If I mention the words ‘mindless eating’, what thoughts pop into your head?

Probably nothing healthy, right?

For me ‘mindless eating’ normally evokes thoughts of chowing down on junk in front of the TV or computer. Big bags of chips or pop corn at the cinema. Or shoveling ice cream straight from the tub.

While I’m a huge fan of the concept of MindFUL eating, I’ve also come to appreciate that there’s a place for mindLESS eating in a healthy lifestyle.

Really? Mindless eating = healthy?

Mindless Eating for good is a concept I discovered via the lovely Darya Rose. It was coined by researcher Brian Wansink in his awesome book, ‘Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think’.

Basically Wansink’s research team have found that our bodies aren’t very good at accurately keeping track of how much food we eat. Most people can eat 20% less and not actually feel like they’re missing out on anything.

Wainsink calls this the ‘mindless margin’. It’s basically a ‘buffer zone’ where our brains don’t detect whether we’ve eaten more or less.

Over time, the extra (or less) food eaten in the mindless margin adds up to weight gained (or lost!).

So today I wanted to share some tips from Wainsink’s book that I’ve found helpful.

3 Tips to Eat Less Mindlessly

1. Use smaller plates
It’s an optical illusion but it really does work. The same amount of food look like much more if served on smaller plates. So you’re more likely to feel satisfied with less.

Same goes for smaller glasses, something to think about if you’re trying to limit your wine consumption. (Nothing to see here…)

2. Serve (slightly) less food
Most of us keep eating until our plates are empty. So a great way to eat less is to serve yourself less food to begin with. The trick is to find a balance, you don’t want to feel like you’re missing out. It’s about keeping inside the ‘mindless margin’.

3. Only serve healthy options in the middle of the table.
I love serving big platters of food in the middle of the table because it looks so appealing. But as you probably know yourself, if food is there it gets eaten.

I’ve found by serving healthy options like salad and vegetables in the middle, I still get the look and feeling of abundance. However keeping the extra servings of meat and potatoes in the kitchen, means we’re far less likely to have too much of these.

Looking for more Healthy Eating & Cooking Tips?

You can still catch my FREE training series. BUT I’ll be taking it down this THURSDAY so you’ll need to be quick!

To make sure you don’t miss out go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/healthy-meals-free-training/

____________

easy chinese chicken

Easy Chinese Chicken

The simple sauce for this chicken was inspired by my favourite food writer, Nigel Slater. A bit of garlic, some 5-Spice powder and soy sauce. So easy and really delish. I can get Chinese 5-Spice at my local supermarket but if you can’t, an online spice merchant will be able to help you out. Or see the variation below for an alternative.

Enough for 2
2 teaspoons Chinese 5-Spice
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500g (1lb) chicken thigh fillets, slice into bite sized pieces
250g (1/2 lb) snow peas, trimmed
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
handful cashews

1. Combine 5-spice, garlic and 2 tablespoons oil. Toss in the chicken and allow to marinate for as long as you’ve got. a Few minutes if fine but for anything longer than an hour, keep it in the fridge.

2. Heat a little oil in a wok or large frying pan on a very high heat. Add snow peas and stir fry until bright green and just cooked but still very crunchy. Remove to a clean bowl.

3. Heat a little more oil in the wok and stir fry chicken until well browned and just cooked though. About 5-10 minutes.

4. Return snow peas to the pan to warm through. Remove from the heat and toss in the soy sauce.

5. Serve in two bowls with cashews on top.

VARIATIONS
vegetarian – replace chicken with sliced hallomi and pan fry until golden instead of stir frying.

vegan – replace chicken with sliced eggplant. Allow more time stir frying for the eggplant to cook properly. Undercooked eggplant is one of my least favourite things.

no Chinese 5-spice – make your own approximation with equal parts ground cinnamon, fennel seeds, black pepper and star anise. Or at a minimum just use cinnamon and fennel.

different veg – asparagus, sugar snap peas, bok choy, broccolini, broccoli, Chinese broccoli, red capsicum (bell pepper), zucchini (courgettes).

more veg – serve on a bed of cauliflower ‘rice’ (grated raw cauli).

carb-lovers – serve with steamed rice or rice noodles cooked according to the packet.

different meat – minced (ground) chicken, chicken breasts, pork fillet, steaks – any tender cut that will stir fry well.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. As I mentioned above, I’m going to be taking down my FREE training series on healthy meals this THURSDAY.

