How to make Sauerkraut – simple and easy!

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How to make Sauerkraut – simple and easy!

We have got an abundance of cabbage at the moment, and I even took the first one out of my garden today – makes me feel I’m living the “good life” to be able to grab food from my garden!! As well as all fresh veges cabbage has an abundance of good bugs that help digest our food. Its essential to incorporate some fermented food in our daily diet for great health and energy. For more info on this see here.

So I am wanting to give you the quick low down on how I make my sauerkraut. You can buy it but it is really really simple and inexpensive to make.

Step 1:

Cut up 1 or 2 cabbages (you can do as much or as little as you want to). If you are starting, just cut one up. You can cut it up with a knife

 

or you can use a chopping gizmo like I have. How you cut it doesn’t really matter. As you get used to it you’ll probably find your own groove as to what you like.

 

Step 2:

Add salt. I use Himalayan Salt, or you can use Celtic Sea Salt. Any unprocessed mineral salt you have will work. Add 1 Tbsp per 1 large cabbage or 2 small heads. The function of the salt is to limit the growth of harmful bacteria. Its not an exact science, in my experience.

Step 3:

This is the fun part. I mush it up with my  hands. It doesn’t have to take too long, just to mix in the salt and start the process of extracting the cabbage juice.

Step 4:

After a couple of minutes of smushing put it into your containers. I use 1 litre glass mason jars. In the ideal world I’d have a fermenting crock but I find this way works fine. Press the cabbage down into the jar tightly. You’ll find that the juices from the cabbage will magically appear and once they are covering the vege, you’re good to go! This does take a little effort to press the cabbage down.  I use an old meat pounder as a press – get creative (and let me know what you use!) So it kinda looks like this:

                                                                 

Step 5:

Cover the cabbage with a sterilised lid (some people use a river stone) – just make sure the cabbage is submerged.

Put it in a cool, dark place and let it sit until its ready! Thats it! You will want to know when its ready…well, that depends…on temperature and the vege. It can take between 5 days and a couple of weeks. Just taste it to see when its good. It should taste good. After that put it in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process. Some say it best left for a few weeks before eating…with me, I am rarely that organised so it can start getting munched on as soon as it tastes good.

A note is that any vege can be fermented. I am not very good at doing experiments but you can add lots of different types of veges and also different flavours. One I like is green cabbage, red cabbage and carrots – it gives a beautiful colour. You can put in a bit of garlic, or ginger (getting more like the kimchi taste). Basically you can put in whatever you fancy…herbs, pepper etc etc.

Whats your favourite recipe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showing 8 comments
  • Sara Lake
    Reply

    Hi, does it get the lactobacillus from the air while it’s just sitting there? This has always confused me about sauerkraut.. how does the good bacteria get it??

    • Shelley Belcourt
      Reply

      I am so glad you asked this question – it took me a while to figure this out…the bacteria that proliferate are from the actual vegetable. In my opinion this makes it important to use organic produce to ferment because the bacterial population is likely to be closer to nature.

      Do you make kraut? I’d be keen to hear your experiences 🙂

      Shelley

      • Sara Lake
        Reply

        I am about to! I have made yogurt and sourdough, but you always have to add the culture, so I was a bit confused. I have my organic cabbage and will give it a try over the weekend. 😀

        • Shelley Belcourt
          Reply

          Let us know how it goes. Don’t forget to be patient! It gets better with time

  • Gabby Hogg
    Reply

    yay i made this today, and i can’t wait till 5 days is up and then i can taste it, thanks for posting this Shelley

    • Shelley Belcourt
      Reply

      Make sure you have it somewhere there is a bit of warmth to encourage the fermentation process. And don’t be afraid to open it and taste test it along the way – at first I was scared to touch it! Nothing wrong with tasting it then closing it back up if it doesn’t taste good yet.

      • Gabby Hogg
        Reply

        Hi Shelley

        Well its all done now, apart from the slight explosion I had when I opened it lol. but it tastes really really yummy. thanks for teaching us how to make it 🙂 🙂

        • Shelley Belcourt
          Reply

          Yay! WEll done Gabby!

          Just to let you know that if you have a very active little brew, you can open the lid every couple of days to release the gases (then go ahead and close it again).

          Don’t forget to include it in your daily eating habits!

          Shelley

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