jars. Everything depends how liquidy you’ll make it. Don’t use any metal, aluminium or plastic containers, because acid from the sauerkraut will go in reaction with these materials.

DIRECTIONS

Shred the cabbage, bits don’t need to be very small, just to make it easier to blend. Now depending of how big is your pot, place part of shredded cabbage in the pot. Pour the water, so it covers all cabbage. Then blend it using hand blender. Because of blending process, you’ll get some foam on top. I take it off with a spoon if it’s quite a lot. Add rock salt and stir, as I said I do it using my common sense. Pour the mixture to the jars leaving about two inches room. Gases that will develop during fermentation will push the cabbage up. Leaving some room will prevent from spilling all over. Do the same with the rest of cabbage. Cover all the jars with lids and place in dark and warm temperature (room temperature is fine).

And now very important – for first 3-4 days you need to stir in every jar with a wooden spoon. It’s not a magic trick, it’s because if you won’t stir cabbage that’s going up above the surface of water will start to mold. So it’s so important to stir it everyday (you can do it twice a day, but usually once is OK), so the cabbage is constantly soaked in water. Expect distinctive smell that it will start to develop – it’s normal. Have a sniff, all the jars should have the same smell. If you feel that one of them is obviously stinky and smell different than the others it’s better to bin it. If you never ate sauerkraut, they all might smell stinky for you, but I mean this kind of stinky when something is off and moldy. And the second thing – mold. There should be no mold on top of the cabbage. If you see pinkish mold on top – you have to bin it. So for the first few days cabbage will be on top of the jar, and water on the bottom. When the sauerkraut will be ready, cabbage will be on the bottom and water on top. Depending of your storage temperature it will take a week up to ten days, maybe two weeks.

Now the taste, homemade sauerkraut juice is less sour than the sauerkraut bought in the shop. Longer you’ll keep it in warm temperature more sour it will get. So if you want to stop fermentation process just put it to the fridge.

Drink one cup everyday. Do not overdose, at the beginning when your body is not used to, you might get diarrhea. If you do, just take less. Start with 1-2 tablespoons a day. Than increase to one cup.

 

 

HOW COME SAUERKRAUT IS SO GOOD FOR US?

Fermented cabbage is not a modern invention, it actually have a long story in many cultures, starting from the Roman age. Although “sauerkraut” is a German word, the dish did not originate in Germany. Some claim that the Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan brought it to Europe. Others claim that it originally came from China (means not only the bad things come from China).

English name is borrowed from German language, the rest of central and eastern European countries has their own names. Anyway before frozen foods, refrigeration, and cheap transport, sauerkraut – like other preserved foods – provided a source of nutrients during the winter.

So looks like people used to ate a lot of fermented foods (not only cabbage), but it seems logic. Imagine the times, when hygiene wasn’t so obvious as now, I mean personal hygiene and all over hygiene. People had to have fairly good immune system to fight all this bacteria, mold, fungus and hell know what else. And fermented foods help them very well.

I will quote some of the modern conclusions from the researches that has been done in this topic.

“According to the Statista Statistic Portal, global probiotic sales are expected to jump from $25 billion in 2011 to $42 billion in 2016. This statistic shows that consumers are paying for these probiotics that are man-made in a lab and sold for a profit. There is nothing wrong with supplementation because there are many proven and effective probiotics, but the  option of using fermented foods may be more efficient. The argument for sauerkraut (and other fermented foods) is that the families of strains that naturally culture together in fermented sauerkraut are more beneficial than the isolated strains found in supplements. In other words, probiotic therapy is based on the belief that certain strains are vital for our health, which leads to people going out and buying these isolated supplements. In reality, some research shows the genetic fluidity of bacteria suggests that variety and diversity may be more beneficial than specific strains. In addition to the beneficial bacteria they produce, fermented foods also supply nutrition that no other sources can provide.*

Can the natural probiotics found in sauerkraut be as beneficial as other options? Here’s what they concluded:

“Initially, the research was going to compare store bought, shelf stable sauerkraut to homemade sauerkraut. After experimentation, it was concluded that store bought, shelf stable sauerkraut had little to no bacteria due to pasteurization and processing. An important note is that each trial was conducted on a different batch of sauerkraut. (…) The results conclude that homemade sauerkraut can supply an efficient amount of LAB to promote health benefits in small (2 tbsp.) and large (1 cup) serving sizes. Sauerkraut belongs to a rare category of foods which not only provide probiotics, but also nutrients of the cabbage in a more digestible state. The aim of the study was to culture and count strictly the LAB in sauerkraut, but it is expected that sauerkraut can be home to more microorganism species than which is currently known.*