Make sure you don’t miss it over at:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/healthy-meals-free-training/

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I‘m a huge believer in the power of habits for helping to put everyday decisions on autopilot, making it much easier to live a healthy life.

One of the things I’ve learned in my study of habit formation over the years is the power of public commitment.

Earlier in the year, I joined Febfast and committed to a month without alcohol.

It was tough. Especially the night we were staying with friends in Sydney and everyone else was drinking really lovely wine.

One of my friends tried to persuade me to have some. They weren’t going to tell anybody…

It was tempting.

But you know what kept me from caving?

The thought of having to sit down here and admit to you that I had broken my promise.

While Febfast is long gone, I have a few bad cooking habits that I’ve been trying to kick on my own. And if truth be told, I haven’t been having much luck.

So today I’m ‘outing’ myself on my 3 worst habits. I’ll report back in a month or so to let you know how I’ve gone.

BAD HABIT 1. Picking While I Cook

As I mentioned in my interview with the lovely Darya Rose a few weeks ago, picking at food while I cook has long been my worst cooking habit.

Now that I’m getting dinner ready for Fergal before I start cooking for my Irishman and me, it’s been getting worse.

I hate that feeling of sitting down to dinner and not being hungry.

Darya had some brilliant advice around setting boundaries for snacking, like using a plate and only doing it sitting at the table. I’ve been working on implementing this for a few weeks now, and while I have made some progress, there have been times when I have had my official snack and still picked while cooking.

I need a bit more help with this one.

BAD HABIT 2. Dull Knives

Even though we have top quality knives and the easiest sharpening system ever, I’m very embarrassed to admit that I can easily go weeks if not months without sharpening.

I know dull knives are dangerous. I just can’t explain this terrible habit apart from being super lazy.

So I commit to sharpening my knives at least once a week on Sunday or Monday. I’ve started this week off with sharp knives. It feels great.

BAD HABIT 3. Not Washing Leaves and Herbs

I think this habit started when we were buying most of our veg from the supermarket. Those pre-washed bags of salad leaves and herbs are just ‘oh so easy’.

Now we buy the lions share of our veg from the farmers market. I’m loving the increase in quality and freshness but have honestly been ‘pretending’ to myself that the leaves don’t need washing.

When clearly they do. I know.

I can’t believe I’m going to put this in writing, but we had a guest staying who found a slug in the salad. Even that mortification hasn’t wrenched me out of my slothfulness.

It’s definitely time for a change. So when I report back I’m planning on my salad spinner being my new best friend.

What about you?

Do you have any bad cooking habits that you’d like to break? Or even some good habits you’d like to form?

Then check out my free ‘limited time’ training series on healthy cooking. Just go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/healthy-meals-free-training/

_________________

kale 'cabonara'-4

Kale ‘Cabonara’

OK so if you’re a purist when it comes to the naming of dishes, you’d better block your ears. I know that cabonara traditionally includes egg yolk and no cream, but I really liked the sound of kale ‘cabonara’ and I felt more in the mood for cream than egg yolk… so that what we have.

Enough for 2
4-6 slices bacon, chopped
1 bunch kale, ribs discarded (if tough) & leaves sliced into ribbons
1-2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons cream
2 large handfuls grated parmesan + extra to serve

1. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and cook bacon on a medium high heat until well browned.

