This homemade and fermented sauerkraut recipe tastes yummy, it’s really healthy and is supper easy to make. It's a great way to preserve an abundant cabbage harvest and eat tasty nutritional food on the homestead.
Sauerkraut may sound a little daunting to make at first glance, but it's really very easy. Let's jump right in!
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What You Need:
Shredding The Cabbage...
Shred the cabbage. You can do that either with a cheese grater or use a food processor with the shredding attachment (my preferred method :) ).
Put the shredded cabbage into a large bowl. Sprinkle salt on the top. Mix it together a little with your hands.
You can let the cabbage sit on the counter for a while (about 30 minutes) or you can start right in with the kneading. Letting it sit makes it easier to squeeze the juices out of the cabbage and brings the cabbage to room temperature. It can be pretty painful to squeeze the juice out of cold cabbage if you are making a lot of kraut.
I have made it both ways. Which ever I have the time for, or feel like doing at the time.
Kneading The Cabbage...
Next you’er going to knead the cabbage. Squeeze out as much of the juice as possible. When you think you’ve squeezed out all the juice (there should be a few inches in the bottom of the bowl), it’s time to pack it into jars.
Note: After making it a few times you’ll get the hang of how much juice you need to squeeze out. Don’t worry about working it too much the more juice squeezed out the better.
Packing The Jars...
Pack the sauerkraut into the jars (a funnel is helpful) and press it down so that the juices are covering the cabbage completely. Once it starts fermenting It will rise and that’s ok. Just start with the juices covering the cabbage.
It needs to be able to have some room to ferment. Leave about an inch or two of “headspace” (usually a canning term--it is the unfilled empty space in the top of the jar).
Clean Off The Jars...
Clean off the rim of the jars with a clean wet washcloth. You don’t want any cabbage in the seal where the lid is going to be. Screw on the lids with a firm hand but don’t make them too tight.
I like to rinse of the jar with cool water if there is a lot of cabbage on the outside of the jar. Let the sauerkraut sit in a cool dry place in the kitchen for about two weeks.
Ferment & Enjoy!
While it is fermenting the jars may overflow a little. I sometimes like to have a towel under the jars to catch any spilling.
Place the jars of sauerkraut somewhere out of direct light but in a place that is easy to clean.
In about two weeks your sauerkraut should be done. You may eat it any time before that though, whenever you’d like.
You can refrigerate the sauerkraut jars then or you can leave them out. They should last about a year sitting on the counter. Just know that the sauerkraut will continue to ferment when it is out and might get pretty sour. :) We've had some batches go bad (moldy) when we leave them to sit out so we like to refrigerate them now.
Every batch of sauerkraut we have made seems to turn out a little (to a quite a bit) different than each other! It is quite amazing the differences between batches sometimes.
I hope you enjoy your healthy and yummy sauerkraut!