Posted: January 30, 2015 by: Amber Hourigan
Making your own sauerkraut couldn't be simpler, and it costs a fraction of what you pay for store bought varieties. This easy recipe will have you enjoying this gut healing superfood in no time!
It is best to use a jar with a rubber seal as salt can corrode metal. If you don’t have a jar with a rubber seal, place cling film over the mouth of the jar before putting on the lid.
During fermentation you may see bubbles, foam or white scum. These are all signs of the fermentation process. Scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigeration. If you see any mold, skim off immediately and remove any cabbage in the surrounding area. The rest of the cabbage will be perfectly OK to consume.
1 Medium head cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp caraway seeds (optional)
Discard any wilted or limp outer leaves. Save one good outer leaf for later. Cut cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter crosswise into very thin ribbons.
Transfer cabbage to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. The cabbage will become watery and limp. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. Mix in caraway seeds if you are including them.
Take handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the jar. Every so often, tamp cabbage down with your fist. Pour any remaining liquid released by the cabbage into the jar. Place the outer leaf over the top of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
Place lid on jar and put the jar in a cool, dark place to ferment.
Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
If, after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage. As an extra precaution you can weigh it down with a glass weight or a small clean jar (with metal lid removed).
Each day, open the lid and allow any gases to escape. Press down on cabbage if it has risen above the liquid
Ferment cabbage for 3 to 10 days. After 3 days start to taste cabbage—when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the outer leaf and weight, and refrigerate.
Sauerkraut will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be.
Red cabbage, napa cabbage, and other cabbages all make great sauerkraut. Make individual batches or mix them.
During fermentation, the cabbage should be kept at cool room temperature. At high temperatures, the sauerkraut can become mushy or go bad. Low temperatures (above freezing) are OK, but fermentation will proceed more slowly.