2. Remove bacon from the pan and add the kale and garlic. Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes until the kale is wilted and deep green in colour. It will take about 5-10 minutes. If it starts to burn, add a splash of water to help generate some steam.

3. Return bacon to the pan and add cream. Stir over the heat to warm through then remove from the heat and add the cheese.

4. Divide between two plates and serve with extra cheese if you like.

VARIATIONS
more substantial / carb lovers – toss in some cooked pasta at the end. A drained can of chickpeas or white beans will do the same job without causing blood sugar problems.

paleo / more classic cabonara – replace cream with 2 egg yolks. Add the yolks with the bacon off the heat. And see the dairy-free option.

dairy-free – replace cream with 2 egg yolks and replace parmesan with grated brazil nuts and if you like a teaspoon of nutritional yeast.

vegetarian – replace bacon with chopped smoked tofu – a really lovely ingredient. OR serve with a big handful of smoked almonds or other nuts.

different greens – as much as I love kale, any leafy greens such as spinach, baby spinach, chard or silverbeet can be used.

vegan - cook sliced kale with garlic in olive oil and serve with more olive oil and a good few handfuls of roasted nuts or cooked legumes.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. Like access to my free healthy cooking training series?
Just go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/healthy-meals-free-training/

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A few weeks ago, my Irishman was in a lift with a family with a sick baby. He mentioned that he has a one-year-old and the other parents were like, ‘Oh you must be used to him being sick’.

My Irishman was a little taken back by this.

Over dinner he told me about his encounter with the sick child.

We both realized we’ve been very lucky with Fergal. Apart from the odd runny nose, he hasn’t ever been really sick. (Excuse me while I just go and touch some wood!)

But is this just good luck? Or good genes? Or something we’re doing or not doing?

In all likelihood, it’s a combination. However, our habits and lifestyle must be having an impact.

4 Ways I Keep My Family Healthy

1. We eat real food.
The rate of obesity has increased at the same rate as our consumption of processed food. Coincidence? I think not.

What do I mean by ‘real food’?

Basically, it’s anything without a complicated ‘ingredients list’ on the pack. Or better yet, food that doesn’t come in packages. Like vegetables, fish, meat etc.

While most of our food falls into the ‘real’ category, we don’t obsess. I’m happy for occasional processed conveniences like commercial curry pastes or tomato ketchup.

2. We go easy on grains, especially wheat.
The main problem with grains, even ‘whole grains’ is they provide loads of carbohydrates without enough beneficial micronutrients. I prefer to get my carbs in the form of vegetables and legumes.

Even if you think you don’t have a problem with wheat or gluten, you may find your health improves if you experiment with removing wheat from your diet. It’s not just a digestive thing. In ‘Wheat Belly,’ William Davis links consumption of modern wheat to all sorts of ills including schizophrenia.

3. We aren’t afraid of fat. Including saturated fat.
Whenever I write about fat it tends to be controversial. The whole ‘low fat’ movement has a lot to answer for.

Eating fat doesn’t make you fat. In our house we love olive oil, butter, cream, nuts, avocado and bacon.

Not ready to stop being fat phobic? Then check out:
What Does It Mean to Be Fat-Adapted?
Why Fat is the Preferred Fuel for Human Metabolism

Also, saturated fat isn’t bad for us. In 2010 a panel of heart disease experts concluded that reducing saturated fat intake doesn’t reduce the risk of heart disease.

Saturated fat tends to be the most stable fat for cooking and can actually be beneficial. If you think I’ve gone crazy, read 7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat.

4. We eat lots of vegetables.
Vitamins. Minerals. Fiber. Antioxidants. Plus they’re delicious.

What’s not to love about veg!

______________

In case you’re wondering, I’d better be clear about my credentials.

I’m not a professional dietitian or nutritionist. However, I did study nutrition at university. For my Food Science Degree I took two nutrition subjects (and got distinctions!) along with basic biochemistry.