  “Sauerkraut could possibly be one of most underrated superfoods. Sauerkraut is a name given to the end product of fermenting cabbage. One of the reasons sauerkraut is considered a superfood is because the fermentation makes all of the nutrients of the food more bioavailable than in its raw form. This means that all the vitamins, mineral, and phytonutrients that cabbage offers could become more bioavailable after fermentation. become more bioavailable after fermentation. For example, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride states in her book “The amount of bioavailable vitamin C in sauerkraut is 20 times higher than in the same serving as raw cabbage”. In addition to increased bioavailability, what really sets sauerkraut apart from most foods is its probiotic content. The main reason sauerkraut is a wonderful food is because it is full of probiotics. Probiotics are defined as living organisms which upon ingestion in certain numbers confer health benefits upon the host. (…) human gut (and all of the bacteria involved) can have on human health. The microbiota plays a major role in health and disease in humans and it is sometimes referred to as our “forgotten organ”. Even more importantly, the gut microbiota interacts with the immune system by providing signals to promote the maturation of immune cells and the normal development of immune functions.” *

From some other studies: “Sauerkraut (homemade and shop-bought) has been shown, through culture-dependent techniques, to contain Bifidobacterium dentium, Enterococcus faecalis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Lactobacillus sakei, Lactobacillus curvatus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Weissella confusa, Lactococcus lactis and Enterobacteriaceae.” **

“One of the most significant groups of probiotic organisms are the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) which were observed further in this study. Lactic Acid bacteria have established benefits such as the treatment of diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and infections such as urogenital, urinary and candida. LAB have also been shown to enhance immune system function to help prevent various illnesses and promote lactose digestion. Some studies even show that these bacteria could even prevent certain cancers. While nearly all research confines LAB to dairy products like yogurt, sauerkraut stands out as a vegetable that also produces LAB. Unlike yogurt, a starter culture is not needed for sauerkraut because the cabbages grown in healthy soil have all the bacteria they need to start fermentation. All that is added is salt which inhibits the growth of undesirable microorganisms but favors the growth of desired bacteria.”*

However,

“when it comes to sauerkraut, original studies dating back 1969 only found four strains of LAB. A more recent study done in 2009 (with technique and technology advances), concluded that 15 strains of LAB with high conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)-producing ability were isolated from sauerkraut. It should also be noted that within different stages of fermentation, there will be different organisms present. There is no definite identity or count on the LAB in sauerkraut.”*

And next one: “Certain lactic acid bacteria contained in sauerkraut generate conjugated linoleic acid for which there is evidence of anti-carcinogenic and anti-atherosclerotic activity in animals.**Anti-cancer effects of lactic acid bacteria: Several research studies confirm the ability of lactic acid bacte-ria to reduce the mutagenicity of intestinal contents by suppressing the levels of specific bacterial enzymes that promote the activation of procarcinogenic compounds (DALY et al. 1998). Lactobacilli have been periodically
associated with anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and anti-tumorigenic activities.” ***

“Sauerkraut is one of the few fermented foods for which there is a clinical trial in functional bowel disorders. A randomised double-blind trial compared the effects of sauerkraut containing viable lactic acid bacteria (LAB) on gastrointestinal symptoms and microbiota in 58 patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). (…) There was a significant reduction in IBS Severity Scoring System (IBS-SSS) score between baseline and end of trial in both study groups, however there was no difference in symptoms between the diet groups.”** “The nutritional impact of fermented foods on nutritional diseases can be direct or indirect. Food fermentations that increase the protein content or improve the balance of essential amino acids or their availability will have a direct curative effect. Similarly fermentations that increase the content or availability of vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin or folic acid can have profound direct effects on the health of the consumers of such foods (STEINKRAUS 1997). It was shown that lactic acid fermentation increased the utilisation of iron from food by breakaway of inorganic iron from complex substances under the influence of vitamin C (SIEGENBERG 1991; V ENKATESH 1998). Fermentation may reduce the content of non-digestible material in plant foods such as cellulose, hemicellulose and polygalacturonic and glucuronic acids. Breakdown of these compounds may lead to the improved bioavailability of mineral and trace elements (KALANTZOPOULOS 1997). Fermented foods may reduce the serum cholesterol concentration by reducing the intestinal absorption of dietary and endogenous cholesterol or inhibiting cholesterol synthesis in liver (KALANTZOPOULOS 1997).”***

*”Functional Foods in Health and Disease” 2016; 6(8): 536-543. “Sauerkraut: A Probiotic Superfood” Ryan Orgeron, Angela Corbin, Brigett Scott. Submission Date: May 9, 2016; Acceptance Date: August 27, 2016; Publication Date: August 30, 2016

**”Fermented Foods: Definitions and Characteristics, Impact on the Gut Microbiota and Effects on Gastrointestinal Health and Disease” Eirini Dimidi, Selina Rose Cox, Megan Rossi and Kevin Whelan King’s College London, Department of Nutritional Sciences, London SE1 9NH, UK. Published: 5 August 2019

***”Lactic acid fermented vegetable juices” J. KAROVIČOVÁ, Z. KOHAJDOVÁ Slovak Technical University, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Bratislava, Slovak Republic

If you’ve managed to get to the end, I’m very happy 🙂

If you’ll try to make your own sauerkraut juice I will be more than happy 🙂

I’m not an expert, but if you’d have any questions I will do my best to answer.

