We don’t skimp on fresh produce, even when it comes to fermenting
Kiwi’s do tend to pride ourselves on the clean, green image we’ve cultivated. We’re well-known worldwide for our rolling green hills, and our fresh, delicious produce. While we consider ourselves at Living Goodness to be pretty lucky to have such easy access to fresh vegetables (and beautiful vistas) it’s more than just a preference – it’s good for our kraut.
Traditionally, sauerkraut has been created for those Winter months when there is little fresh produce being grown, and there was no refrigeration to freeze your fruits and veggies. Sauerkraut and kimchi was a way to store fruit and vegetables from the warmer months, so they could be eaten well into Winter-time.
These days, sauerkraut is loved all-year round for other reasons – for some people it’s the taste, while for others it’s all the health benefits. Regardless of why you eat sauerkraut though, one thing never changes: it’s better when it’s made from fresh produce.
We don’t just say this because we pride ourselves on partnering with passionate Kiwi farmers to make our krauts. We say this because fresh produce genuinely does make a better sauerkraut, and it has to do with one main factor – the juice.
When cabbage has been stored and frozen for long periods of time, or even shipped long distances, it begins to dry out. A good cabbage will actually be around 90% water, which means that as soon as it begins to dry out, the results of fermentation start to vary massively.
Water from the vegetables plays a big part in the fermentation process, as it determines how much juice is created. The juice in sauerkraut is that tangy liquid that is created when salt and cabbage are mixed together. It’s not just what makes the sauerkraut delicious though – it’s also fundamental to ensuring that the kraut ferments, instead of moulding over.
Without enough juice to completely submerge the cabbage, mould can start to grow, which is the bad kind of bacteria! We only want good bacteria in our krauts, so a good amount of juice is non-negotiable.
Fresh cabbages have far higher water content, and as a result, produce a larger amount of juice that creates a healthy, prebiotic, and delicious sauerkraut for all to enjoy.
While there are occasionally periods where cabbages are hard to come by (often due to flooding and other forms of bad weather), it’s a pretty tough vegetable that can be grown all year round depending on the climate. In New Zealand this means that we can enjoy fresh cabbage all year long, but it also means our sauerkraut can be made to perfection no matter when we get a hankering for it!
At Living Goodness, we’re also lucky to work with the Balle Bros, which means our cabbages come straight from Pukekohe to us in West Auckland – it doesn’t get much more local than that!