_____________

Like to go deeper with this?

I’m running a FREE video training series on healthy eating.

If you’d like free access to the training, just go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/healthy-meals-free-training/

___________________
bacon & cabbage-2

Super Yum Bacon & Cabbage

My Irishman tells me that bacon and cabbage is a traditional dish from Limerick. He’s a big fan of his Mum, Geraldine’s version.

I knew it was a bit risky to mess around with a family favourite but I couldn’t help myself. Instead of boiling the cabbage, I just soften it in a little oil which saves time and reduces the risk of any ‘smelly’ cabbagey flavours.

enough for 2
3-4 slices bacon, chopped
1 bunch leeks, washed & white parts sliced OR 1 onion
1/2 small cabbage or 1/4 large, sliced
1 tablespoon rice or other wine vinegar

1. Heat a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Add a little olive oil and brown bacon.

2. Then add the leeks and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring when you think of it.

3. When the leeks have started to soften, add the cabbage and a splash of water. Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes until the cabbage is ‘al dente’ or just soft. Somewhere from 5-10 minutes.

4. Season with salt and pepper and vinegar. Serve hot.

VARIATIONS
different cabbage thicknesses – I like to slice my cabbage finely using my knife, so not as fine as a mandoline. This way the cabbage cooks quickly. If you’re after a more chunky look, cutting the cabbage into 1 inch ribbons will also work, just expect a longer cooking time.

more veg – serve with flat leaf parsley leaves, baby spinach or a few spoonfuls of home made sauerkraut.

different cabbage – I’ve used white cabbage in the picture but we love this with red cabbage (and balsamic vinegar) or savoy as well. You could also use brussels sprouts, just remember to slice them finely so they cook quickly. Kale can also be used.

vegetarian – just skip the bacon and serve with a salty cheese crumbled over like feta.

herby – a little thyme or sage added with the onions is also lovely.

carb lovers – serve with steamed or mashed potatoes.

vegan – replace bacon with smoked tofu or skip the bacon and serve topped with roasted or smoked nuts such as almonds.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. Like access to my free healthy cooking training?
Just go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/healthy-meals-free-training/

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You know when you come across someone who is a kindred spirit? Someone who has similar philosophies to your own?

I love when that happens.

Like when I discovered Darya Rose from the fab little blog summertomato.com.

Darya and I share a lot in common including a love of vegetables and legumes, a background in science (Darya has a Ph.D) and a firm belief in the power of healthy eating. We’ve both written guest posts for Tim Ferrissblog, which is how I discovered her.

Anyway, Darya’s book Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting is one of the best books I’ve read on healthy eating.

Actually I love it so much I’ve read (listened to the audiobook version) about 5 times in the last year.

If you’re at all interested in how to use real food and healthy habits to control your weight, or even just after some inspiration to help you eat healthier, I can’t recommend Foodist enough.

But in case you need more convincing, I contacted Darya and asked her a couple of questions…

Q. For you personally, what are the top 2 habits you’ve developed (or quit) for controlling your weight?

A. The number one habit I had to give up, without a doubt, was dieting. It sounds counter-intuitive, but dieting was what caused me to make terrible food choices, deprive myself and ultimately overeat. Once I embraced the joy of Real Food all the “self control” I wished I had became second nature. Eating right became easy for me, and I lost weight naturally.

The second habit was cooking. I never used to cook, and to be honest I thought it was beneath me. I was an academic and preferred to outsource my food preparation so that I could focus on “more important things.” I was so misguided. Once the value of Real Food started becoming clear to me, I realized the only practical way to fit my new lifestyle into my grad student budget was to learn how to cook for myself.

What surprised me was how easy it was.

I thought I needed to have some special talent to make food taste good (I had been known to burn water in the past), but when you start with excellent, seasonal ingredients it’s actually kind of hard to mess it up. Then you just need to develop a few simple skills (sautéing, roasting, etc.) and it’s a piece of cake. These days I actually consider it easier to cook and eat at home than go out to a restaurant in the city.

