Simple Sauerkraut Recipe

sauerkraut recipe

Make your own homemade fermented food with my simple sauerkraut recipe!

I know the idea of making fermented foods can seem daunting especially if you haven’t made anything before, but I thought I would share a really simple sauerkraut recipe that requires only two ingredients; organic cabbage and non-iodised salt.

I was very particular with my words just now, choosing organic where possible is super important so that your cabbage has natural bacteria still present, that pesticides would ordinarily kill off.

Non-iodised salt is also super important in this sauerkraut recipe because iodised salt will discolour the ferments and stop the vegetables from having a crispness.  It is so much more beneficial to use a Himalayan or Celtic salt that has the added benefits of nutrients in the salt.

We are going to use the process of lacto-fermentation to convert the cabbage into sauerkraut. In this process, the beneficial bacteria on the surface of the food, in this case, the cabbage, convert the sugars into lactic acid when submerged in a brine.  This process in itself inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.

You will need:

  • 1 medium-sized organic cabbage
  • 11/2 tablespoon sea salt (non-iodised)
  • Optional: Caraway seeds, juniper berries, or other flavourings

Equipment:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • A sharp knife or mandoline
  • A large glass jar or fermenting crock
  • A weight (like a clean stone or glass jar filled with water)
  • A clean cotton cloth
  • A rubber band or string

Instructions:

  • Prepare the Cabbage:
    • Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage and set them aside.
    • Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core.
    • Finely shred the cabbage using a knife or a mandoline.
  • Add Salt:
    • Place the shredded cabbage in a large mixing bowl.
    • Sprinkle the sea salt over the cabbage.
  • Massage and Release Juices:
    • Massage the cabbage and salt together using your hands for about 5-10 minutes. The salt will draw out the water from the cabbage, creating a brine.
  • Add Optional Flavors:
    • If desired, add caraway seeds, juniper berries, or other flavourings for extra taste. Mix well.
  • Pack the Cabbage into the Fermentation Container:
    • Transfer the cabbage along with the released brine into a clean glass jar or crock.
  • Press Down and Add Weight:
    • Pack the cabbage down tightly into the container to eliminate air bubbles.
    • Place one or more of the reserved outer cabbage leaves over the shredded cabbage.
    • Place a weight on top of the cabbage to ensure it stays submerged in the brine. This could be a clean stone or a glass jar filled with water.
  • Cover and Ferment:
    • Cover the container with a clean cotton cloth, securing it with a rubber band or string to keep out dust.
    • Let the sauerkraut ferment at room temperature ( 15-24°C) for about 1-4 weeks. The length of fermentation depends on your taste preference.
  • Check and Taste:
    • Check the sauerkraut every few days. Press down on the weight to keep the cabbage submerged.
    • Taste the sauerkraut after a week and continue fermenting until it reaches your desired level of tanginess.
  • Store:
    • Once the sauerkraut has reached your preferred taste, remove the weight and cabbage leaves.
    • Transfer the sauerkraut into clean, airtight jars and store it in the refrigerator. It will continue to ferment but at a much slower rate.

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