Today I’ll be showing you how to make homemade sauerkraut. This fast and easy recipe will be something you’ll want to make again and again.
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My first encounter with homemade sauerkraut was when I was a kid, and my parents would make it in a giant crock. My mom would fill the crock with cabbage, and let it sit in the laundry room until it was ready to eat. I remember being sceptical. Wondering if this strange food was actually good. It probably wasn’t until I was a teenager that I began to enjoy my mom’s homemade sauerkraut.
I think I believed that you could only make sauerkraut at home in a crock. Haha. About a year ago, I stumbled upon Lisa Bass’ recipe for homemade sauerkraut. She showed us how to make it on the counter in smaller quantities. Hey! I can do that easily! And so can you. Here are the steps.
Start with about 5 pounds of cabbage. Green or red will do, it doesn’t matter.
Remove the outer leaves of your cabbage, and set them aside for later. Slice your cabbage into thin slices, making them short enough to be bite-sized.
Place your shredded cabbage in a large bowl, sprinkling salt that doesn’t have any iodine in it on top. Lisa says for every 5 lbs of cabbage, you need 3 tablespoons of salt. You can easily do the math if you’re using less cabbage than I did. I used pink Himalayan salt in mine.
Massage the salt into the cabbage for awhile. Keep massaging until quite a bit of juice comes forth.
When quite a bit of juice comes from the cabbage, place in wide mouth quart jars. Use your hand or a spoon to push the cabbage down into the juice. Leave a little room at the top for a fermenting spring, or weight, or just some rocks in a plastic baggie. I’ll explain in the next step.
I used 3 wide mouth quart jars. I also bought fermenting springs from Walmart this time. Last time I made homemade sauerkraut I used rocks in a ziploc bag…this worked great! So, what you want to do, is fold one of the leaves you saved at the beginning, and place it on top of your shredded cabbage in the jar. Push it down to let the juice cover the cabbage. You want all your shredded cabbage to be below the juice. Don’t worry if it’s not quite under the juice yet. I found that the cabbage and salt created a little more juice as it sat on the counter. Basically, you’re preventing the cabbage from molding when it is under the juice and the cabbage leaf. Place your spring, or weight or rocks in a bag on top of the cabbage leaf. Secure the lid if you are using a spring, and leaving the lid loosely tightened if you are using a weight or rocks. There’s gonna be some gas being produced as your cabbage ferments!
Set your jars on the counter, in a 9X13 pan or such, just in case of leakage. Wait for 1 to 3 weeks for them to be ready to eat. Enjoy your healthy homemade sauerkraut with most any meal.
What you need to make homemade sauerkraut:
- 2 medium heads of cabbage. Approximately 5 pounds.
- 3 tablespoons of salt that has no iodine in it.
- A large bowl to mix and massage your cabbage and salt together to create a juice.
- 3 wide-mouth canning jars.
- Fermenting springs, glass weights, or rocks in a ziploc bag.
How to make homemade sauerkraut:
- Slice your cabbage thinly – leaving the outer leaves aside for later.
- Place cabbage in a large bowl, and massage your cabbage and salt together to create a good amount of juice.
- Place your cabbage and juice in clean jars, pressing the cabbage down.
- Put your cabbage leaves on top of the shredded cabbage. Press down. Place the fermenting springs, glass weights or rocks in a ziploc on top of the cabbage leaves.
- Set aside in 9X13 pan to catch drips.
- Wait 1 to 3 weeks to eat your delicious homemade sauerkraut!