Sauerkraut is so easy to make at home. It just takes cabbage, salt, and time. At least for a classic Sauerkraut like the one I'm sharing today. It's crunchy and sour and so so easy to make.
Sauerkraut is most popular for accompanying brats or making a tasty Ruben sandwich, but did you know its an awesome source for probiotics? Probiotics are good for your gut health and can be consumed in many forms. Yogurt and capsule supplements containing probiotics are some popular ways to consume them, but yogurt is off the list when your on a paleo diet and I suck at remembering to take a daily pill - Especially when it has to be refrigerated. So kraut comes to the rescue for me.
I'm very picky when it comes to sauerkraut, so much so that I usually make my own. But I have found one brand that I love which is Sonoma Brinery. They have a garlic dill sauerkraut that is amazing and is actually what got me hooked on sauerkraut in the first place. It's weird to describe but it's like a pickle salad. It's got crunch and tang, and tastes a lot like pickles.
Other than Sonoma Brinery I 1) haven't found pre-made sauerkraut I've liked the taste of and 2) Haven't found any other raw sauerkraut.
Raw sauerkraut means it hasn't been exposed to heat. So it still has all those wonderful probiotics in it. A lot of brands pasteurize their kraut which gets rid of all the probiotics and it's benefits.
This is what started me on my kraut making journey. After I made my first batch I fell in love. It was easy to do and I got to customize how sour I wanted it to taste.
How does that work? Well, the quick version is that sauerkraut is lacto-fermented, by rubbing the cabbage with salt it creates a brine that the cabbage sits in. This creates a hospitable area for the natural, and beneficial, bacteria on the cabbage to grow while keeping icky bacteria away. The beneficial bacteria are the probiotics and keep your gut happy and healthy. It takes 3 to 10 (or more) days to lacto-ferment depending on how sour you like your sauerkraut. I seem to like mine at the 3-5 day mark.
Give it a try...
Fermenting is an easy and nearly foolproof method for preserving foods. It's safer than canning and fully customize-able to your tastes. You can eat this sauerkraut at any phase in the creation process (though straight cabbage covered in salt probably isn't the greatest) and it can be eaten as is, added to sandwiches, or cooked with your favorite recipes for some tang (though no probiotics at that point).
Below is the recipe for a traditional sauerkraut but you can add spices and other veggies to it to create your own signature sauerkraut (next month I'm sharing my favorite combination with red cabbage).
P.S. The art of fermentation book in the amazon picks below is one of my favorites. It gave me the courage to try fermenting all the things and is very entertaining and educational. Also the Go Ferment! mason jars below are what I use every time I ferment, I love them.Print
Tangy and crunchy Sauerkraut is so easy to make at home. Don't worry no giant crock needed.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack, Spice
- Cuisine: American
- 1 Medium Head of cabbage
- 1 TBS Kosher salt
- Caraway seed
- Dill weed and garlic
- Bell pepper slices
- Apple shreds
- Beet root shreds
- Carrot shreds
- Clean a quart sized mason jar and a large mixing bowl with soap and warm water. Do not use antibacterial soap. We want them clean but not sterilized.
- Cut the head of cabbage into manageable pieces, cut out the core, and slice into thin ribbons.
- Place all the cabbage ribbons into the large mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands massage the salt in to the cabbage for 5-10 minutes. The cabbage with begin to breakdown and produce liquid.
- Grab a handful of cabbage and stuff it into the mason jar. Repeat this to fill up the jar. Every couple of handfuls pack the cabbage down into the jar. Add in any liquid from the mixing bowl. Stop when you are and inch or so from the top.
- Weigh down the cabbage with either a clean stone, fermenting weight, or even a smaller mason jar with something in it to weigh it down.
- Cover with a cloth or use a fermentation lid.
- Check on the sauerkraut every few hours for the first 24 hours, pressing down so it will become submerged in it's own liquid. Once it's submerged leave it in a cool place out of direct sunlight for 3 to 10 days. Taste the sauerkraut every day till it is to your liking and then refrigerate.
Keywords: cabbage, Sauerkraut, Vegetables