How to Make Sauerkraut
WHAT IS SAUERKRAUT?
Sauerkraut is essentially fermented cabbage. It has many benefits including fiber, natural probiotics, vitamins C and K2, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and many other nutrients.
It is fairly easy to make and very inexpensive. Some people let it ferment for a week or two or even three. And others (like myself), let it ferment five days. It is up to you how long you want it to ferment and how strong you want the flavor to be. You can test the flavor everyday until you think is the sourness level you prefer. I like to eat my sauerkraut (mostly daily) mixed with salad, as a side dish. I also eat it cold to preserve the natural bacteria.
What tools do you need?
- 32 oz. mason jar
- Large bowl
- Food processor
- Small rock (any rock) or fermenting weight
- Small glass bowl
- 2 small heads of organic cabbage (or one big head)
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- Take out the outer leaves and set aside.
- Cut the cabbage in small pieces.
- Shred in the food processor.
- Place the shredded cabbage in the large bowl and add the salt.
- Massage the cabbage (for a few minutes) to incorporate the salt and the cabbage will start to “sweat” and become juicy.
- Transfer the cabbage into the mason jar and press it down.
- Fold the leaves that you had set aside before and place on top of the cabbage.
- Put the small rock inside a sealed plastic bag and place on top of the cabbage leaves. This will create pressure and will keep the cabbage down the brine “juice” preventing it from molding.
- Place the lid on the jar but loosely (turn it once) to let the gas release.
- Place the jar on the small glass bowl, this will ensure that any liquid (brine) that is released from the jar will not get all over your counter.
- Leave the jar (and bowl) out on your counter to ferment. The more days you leave it to ferment, the more sour it will get. You can let it ferment from 1-3 weeks. It will depend on how sour you want it to be.
- You can taste the leaves on the top every few days to decide on the level of sourness you prefer. Once you decide it is ready, stop the fermentation process by removing the rock and leaves, put the lid on the jar and store in the fridge.
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