Homemade Sauerkraut


 Homemade sauerkraut

A while ago I had about 1/4 of a cabbage leftover after making okonomiyaki. I had started reading the blog Penniless Parenting, and one of the things she mentioned was that you could make your own sauerkraut by fermenting it on your kitchen bench. It seemed easy enough, so I decided to give it a go. This is the extreme opposite of fast food – mine has been fermenting for ten days! But if you can wait that long it is definitely worth it!

Sauerkraut Ingredients

Cabbage (you can use as much or as little as you like, but keep in mind it will squash down a lot. My quarter of a cabbage made only a very small amount of sauerkraut, but it was a good test).

Salt (3-4 tbsp per whole cabbage)

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Method

Chop the cabbage finely. Place a small amount into a bowl and add salt, then mash it down hard (I used my hands for this). Keep mashing until enough liquid has been been released by the cabbage to cover it. Repeat with the remaining cabbage.

When you are finished, transfer the cabbage and the liquid to a glass jar. The liquid should be covering the cabbage, if it’s not you can add more water (I didn’t need to do this).

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Then you need to weigh down the cabbage. I used a ziploc bag filled with water, which provided the weight and also sealed the cabbage off from the air (I got the idea from this blog).

Leave the mixture to ferment for about a week. Check it every couple of days and once it is sour-smelling and tasting, and the cabbage has softened, it is ready. I left mine for ten days but we like it very sour. Transfer it to the fridge and enjoy it.

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Comments

  1. Looks easy enough – will have to give this a try sometime. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. You’re welcome. I would suggest you make a larger batch than 1/4 of a cabbage, to end up with a larger amount of sauerkraut! Make sure you let me know how it went 🙂

  3. Interesting. Sauerkraut is supposed to be one of those fermented foods with beneficial probiotics in it. How did yours taste? Our local farm stand sells kraut cabbage for almost half the price of the salad cabbage. I may give this a try.

    • It tasted pretty sour but good. Mr Omnivore has eaten more sauerkraut than me and he said it tasted like the real thing except a bit crunchier (I think he has had the cooked one before).

      I am jealous of you having a local farm stand. That seems like a pretty common thing in the US. We live in the middle of a city so no local farms for us 🙁

  4. Hello,

    Wanted to let you know plastic is unsafe to use with both acidic foods and fats / oils. Acids and oils both leech toxins from plastic, which is bad for your health (and even worse for your kids if you have them, since their bodies are still forming). Oils are actually worse than acids in terms of leeching. Acids are krauts, tomatoes, citrus, vinegars, molasses, and I might be forgetting some. You might be able to find some tiny jars (or get some free babyfood jars on Freecycle or Craigslist in your area) to weigh down the kraut.

    Good health and good eating to you!

    • Hi Ali, thanks for stopping by 🙂 That’s really interesting – I hadn’t thought about kraut being acidic and leaching nasty chemicals out of the plastic. I will definitely be looking into alternatives. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      • Hello,
        you have an awesome blog!
        Kraut is a fantastic gut healer! Funny I use the same kind of jar to make my ‘quick’ 4-day kraut. Just a very small pinch of sea salt, tiny bit of carrots for a colour, and a smaller jar filled with water as a weight. I leave the kraut on the counter and push it down with the jar that’s in it once in a while, like once or twice a day. I do not make it airtight, may cover it with a tea towel.
        Happy spring!

        • Thanks so much for stopping by Lisa 🙂 I’m a huge fan of sauerkraut as a gut healer, and try to always have a batch on the go!

  5. I have just discovered a method for weighing down the kraut. Warm up some coconut oil slightly to make it liquid. Hold a spoon against the inside of the jar just at the top of the brine. Pour the oil carefully onto the spoon so that it spreads across the surface of the brine. It cools and forms a great seal that can easily be broken off when ready. I am going to try it with lard. (These oils are solid at room temperature.)

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