How to Make Sauerkraut

If you’ve ever wondered how to make Sauerkraut, then look no further! It’s really easy!

Read on to discover just how you can make your own delicious homemade Sauerkraut.

Equipment

To make your own Sauerkraut, you will need a few simple items:

  • Bowl.

  • Sharp knife.

  • Quart-sized Sauerkraut crock or other suitable food grade container with lid. Click here to find out more about sauerkraut crocks.

  • Plate or small bowl to cover the cabbage.

  • Weight (e.g. large sterilised pebble, sealed plastic bag filled with water)to place on top plate or small bowl.


Ingredients

You don’t need many ingredients at all to make basic Sauerkraut – in fact you only need two! These are:

  • Fresh raw cabbage.

  • Sea salt.

These two simple ingredients will make a great tasting homemade sauerkraut. You can of course further enhance the flavor of your sauerkraut, by adding herbs and/or spices. Those that are commonly added to sauerkraut include garlic, dill, caraway, oregano, and chili. The Germans for example add caraway seeds to their fermented cabbage (Sauerkraut), whilst the Koreans typically add red chili pepper, garlic and ginger to theirs (kimchi).

If you’re really adventurous you can also add in any of the following for flavor:

  • Raw grated carrot.

  • Raw sliced apple.

  • Raw onions.

  • Seaweed.

  • Cracked juniper berries.

  • Raw turnips.

We personally prefer our sauerkraut without any herbs and spices It’s simply a matter of taste though. Try for yourself and see what you prefer!

Sauerkraut Recipes

There are a whole host of different sauerkraut recipes for you to try. If you’re new to fermented cabbage though, we would suggest you begin with a simple Sauerkraut recipe. Here’s how to make Sauerkraut:

  • Take 1 medium head of cabbage (green or red).

  • Remove and discard the outer leaves.

  • Slice cabbage into quarters and discard the core.

  • Finely chop or grate the cabbage. You can do this either using a sharp knife, a mandolin slicer or a v-slicer. If you’re lucky enough to own either a Matstone 6 in 1 or an Oscar Vitalmax juicer, then you could also consider using the ice shaver/multi slicer attachment to dice your cabbage. This attachment is quite costly but if you’re going to be chopping large amounts of cabbage or other vegetables on a regular basis, then it’s well worth it. It will save you a good deal of time and effort. Another excellent way of chopping large amounts of cabbage for fermentation is to use a Kraut board.

  • Place the cabbage in a large bowl.

  • Mix in 1 tablespoon sea salt.

  • Place the large bowl in an empty sink (no dishes, no water!). This makes it easier on your back for the next step.

  • Knead and pound the cabbage and salt mixture with your hands to release the juices from the cabbage.

  • Pack the mixture (juices included) tightly into a wide-mouthed quart-sized jar. Press the mixture down with a fork to bring the juices to the top. Ideally the juices should cover the cabbage. If they do not, add more water until the cabbage is covered. Fill the jar to around 1-inch (around 2.5cm) from the lid.

  • Cover the cabbage mixture with a plate or small bowl and weigh down. The use of a weight places a constant pressure upon the cabbage mixture and helps force the juices out of it.

  • Cover with lid or clean towel and leave to ferment at room temperature for 4-6 days

If you’re really keen on learning how to make Sauerkraut and you are looking for other sauerkraut recipes, then take a look at Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. We’ve found both books to be really good sources of recipes for probiotic foods, including Sauerkraut and other cultured vegetables.

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