What is Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is a German word that means “sour cabbage”. This sauerkraut recipe calls for finely sliced cabbage that will be fermented and preserved by Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus bacteria. Fermented vegetables like Sauerkraut have a variety of health benefits.
What’s Special About This Lacto-fermented Sauerkraut Recipe?
- You don’t need a special starter culture to make it.
- You don’t even need special filtered water which some recipes call for.
- The cabbage and salt will release its own water through osmosis. And make good bacteria.
- The special salt brine provides an environment in which the cabbage can ferment without rotting or moulding and keeps the cabbage crunchy.
Benefits of Sauerkraut
- Sauerkraut is full of probiotics (good bacteria) which is so very important for your immune system, digestion, urinary health, and could be helpful for allergies and much more.
- It’s a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A.
- Cabbage contains natural isothiocyanate compounds which have cancer-fighting properties.
- The cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin U, which may help heal peptic ulcers.
So if you don’t have a lot of space to store huge gallon jars of fermented vegetables, this sauerkraut recipe is for you! This sauerkraut recipe is for a quart mason jar of sauerkraut that will last up to a year in the fridge!
This is a raw non-pasturized product which keeps all the probiotics alive and vibrant! (oh and it doesn’t have to be the purple cabbage. You can use green too.)
- 1 medium head of cabbage (about 3 pounds)
- 1 1/2 tbsp. of celtic sea salt or himalayan sea salt
- 2- quart mason jars (in-case you have a little extra from the one jar, you can fill a bit of the other jar as cabbages come in different sizes and it’s hard to gauge just how much it will make)
- Cutting board
- Large bowl
- Cheese grater or food processor
- You can use a larger piece of cabbage to push the sauerkraut under the brine, or you can use something like a small jam jar with rocks or weights inside for weighing it down)
- Cloth or paper towel with a rubber band for covering the jar.
- Make sure everything is clean.
- Compost the outer layers of cabbage that may be wilted.
- Slice into quarters cutting out the core.
- Grate with a cheese grater or food processor (check Best Cheese Making Kits for Beginners)
- Add the salt and cabbage into a bowl and get your clean hands in there to work the salt into the cabbage.
- After about 5-10 minutes of working the cabbage, you will want to stuff it into your mason jar(s) and pour the liquid you produced in there too. There should be enough liquid to cover the cabbage.
- Use a piece of cabbage or your small jam jar to push the cabbage under the brine and keep it under there.
- If there is not quite enough water after you have left it overnight, you can add a little filtered water to cover the remainder of cabbage.
- Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a paper towel or cloth and secure it with a rubber band. Do not seal fully. The cloth allows air to flow while keeping dust and stuff out.
- Press down on the sauerkraut when you remember to over the next day. Keep it below the water.
- Let the sauerkraut ferment for about 6 days out of direct sunlight on the counter. When done, it will be bubbly and taste like sauerkraut 😉
- When it tastes good to you, put on a mason jar lid and put it in the fridge and enjoy.
Troubleshooting and Extra Tips
- Bubbles, foam and white scum on the surface of the sauerkraut is normal.
- If you have lots of good bacteria, the fermentation can cause the sauerkraut to bubble over the top of the jar. Leave a bit of space at the top of the jar and put a plate below the jar.
- Mould growing on the surface of the sauerkraut usually grows when the cabbage isn’t fully under the water or if it’s too hot. Scoop the mouldy sauerkraut off the top and the rest should be fine. Use your judgement though. If it stinks or tastes wrong or moldy, be safe and toss the batch.
Do you have a comment, question or your very own yummy sauerkraut recipe? Comment below or head over to the traditional recipes page to get started on your next healthy kitchen project! And have yourself a fantastic day 🙂