We are marching forward in our fermenting journey, the hubs and I. He actually made ‘kraut several times before I did. Anything to get my man in the kitchen, I’m willing to do. Plus, it was so delicious when he made it, I didn’t see the point in trying to mess things up. Yeah, I got mold once. So see, I did mess things up. But then we started eating ‘kraut everyday and he couldn’t keep up with the task since he’s not home as much as I am. So, I gave it another shot and I’ve been making our ‘kraut for a couple months now. No mold, perfection every time. You are not going to believe how easy it is to make sauerkraut at home. And let me just say, I never liked sauerkraut until he made it. I thought it was slimy and salty, and the texture. I couldn’t do it. But now I’ll put it on my eggs in the morning. We love it on sandwiches, on roasted potatoes or straight from the jar! Like other fermented foods, sauerkraut improves digestion and supports the immune system. This wasn’t the first fermented food we added to our diet (kombucha was), but now we rarely go without it.
Make Sauerkraut at Home
1 head cabbage, organic if possible unrefined salt (we use Real Salt) wide-mouth quart mason jar + plastic lid Thinly slice cabbage. There are several ways of doing this. I usually cut the heart out first and compost (or sprinkle with salt and eat!). With the bottom down, cut entire head into half inch slices. Then, slice those slices into slices and continue until you’ve got thinly shredded cabbage. Next, I place half in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. I don’t measure, but I probably use one teaspoon for half a head. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. This allows the salt to begin breaking down the cabbage, which makes your job easier. Now, using your hands or a wooden or meat masher, mash the cabbage. I prefer using my hands, and I just squeeze and squeeze the cabbage until it’s soft, usually less than 5 minutes. You should notice liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Once your cabbage is soft, place in a wide mouth quart jar. Again, using hands or a masher, firmly push cabbage into bottom of jar. There shouldn’t be any air pockets. Pour liquid from bowl over cabbage. The cabbage should be completely covered with the liquid, if it’s not keep pushing. Repeat the above steps with second half of cabbage head. Use those muscles to get the cabbage packed in as tightly as you can. I was able to just barely fit a medium-sized cabbage into a quart jar, so you decide if you need more than one jar or not. The key is to make sure your cabbage is covered with the liquid and you’ll want about an inch from the cabbage to the top of the jar. Cover with plastic lid (I feel funny about using metal with ferments, but that might just be me). Sit out at room temperature for 3 days. After 3 days, remove lid and make sure there isn’t any mold present, but there should be a slightly sour smell. At this point, move your sauerkraut to the refrigerator. It’s ready to eat now, but the flavor and texture will improve with time.