Q. The habit I struggle with the most is snacking while I’m cooking. This is especially bad at dinner when I’m tired and lacking will power! I often sit down to eat and am already full. Now that I have a baby who eats dinner before us, I find it’s getting worse. I’ve tried having healthy snacks on hand which does help sometimes but often I eat the healthy snacks and reach for more food as well. Any ideas how I can stop so I can enjoy my meals at the table?

A. Snacking is tough for a lot of people. One of the issues is that it is difficult to make it a discreet occurrence; it is hard to create a barrier to stop yourself from overdoing it. The key to reprogramming any habit is to pay close attention to the triggers that drive your behavior, and what feelings they activate. The next step is finding ways to steer yourself in a different direction.

One way that I’ve personally been able to control creeping habits like snacking (I lump work/email in the same category, since I work at home it’s hard to keep work out of my personal life sometimes) is to create clear boundaries.

For instance, I too am often hungry before dinner, which is often after I finish my daily workout. I know that there is no way I can get through the cooking process on so little fuel, so I consciously have a satisfying snack before starting to cook. Carrot sticks wouldn’t cut it in these situations. I often have a bit of trail mix, cheese or a hearty piece of fruit. It’s important to make your snacking official, use a plate and sit at a table. That way eating while standing or walking around the kitchen feels weird and inappropriate.

With my method I’m satisfied enough to not snack during the cooking process, then by the time dinner is ready I’m hungry again. Similarly I keep work in its place by forbidding email in the living room. I have a home office (far away from the living area), which is the only place I’m allowed to work. If I want to check email I have to walk away from everyone and go into my boring office. It’s a pretty good deterrent.

The important part is that there’s a clear boundary for when snacking or working is/isn’t allowed. In Foodist I call these black & white rules.

kale with pistachios-3

Kale with Pistachios

Adapted from Foodist by Darya Rose. This is one of Darya’s ‘home court’ recipes which is similar to greens I cook all the time. I love Darya’s idea to leave the garlic sit and add at the end of the cooking time. Darya notes that this time increases the nutritional content of the garlic while minimising the risk of burning the garlic. Love it!

enough for 1-2
1 bunch kale
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
handful shelled pistachios, roasted
100g (3.5oz) cooked lentils (1/2 cup), optional

1. Wash kale well and slice into ribbons. Leave some water on the leaves to help the kale steam as it cooks. If the stems are really thick, remove the stems and just use the leaves.

2. Heat a large frying pan on a medium high heat. Add a splash of olive oil, the chopped kale and a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes.

3. Stir and if the kale is drying out or starting to burn add a few tablespoons of water. Cover again and cook for another few minutes. Keep cooking and stirring like this until the kale is wilted.

4. Make a hole in the center of the kale, add the garlic and a splash more oil. Allow the garlic to cook for about 30 seconds then stir it into the kale.

5. Add pistachios and lentils (if using). Stir. Taste and season with extra salt and pepper if needed.

VARIATIONS
carnivore – brown some chopped bacon or chorizo before adding the kale. Or serve as a side to roast or BBQ chicken.

different greens – I’ve used purple kale in the picture but any green kale or leafy greens such as spinach or chard are great.

lemony – if the greens taste a little flat, I sometimes add a splash of lemon juice or sherry vinegar at the end.

more substantial – add more cooked lentils or other legumes such as chickpeas or beans.

different nuts – feel free to us other nuts such as almonds, cashews, brazil nuts or pine nuts.

nut-free – just replace the nuts with extra lentils or a handful of toasted sourdough breadcrumbs for extra crunch.

other ideas for tasty additions - roast chopped beets, shavings of parmesan, goats cheese, ricotta, sardines, fresh parsley, lemon zest, or aioli.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. I’m running a FREE video training series on healthy eating.
To access the training just go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/healthy-meals-free-training/

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Can you believe it’s September already?

