Have you ever made homemade sauerkraut?
Even if you think you don’t like it, please promise me you’ll give the homemade type a chance. It’s SO much better. Not only is the texture and flavor better, but it’s PACKED with beneficial bacteria (aka probiotics) to help your gut.
Personally, I like the flavor, color and texture of RED cabbage the best.
Plus, making sauerkraut is actually really, really easy. At the least, you just need cabbage, salt and some jars.
FIRST, you’ll want to weigh your cabbage – AFTER you take off the first couple layers of leaves AND the core. (If you need a great, inexpensive kitchen scale that weighs in ounces, pounds and kilograms AND that you can “zero out” to weigh things in a bowl, etc., I highly recommend this one that is shown in my picture):
Next, shred the cabbage in a Food Processor or chop finely with chef’s knife.
Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl and add 4 Tablespoons of salt for every 2lbs of cabbage. This one above weighed just over 6lbs, so I tripled that.
Sprinkle salt over cabbage and start kneading/squeezing cabbage with your clean, bare hands.
Within a couple minutes, the water should be dripping out of the cabbage every time you squeeze it. Keep it up for a couple minutes until it’s pretty juicy.
Next, pack into clean mason jars – I have found several small ones work better than one large one. You’ll want to use the wide-mouth jars if possible so that you can use a smaller cup to press the sauerkraut down. The goal is to cover the top of the sauerkraut with the juice.
Then, put lid on and store in a dark, cool place. I chose a kitchen cupboard. AND learn from my previous mistake by putting something under the sauerkraut….I had one erupt as it fermented and it makes a MESS. I simply used a pie plate this time around:
Just check the kraut every day or two, taste it with a clean fork to see if it’s at the texture you prefer – if not, squish it back down with a small cup again to get liquid covering the top layer.
Once it’s the right taste/texture, simply place in the refrigerator for long-term storage. The refrigeration will stop the fermentation process and you’ll have FRESH, tasty, probiotic-rich sauerkraut!
If you want to learn more about fermenting, I highly recommend this beautiful book full of colorful pictures and easy-to-follow directions (probably BECAUSE he has so many pictures):