 

keto cabbage rolls

Oh that’s one of my favorite! Cabbage rolls. Traditionally made with pork mince and rice or barley, and kind of tomato bechamel sauce. Here adjusted to the keto diet, but still delicious.

 

I always serve them with tomato sauce, the best when the sauce takes the flavor from the cabbage, melts together perfectly. They are more time consuming and not the easiest, if you don’t have practice. But you can double the portion and freeze some of them for later.

The key here is the cabbage. Traditionally we use white cabbage. The best is the young, spring one, where the leaves are not very tight. UK’s supermarket white cabbage is not the best for that, because it’s very small and tight as hell. That’s why I usually use savoy cabbage, leaves are more loose and soft. You could actually use any kind of cabbage, that has big enough leaves to roll the stuffing. Try both ways and choose whatever is best for you.

You can take off the leaves and simmer them one by one, as I always do, or cook the whole cabbage, set it to cool down and then take off the leaves. I always choose the first option, I feel like it’s quicker and easier. At least for me.

And of course you can go wild with the stuffing (not that wild on keto though). You can mix meat with some wild mushrooms, add some broccoli or cauliflower “rice”, or other veggies allowed on keto diet. I used here what I had in my fridge – onions, mushrooms and peppers, always goes good together.

Did you know that cabbage is full of vitamin C (great antioxidant) and K (responsible for clotting the blood)? Other nutrients as well. And like the other cruciferous vegetables, helps to reduce inflammation in your body. It’s full of fiber, so it’s good for your digestion. Helps also to grow friendly bacteria to protect your immune system. Isn’t this great? So even if you are a little bit bored with cabbage on keto diet, try to smuggle it anyway to your meals.

 

keto cabbage rolls

INGREDIENTS (for about 12 rolls, but it depends of the size of leafs):

  • savoy cabbage or white cabbage (1 or 2, depends of the size)
  • 500 g good quality pork mince
  • 1 yellow or red pepper
  • 1 onion
  • few mushrooms
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter or other fat like goose or duck or olive oil
  • about 500 ml beef broth or other bouillon

Also for the sauce you will need:

  • about 250 ml of passata or couple spoons of tomato paste
  • coconut milk
  • little bit of coconut flour to thicken the sauce if desired

DIRECTIONS

Let’s start with cabbage. If you use savoy cabbage, take off the biggest leaves, as many as you can. Boil some water in a pot and simmer the leaves for 2-3 minutes (you can put two or thee at once). They should be half done. Tender enough to roll easily but al dente, so they won’t torn. If you use white cabbage you might need to cook it for some time – you put whole cabbage to hot water and simmer until it gets soft enough to take the leaves off. Sometimes if the cabbage is not very tight, leaves goes off more easily without cooking. So you need to choose the best method for what you’re working with.

After cooking let the cabbage to cool for a while. In the meantime prepare the stuffing.

Use 1 tbsp of fat to stir fry onion, pepper, add mushrooms. All finely chopped. At the end add chopped garlic. Let it to cool for a moment so you won’t burn yourself. Mix all veggies with pork mince, add some salt and pepper.

Now it’s time to roll. I always cut off the top of the thick nerves of the cabbage, so they become more flat and easy to roll. Put the leaf flat and cut off the top of the nerve, parallel to the leaf. Than put portion of stuffing at the end of the leaf where the nerve starts (you have to adjust the amount to a size of your leaf) and roll as you roll a wrap or burrito. So roll the bottom, where you’ve put the stuffing, then fold the sides and roll the rest. Do it quite tight, but gentle not to break the cabbage. Do the same with all the cabbage leaves and all the stuffing.

Take a large pot or a deep pan, would be great if it would be a non stick. Melt the second spoon of fat. Put all your cabbage rolls, ideally next to each other. Then fry them slightly on both sides.

Pour the broth, so it covers the rolls and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer on a very small heat for about 30 to 50 minutes – depends of the size of the rolls. Add some passata (or tomato paste) and give it another 10 minutes. At the end add some coconut milk, and if you like the sauce to be more on a thick side, add one or two teaspoons of coconut flour.

For me the best tastes reheated, when sauce gets the flavor from cabbage. Enjoy!