I know!

I really love this time of year. Spring is just beginning to make an appearance both in the weather and the produce available at the farmers market. The days are getting longer.

And it’s my birthday(!)

This year, I’m continuing my birthday traditions of sharing a new cake recipe with you and having a birthday sale. So let’s dig in!

The Birthday Cake!

In case you’re new to my Stonesoup birthday tradition, previous celebrational treats have included a lemon delicious cake, a croissant surprise cake and last year’s birthday ice cream sandwich.

I actually started developing this year’s recipe over 12 months ago because I take my Birthday cake very seriously. I wanted to make a sweet treat using one of my favourite vegetables, beetroot.

Most baking recipes that use beets just call for grated beets, similar to carrot cakes. But I’ve always found the results disappointing. As much as I adore the earthy flavour of beets, it’s too much for me when used raw in a cake.

So the solution?

Easy, just used cooked beets.

And combining them with dark chocolate in a rich squidgy brownie doesn’t hurt. At all.

The Birthday Sale

One of the best things I’ve done in my business this year is start ‘Soupstones’, a done-for-you meal planning service. I love this unique service because it really helps make it super easy to eat delicious, healthy home cooked dinners on a regular basis.

It’s all about helping you eat well and be well.

Soupstones Square Logo no border

So this year I thought I’d do something different and have a 50% OFF Birthday Sale on Soupstones Meal Plans monthly membership. So if you join during the sale, you’ll lock in the 50% savings for as long as you are a member.

As per my birthday tradition, this sale is available for the next 72 HOURS ONLY. That’s it.

To make sure you don’t miss out go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/soupstones/

UPDATE: The birthday sale is now over.

_______

red velvet brownies-3

Red Velvet Birthday Brownies

The first time I came across a red velvet cake recipe, I remember being so disappointed that the ‘red’ came from food colouring. My first thought was why not use something natural like beets?

enough for 6-8
150g (5oz) unsalted butter
150g (5oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
150g (5oz) cooked beets
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, optional
150g (5oz) brown sugar
150g (5oz) almond or hazelnut meal

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a loaf pan with baking paper.

2. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add chocolate. Stand.

3. Meanwhile, whizz beets in a food processor until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, sugar and nut meal and whizz again until mixed.

4. Add melted butter and chocolate and again whizz until combined.

5. Spread mixture over the base of your pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until firm on the top but still squidgy in the middle.

6. Cool in the tin and serve sliced with vanilla ice cream or double cream.

VARIATIONS
no food processor – just chop the beets finely by hand and mix everything with a spoon.

even redder velvet – replace dark chocolate with white chocolate.

home cooked beets – just trim and scrub beets then bake whole (180C / 350F) until soft when pierced with a knife, about an hour but may be longer for large beets. Cool and peel before using.

budget / nut-free – replace nut meal with plain (all purpose) flour. Be super careful not to over bake as flour based brownies can be very dry.

dairy-free – replace butter with coconut oil.

egg-free - I haven’t tried this but replacing the egg with 1 large mashed ripe banana should work fine here.

vegan – combine the dairy and egg free options.

With love,
Jules x
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So I was very pleasantly surprised with the response to my previous post on fermenting vegetables.

It made me super happy to hear that so many of you are interested in fermentation and put in a request for my sauerkraut recipe.

So today that’s exactly what I have for you.

But before we get to that I have a quick favour to ask…

A Favour

It’s been over 18 months since I last released a new cookbook. A long time, I know.

So I’m super excited to announce that I’m working on a new eCookbook. The only problem is I have so many ideas of what I’d like the book to cover, after all I’ve had 18 months to think about it!

I’ve created a super short survey so you can help me decide which direction to go in.

It’s only 2 multiple choice questions and will only take you a minute or so. And I’d really appreciate your input.

To help me out enter your answers below:

Thanks!

sauerkraut-3

Simple Sauerkraut

I was never a huge fan of sauerkraut until I started making my own. Being able to control how fermented or ‘funky’ your kraut gets makes a huge difference. If you’re new to fermenting vegetables though I’d really recommend starting with fermented carrots which are much much easier!

This method is called dry brining and when you read through the method it’s hard to imagine it working. I know I always thought that when looking at kraut recipes. It wasn’t until I actually saw Sandor Katz make kraut that I ‘got it’. So I recommend checking out the video as it’s much easier to show you rather than write.

makes 1 medium jar
1/2 head cabbage
salt

1. Day 1. Cut cabbage in half lengthwise and trim the surfaces that were already cut. Remove outer leaves and discard. Finely slice the cabbage as well as you can. I use a knife because I like it rustic. But you could use a mandoline if you want really fine kraut.

2. Place sliced cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a few generous pinches of fine salt as you go. You want at least 0.5% salt. I just add and mix and taste as I go. When the cabbage tastes slightly salty but still really fresh I leave it at that. (See notes below for more detailed quantities).

3. Massage cabbage with your clean hands. Sandor recommends 10 minutes but I usually do it for a few minutes and then leave it to stand so the salt can work its magic. You want the moisture from the cabbage to come out.

4. Pack the cabbage into a clean glass or ceramic jar. Press down firmly as you go to really release the moisture and pack it as tightly as possible. I like to use the back of a spoon. You want enough liquid to just cover the cabbage. If it looks too dry add a little filtered or boiled and cooled water. But be sparing as water will dilute the final flavour.

5. Seal with the lid and leave on the kitchen bench.

6. Day 2. Open the jar to release any gas buildup. Push the cabbage down to re-submerge. Taste.

7. Day 3+. Repeat as per day 2 and taste again. If the cabbage tastes tangy enough for you, pop it in the fridge and start eating. If not leave it out of the fridge and continue to taste every day until you’re happy. Depending on the temperature and how funky you like your kraut it can take from 3 days to months.

Notes / Variations

Different Veg – I like savoy cabbage but recently made a mix of savoy and red cabbage that was really pretty. Turnips, carrots, apple and cooked spuds can all be added.

Flavourings - I haven’t tried any but celery seeds, curry spices, caraway seeds, or chilli can all be used.

Quantity rule of thumb – 1kg veg will fill a 1L vessel and will need about 0.5% – 1% salt so about 5-10 grams.

If in doubt when tasting – pop it in the fridge because this will slow the fermentation down and you can always pull it back out if you decide later that it’s not strong enough for you.

Different containers – Don’t ferment in metal due to corrosion. Plastics can be OK but I prefer glass or ceramics so you can be certain there are no plastics leaching into the ferment.

Floating veg – you can put a weight to hold down the veg as they tend to float. I usually don’t bother.

Fill levels – Don’t fill to the top due to expansion

Light degrades some nutrients but generally light is OK. It doesn’t need to be in a dark cellar and is better in the kitchen where you won’t forget about them. Plus UV rays from the sun act as a mould inhibitor.

White Mold – just skim and discard they’re not toxic.

Bright Coloured Molds – are toxic – discard the project. But don’t stress about this too much. No one has died from eating fermented vegetables.

Video Recipe


Or view video recipe over here.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. I’ve also recently uploaded a video for making fermented carrots (much easier than kraut!). It’s available over here.

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What Would June Do?

August 20, 2014

ithout a doubt, the saddest day of the year for me is the 20th August. You see it’s the day that nine years ago my family huddled in a little hospital room and watched my Mum breathe her last breath. I still really miss her. This year I’m feeling it even more than usual. I […]

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The Number 1. Way to Improve
Your Gut Health

August 13, 2014

few months ago took an online course called ‘Debunking PCOS‘ which is all about improving fertility and conquering Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome which I was diagnosed with over 10 years ago. The thing that really surprised me about the course was that the number 1 action we were encouraged to take was to heal your […]

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How to Rescue a Burnt Disaster

August 5, 2014

ot long after we moved into our little farm house earlier in the year, I was beginning to question my ability to cook without burning something. It started one night when I was making a bolognese sauce… Somehow I got side tracked and forgot I had the pot on the highest setting. The next thing […]

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A New Take on Pesto

July 29, 2014

love Winter. The frosty mornings. The crisp clear days. Snuggling up by the fire with a good book and a glass of red. And then there’s the food. Soups and slow cooked delights. Self saucing ginger puddings with ice cream. If I was forced to choose my favourite season it would be a toss up […]

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Debunked: The 3 Biggest Myths about Being an Organized Cook

July 23, 2014

esterday morning I decided to do something a little differently. I’ve been trying to get into the habit of waking up early. I used to think I wasn’t a ‘morning person’ but when I make the effort, I love having that extra quite time to meditate and get a little work done. So what did […]

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The 3 Golden Rules of Do Ahead Meals

July 15, 2014

t may surprise you to learn that we actually eat lots of do ahead meals in our house. Even though I love cooking. And would be happy to cook every day, I’ve found that when I’m taking photographs for my blog, or a book or a new online cooking class, it’s much easier to batch […]

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My Secret to Being an Organised Cook

July 8, 2014

ince becoming a Mum just over a year ago, there have been many changes in my life. Easily the biggest one, from a food perspective, is that I just don’t have as much time to spend in the kitchen as I used to… So meanwhile I’ve been relying on the quicker recipes in my repertoire […]

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3 Quick Questions With…

July 1, 2014

hen I decided to quit my corporate job designing chocolate biscuits (cookies) over 4 years ago, there was one thing I knew I was going to miss… working as part of a team. I’ve absolutely loved the transition to full time blogger and entrepreneur. And these days with social media, I never have to worry […]

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The BEST Stonesoup Recipes?

June 24, 2014

ou might remember a few months back, I mentioned that I was planning to pull together a new FREE eCookbook for Stonesoup email subscribers. And my lovely assistant Caroline had the brilliant idea to make it a ‘best of Stonesoup’ compilation and to get you to vote for your favourite Stonesoup recipes. Well today that […]

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A Very Special Birthday Cake…

June 18, 2014

his time last year I was heavily pregnant. Heavy was totally the right word to describe it. Enough people had asked me if I was having twins that even I was beginning to wonder. Anyway, I knew my life was about to change in a major way. But what I didn’t know was just how […]

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My 9 Favourite Healthy Breakfast Ideas

June 12, 2014

nce upon a time I worked for a multinational breakfast cereal company as a young food scientist developing new breakfast and snack products. One of the ‘perks’ of the job was the canteen filled with an amazing array of free cereal and milk. As you can imagine, pretty much everyone had their breakfast at work. […]

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How to Cook Quinoa

June 3, 2014

hese days, if I get asked to describe my diet, the shortest answer is that I’m ‘mostly paleo’. Now if you’re wondering ‘what on earth is Jules talking about?’, allow me to explain… ‘Paleo’ is a way of eating that is loosely based on what our paleolithic ancestors ate. In short that includes meat, poultry, […]

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A Sneak Peek…

May 27, 2014

arlier in the year, we had a family trip to Sydney. Since we were staying with friends, we offered to cook dinner. Our hosts agreed and being the generous souls they are, they insisted on buying all the ingredients for us. I was cooking a Thai-inpsired meal, so there were lots of fresh herbs on […]

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7 Surprising Lessons from Using
my Meal Plans

May 20, 2014

ne of the things I’m super passionate about in my business is making my products as useful and user friendly as possible. Unless my customers get real value in their lives, I really don’t feel like I deserve to keep their money. Which is why last week I decided to have a week of following […]

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